Dayton Moore has quite a Braves connection
When Dayton Moore left the Braves for Kansas City in early June last year, it was almost inevitable that we'd see players Moore knew from his days in Atlanta follow him to his new club. And almost fourteen months later, there are a number of former Braves' players trying to help Moore make Kansas City a winner.
The biggest addition by Moore has been shortstop Tony Pena, Jr., who is having a solid rookie season in the big leagues. Moore got Pena from Atlanta in March for pitcher Eric Cordier, and Pena has really surpassed expectations. He's hitting .278 with 28 RBI in 313 at bats as Kansas City's starter at shortstop. The Braves didn't really have room for Pena, so Moore took advantage of that and got himself a starting infielder.
One of Moore's first trades last summer was to acquire Odalis Perez from the Dodgers. Perez was a Braves' prospect in the late-90s and pitched in Atlanta a bit before going to the Dodgers in the Sheffield trade. Perez is 4-8 this season in Kansas City in 19 games started.
John Thomson was released by the Blue Jays a few weeks ago and Moore quickly snatched him up for the Royals' rotation. Thomson, who was with the Braves for three years, is 1-1 so far in his first two starts with Kansas City and has a 3.38 ERA.
Moore acquired Roman Colon from Detroit on Friday and we'll see where the right-hander will fit in. Colon had been suspended (and also charged with assault) by the Tigers for allegedly striking a teammate in a locker room dispute in the minor leagues. Moore has known Colon since he signed with the Braves at the age of 16 in 1995.
Last Saturday the Royals signed lefty reliever John Foster, who was released by the Braves last October. Foster had Tommy John Surgery in June of 2006 and is now throwing at the Royals' complex in Arizona. Foster had an effective season for the Braves as their top lefty reliever in 2005.
The Royals' Triple-A roster in Omaha has six former Braves players. Matt Wright has settled into the rotation and has a 6-3 record and a 3.81 ERA. He could be an option for Kansas City later in the year. Ken Ray has pitched in 26 games and has a 4.23 ERA. And Jason Shiell has pitched in 19 games and has a 5.27 ERA.
Richard Lewis was traded from the Braves to the Cubs in 2004 and Moore was the one who had to tell him he had been traded. But now Lewis is back with Moore and hitting .232 with 3 home runs in Omaha.
Billy McCarthy was traded to Kansas City to complete the Graham Koonce trade from earlier this year. McCarthy was scouted and signed by J.J. Picollo, who is the Royals' Farm Director under Moore. McCarthy is hitting .284 with 5 home runs and 13 RBI in 95 at bats so far for Omaha.
Cody Clark was one of several six-year minor league free agents Picollo and Moore signed last winter. Clark is now in Omaha after spending much of the year in Wilmington.
Arthur Santos and Onil Joseph were two other signees and they are both in AA Wichita. Santos has pitched in 19 games out of the bullpen, while Joseph is hitting .217 with 8 stolen bases.
Two other younger players, Rubi Koko and Jose Santos, are in the lower levels of the Royals' system. Both were released by the Braves in the last year. Koko is an outfielder now in Idaho Falls, while Santos is an infielder playing for Burlington.
And there's one more Braves' tie with the Royals. Moore recently traded for Brad McCann from the Marlins' organization. Brad is Brian McCann's brother, and he is now in Wilmington in the Carolina League.
Dayton Moore has made only one trade with his former boss, former Royals' GM John Schuerholz. But with what he's done so far as the Kansas City General Manager, expect a bit more activity in the coming years. It's obvious Moore likes players he has a history with from the Braves' organization.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at email@example.com.
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