Braves Extend Frank Wren

The Braves signed GM Frank Wren to a two-year contract extension through 2013, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Wren, who took over as GM when John Schuerholz became team president after the 2007 season, led Atlanta to its first playoff berth since 2005 last year.

The Braves, who have graduated Jason Heyward, Tommy Hanson and Jonny Venters to the majors in recent years, still boast one of the game's best farm systems. Baseball America ranked the Braves' system second in baseball and says Atlanta is "developing the industry's hardest-throwing, deepest pool of pitching prospects." Prospects Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino could become impact major leaguers by the time Wren's new extension expires.

Wren's notable Major League acquisitions include Dan Uggla (trade), Kenshin Kawakami (signing), Alex Gonzalez (trade), Takashi Saito (signing), Billy Wagner (signing), Tom Glavine (signing), Garret Anderson (signing), Derek Lowe (signing), Derrek Lee (trade), Adam LaRoche (trade), Javier Vazquez (trade) and Jair Jurrjens (trade), as MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows.


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67 Comments on "Braves Extend Frank Wren"


Bo
4 years 5 months ago

Awesome. He’s doing a great job overall.

Threat_Level_RedSox
4 years 5 months ago

Not a braves fan but i really think he’s put in motion a team that can push its way into the playoffs this season and beyond. Most people over look them because they are in the same divition as the phillies, but truth betold if you look at both teams in retrospect the braves have done a greater job at gathering young top notch talent and still have roster flexability the phils spent away, they really are the main reason i don think the phils reign of power will only be anouther 2, possibly 3 years.

myname_989
4 years 5 months ago

You clearly have no idea just how talented the Phils’ system is. They have the makings of a baseball goliath—great ownership, fan base, a large payroll, major and minor league talent and great scouting / drafting. Tired of hearing the argument they have a limited window to win.

Sorry to rant under your comment, Bo. Even as a Phils’ fan, it’s hard to say Wren hasn’t done a nice job.

4 years 5 months ago

Sadly, ‘myname’ has a solid point.

alxn
4 years 5 months ago

The Phillies have a ton of money invested in aging players. Even with a decent system and large payroll they are going to suffer in a few years.

myname_989
4 years 5 months ago

Like I said, they have a huge payroll and will benefit from an influx of young talent in two to three years. The players that they do have money committed to aren’t you’re average “aging” players either. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Madson, Danys Baez and potentially, Brad Lidge, are all coming off the books after this season.

By my count, the only players on the roster that have reached an age of “decline” are Jose Contreras, who was pretty good out of the bullpen in 2010, and Placido Polanco, who made one of the smoothest transitions to third base around. I can’t bring myself to call guys like Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and the rest of the team “aging players” when they haven’t even reached 35 yet.

So you couple that core, which in reality is still in it’s prime, with several key prospects, and it’s hard to imagine the Phillies not being contenders.

alxn
4 years 5 months ago

It’s hard not to be contenders with a payroll like that. But in this day and age players start declining earlier than 35. I’m not saying they will be terrible in a few years, but they have maxed out payroll to the point that they will only be getting worse with each year until some of those huge contracts start to come off the books.

myname_989
4 years 5 months ago

That’s exactly what I’m saying though. Show me proof that the Phillies’ core has declined to the point where they aren’t one of the best groups in the National League. I just don’t agree with the notion that they won’t be able to continue to hold steady at this payroll while being an elite team. It’s how the Yankees and Red Sox are good every season. The Phillies are quickly approaching that level.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

only thing i would mention is how everyone in the Division will be competitive soon. Braves crop of young talent; Phils mix of talent, youth, money, fans; marlins have been consistent and Stanton is a beast, Nats are a force to be reckoned with in 2013, and Mets have money coming off the books. Still think it will be Phils and Braves, but the tough Division will hurt all the teams.

4 years 5 months ago

Good on ya, Bravos!

stl_cards16
4 years 5 months ago

Hard to go wrong with the Braves right now. A Major League team that could easily make the playoffs, and plenty of young guys in the majors and minors to make this team go for years to come. The Braves look to be in great position for an extended run.

4 years 5 months ago

I wouldn’t say they could easily make the playoffs, but they look to be headed back to their 1990’s form. Just got to hope FredGo won’t translate his lousy managing to the braves.

4 years 5 months ago

Lousy managing? The dude had ZERO competition to take over the managerial position from a legend and no doubt Hall of Famer, surely someone must have some confidence in him….

Are you one of those who eats up everything Loria says? Like when he said before the 2010 season that he had ‘all the ammunition he needed’ for a ring when it was clear from the start that it was a .500 team at best? Then when the halfway point gets there and they’re hovering around that mark, he fires Gonzalez. We’re you under the impression that he had an overwhelming amount of talent to work with during his days with the Marlins or something?

coolstorybro222
4 years 5 months ago

Lousy Managing? mOre like a lousy team? I mean no wonder you guys haven’t made the playoffs since 2003.

NYBravosFan10
4 years 5 months ago

Yay!!! Congrats Frank, you’ve done an awesome job with the limited amount of money that Liberty Media has allowed you.

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

I would say amen, but Wren said in an interview recently that the team salary limitations were self-imposed and not because of Liberty Media. He could just be saying the right thing, though…

Brv Rocks
4 years 5 months ago

He’s probably just being a good company man. Liberty Media has been slashing the budget every year. Hopefully they sell soon to a private owner who actually cares about the team. Imagine what Wren could do if given a good budget to work with. This was a good move by the Braves.

East Coast Bias
4 years 5 months ago

But why would a new owner put more money into the system if he won’t be able to make it back? At the end of the day, I’m pretty sure making a profit is still more important than putting more money into the system. I could be wrong, but I feel as if the Atlanta market is already tapped out to the max money it could bring in. Maybe you, or other ATL fans, can verify?

NYBravosFan10
4 years 5 months ago

Atlanta has such a weird fanbase. There are plenty of Braves fans around the country and the southeast is chock full of them but the stands are rarely filled. Maybe its because of the weather or the horrid driving situation in Atlanta but the team isn’t making as much money from the public that it could be if they sold out every game. The Braves are definitely an interesting team financially.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

Rain hurt in last few years. Atlanta had biggest walk-up crowd. Great weather and such on the good days. Braves are more like a vacation thing, and people stopped taking vacations. I pay my dues though. Wish I had the money to go to other stadiums.

Jeff
4 years 5 months ago

It’s weird due to TBS. They have a lot of national/travelling fans, but ATL is a lousy sports town. That’s the real issue, most of the fans can’t really get to the stadium regularly.

4 years 5 months ago

Better attendance would help considerably…the Braves are in the middle of the MLB pack, which is where they should be considering the market they’re in (I think they’re 13th in attendance, and 12-13th amongst teams in size of supporting metro area). They have plenty of seats to fill most of the time, and there’s a plethora of reasons why Turner Field doesn’t fill up (namely location of park and public transit systems…the park also has a pretty high capacity, so it could feasibly handle an attendance boom).

Hopefully, more fans will show up to the park after the team made the playoffs, but we’ll see. Living in Denver, I can attest to how important location and public transit access are to attendance, as train after train chalk-full of fans head to Coors Field during my commute home (if I’m not going to the game myself) when the Rockies play.

-C

alxn
4 years 5 months ago

Atlanta is the fasting growing city in the country since 2000, and still most sports fans are people who reside outside of the city. There is a ton of potential if they can get people living in the city to go to games.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

There are a ton of sports fans in Atlanta who hate the Braves. Lots of different team’s fans, so there are a ton of other fans at the games, but still a lot more Braves. Also, Atlanta is the 2nd dangerous city in America as of 2009, so it has it’s reasons. If you know where you are going, you will never have a problem.

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

Probably, although they actually RAISED the budget from $87M to $102M the first year they bought it. Then decreased it to around $97M and then $84M. It’s worth pointing out the 2010 team with the lowest payroll (the $84M) is the only one of those teams to get to the playoffs.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

Liberty pays for what they need to compete with other teams. Smart business, but makes them look bad for the fans. It’s a risk really, but that’s all business is. I’d rather them pocket it then pay 7 mil for a useless player or pitcher.

Jeff
4 years 5 months ago

They’re already doing that with two players. Kawakami and McLouth.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

McLouth was a trade and KK was a decent signing at the time. Yes it seems bad now, but Wren didn’t waste money on them at the time of the signing.

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

He did overpay Derek Lowe, but he almost had to given out on the fact that he couldn’t land Peavy or Burnett that year. And then there are the Garret Anderson, Farnsworth and Ainkiel wiffs. But the Uggla trade, the Hudson extension, and (my personal favorite) the David Ross extension outweigh those misses.

Edit: actually, now that I look at his transaction log, my favorite might be picking up Eric O’Flaherty off of waivers from Seattle.

4 years 5 months ago

I don’t really see how Farnsworth was a “whiff”.

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

Then you didn’t pay attention in the second half of 2010. He had an ERA of better than 5 after the Braves got him.

4 years 5 months ago

True, but they didn’t give up much for him or Ankiel. He’ll be criticized for the Escobar trade more than anything, but I still say it was justified.

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

You make a good point. The reason that trade irks me isn’t because of what we gave up, but the fact that it was supposed to strengthen our pen and made it worse.

And you’re right that in the end the Yunel trade will probably get Wren grief, but when your HOF manager actually (allegedly) uses the word “hate” when he talks about a player, said player may need to go.

roberty
4 years 5 months ago

Wren gave up Tim Collins in that trade.

WisBrave
4 years 5 months ago

Exactly, I would love to have him back.

4 years 5 months ago

Wow, Tim Collins…….the midget reliever. Forgot about him. Still, considering how deep the Braves pitching runs at the big-league and minor-league levels, things would have to go horribly wrong for the organization in the next few years for me to even remember they ever even had the guy.

Plus, the Braves have their own midget reliever in Kris Medlen. Except he can be a useful starter as well, just as soon as he gets back from Tommy John surgery……which is where scouts expect Collins to end up sooner or later.

roberty
4 years 5 months ago

The Braves have crazy pitching depth but not a lot of lefty relievers, which was one of our greatest strengths last year.

bravos2010
4 years 5 months ago

I don’t know why a lot of people are upset about Escobar leaving. The guy was a clubhouse cancer. I rather have someone who will give a better attitude each game like Agon, than have someone who will bring the team down like Escobar.

4 years 5 months ago

We’re upset because no one gave a damn until he had a down year. Then, instead of riding it out and waiting to see if he’d work over the offseason and probably return to near his career averages this coming season, they dumped him in order to buy high on AGon, whose power returned to its usual level once he didn’t have Toronto’s park holding it up and whose OBP is the stuff of a minor league backup. Yunel in a normal year is far more valuable than AGon in one of his best years, and we pissed that away. That’s why we’re upset.

$3866193
4 years 5 months ago

I remember being nervous when I saw Schuerholz was stepping down as GM (or stepping UP to President, whatever), but my fears have been laid to rest. Great job so far, Wren. Worst move so far was probably the Lowe overpay or the Devine/Kotsay swap, Devine’s arm problems notwithstanding.

A major strength for Wren are the moves he hasn’t made. When other GMs are bone-headed enough to acquire Wells or give Werth 7 years and $479 jillion, I’d say Wren’s doing damn well.

Patty
4 years 5 months ago

So happy about this. The Wreninator saved the Braves from the disastrous Teixeria trade that JS so graciously left us with.

dc21892
4 years 5 months ago

I can’t believe the potential those arms in the minors have. A great deal of talent there.

goner
4 years 5 months ago

minor error: Adam Laroche was traded away, not acquired, by Wren.

4 years 5 months ago

he also traded Kotchman to the bosox for Laroche last year. well in 2009 Wren traded him away and traded for him. Traded him to PIT for Mike Gonzo then the deal last year

goner
4 years 5 months ago

you’re absolutely right… Wren traded away and later traded for Laroche. my bad….

4 years 5 months ago

JS made the first LaRoche trade, not Wren.

4 years 5 months ago

I”m happy with this move. I feel his only mistakes are picking up agon’s option and overpaying Lowe. Even though Lowe is understandable.

4 years 5 months ago

Fangraphs (link to fangraphs.com) estimates agon’s value at $13.7m last year (and guesses a $6.6m value for 2011). Not picking up his $2.5m option would have been unbelievably stupid, as the last season he had an estimated value below $2.5m was 2002. Plus we needed a shortstop.

4 years 5 months ago

he also traded Kotchman to the bosox for Laroche last year. Wren traded him away and traded for him. Traded him to PIT for Mike Gonzo then the deal last year.

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

No, he acquired him for the last half of the 2009 season. Then he departed via free agency.

4 years 5 months ago

Wrens bad moves are for the most part borderline bad. He hasn’t made many spectacular moves either. Given the state of the Braves farm system that is all that’s really required. The team friendly extensions he worked out with Hudson and Uggla have been his best moves IMO. (People forget Ugglas extension includes the 2011, so the Braves essentially got a better deal then what the Marlins were offering Uggla)

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

Nah, Braves deal is 5/$62M (broken down $10M, $13M, $13M, $13M, $13M) for an average of $12.4M where the Marlins were offering 4/$48M for an average of $12M. The Braves get the 5th year, which may not be a good thing.

4 years 5 months ago

You are correct I looked it up after this comment. Well he is a middle infielder with no history of injuries, If you are going to give someone a 5 year contract that is whom I would give it too I guess.

$3866193
4 years 5 months ago

Well, kinda. If durability is the only metric determining the length of a contract, then the Zito contract is justified, as well, since he’s DL-free for his entire career.

The problem is that, when compared to similar players at similar points in their careers, Uggla doesn’t project to age gracefully over the length of the contract (like the Howard or Werth contracts).

I’m really happy to have Uggla on the Braves and there’s really no way the Braves were going to get Uggla to agree to anything less than a 5-year extension, anyway, so this was totally foreseeable, if still somewhat misguided. Ideal situation would have been to keep Uggla for 2011,12, and 13, but again, that was never going to happen in reality.

Brad426
4 years 5 months ago

Agreed. I love the idea of Uggla on the team for 2011-13. After that he almost certainly will have to try and move to the outfield. He could be an albatross for the last couple of years of the contract, so here’s hoping he makes hay while the sunshines and the $36M he gets paid over the next three years is a steal.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

Braves needed RH-power and Uggla, who is an All-Star type player would get 5-6 years on FA market. He’s actually a year younger than many people give him credit as being. I noticed a few sites like FanGraphs making the small error.

4 years 5 months ago

I still think the fact that Uggla has alot less service time then many players his age, has no history of injury, and plays in the middle infield makes him far more likely to remain productive into his 30’s then someone like say Jose Reyes. Reyes talent is undeniable but he has alot of miles and injuries on his body.

JR_Tolls1
4 years 5 months ago

Why can’t they just bring John back? He could be a president-GM

roberty
4 years 5 months ago

I much prefer Wren’s style to Schuerholz’s. JS seemed happy to mortgage the farm system every so often for a year of one good player just to continue his streak of division titles. Wren seems more concerned with keeping together his core of uber prospects so the Braves can be a dominant force a few years down the road. John Schuerholz teams were more about five or six huge stars surrounded by one-dimensional role players, while Wrens teams seem more solid all around. It would be nice if Wren had a little more financial wiggle room so he wasn’t relying on discount bin liabilities like Garret Anderson and Troy Glaus.

13CHEEZ13
4 years 5 months ago

Everyone keeps bringing the Lowe signing as a ‘miss’. I agree he is overpaid and hasn’t been an ‘ace’ pitcher but the alternatives were Peavy, Burnett and OPerez. He wouldn’t give away the farm for Peavy, Yanks offered Burnett more money and chose Lowe over Perez. Peavy also had a 20 mil/year option that he wanted picked up if he was traded…..I think Lowe is far and away the best of those three. The Mets had to re-sign Perez because the Braves scooped up Lowe quickly (too bad for them). He got the right guy even though he is overpaid. Sometimes the market forces you to ‘overpay’ to get your man. See Uggla….a great deal in the short term, questionable in the long term so we’ll see how it plays out.

Overall, he has done a good job. Braves are above average at the MLB level and way above average in the farm system.

4 years 5 months ago

i remember after his first 2 year everybody was asking for wrens head cause he didnt know what he hes was doing and yada yada yada, but i thought hes done fine the WHOLE time, yea not every gm is perfect you have to take gambles and some players wont play to theier potenetials, all im saying is hes done pretty good for what hes got to work with.

coolstorybro222
4 years 5 months ago

Frank Wren is probably one of the most underrated GM’s in baseball.

roberty
4 years 5 months ago

I think he means that Wren quickly restocked our depleted farm system.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 5 months ago

If Wren didn’t bid against himself with Lowe, I wouldn’t have minded. Maybe Boras would have pulled a Manny and said, hey, no1 will pass you in bid, but we will sit out this year unless you give us the money.

4 years 5 months ago

Please, don’t get him started on Melky Cabrera…

-C

BaseballLogic_Braves
4 years 5 months ago

Brent Lillibridge was in the Javier Vazquez trade, right? He’s with the Chisox now.

myname_989
4 years 5 months ago

It’s amazing how Braves’ fans have to have their heads patted all of the time. I wasn’t discrediting the Braves’ farm system. I was refuting the notion that the Phillies DON’T have a good farm system. You’re blowing the situation completely out of context, and I’m not even going to respond past that, since you clearly don’t even know what the conversation was about.