The Braves’ offseason has already begun with the firing of general manager Frank Wren earlier today. Here’s some more about the Braves’ decision and what’s next for the team…
- Interim GM John Hart, team president John Schuerholz and long-time former manager Bobby Cox met with the media to discuss the move. Schuerholz said he became concerned about the team’s dysfunction during the summer and felt a change was necessary before the end of the season (tweets from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale).
- Hart is happy in his interim GM role and he’ll stay as an organizational advisor after a new general manager is hired, though Schuerholz left open the possibility that Hart could still be the Braves’ full-time GM (tweet from David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
- Any decisions on Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves’ coaching staff will wait until after the new GM is hired. Cox praised Gonzalez’s work and feels he should stay on as the team’s manager (tweets from Nightengale).
- Bruce Manno, the Braves’ assistant GM and director of player development, was also fired, Schuerholz announced.
- Jeff Wren, Frank’s brother and a Braves scout and special assistant, has been fired, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter link).
- In a full column, Crasnick writes that the strained relationship between Cox and Wren has been evident since Cox omitted Wren from a list of people he wished to thank at his Hall of Fame induction speech. Cox will likely have a bigger role and voice going forward, Crasnick continues. He also notes that even if Gonzalez survives as the manager, there will assuredly be changes to the coaching staff.
- Assistant GM John Coppolella seems to be a top contender or even the early favorite to be Atlanta’s next general manager, as cited by Nightengale, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, ESPN.com’s Keith Law, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post (all Twitter links).
- Wren “excelled at the mid-level and low-level decisions but failed at the big ones,” Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. While Wren did a lot of good in his time with the club, he could only make so many expensive mistakes given the Braves’ mid-market payroll, and Wren threw away a lot of money on B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla, Kenshin Kawakami and Derek Lowe.
- Some in the Braves organization questioned the lack of veteran leadership on the current roster, David O’Brien writes in a summary of Wren’s tenure. Wren also made some questionable coaching hires and allowed some key members of the Braves’ baseball operations staff to leave for other jobs. Highly-regarded pitching coach Roger McDowell was prepared to leave for Philadelphia last winter before Schuerholz convinced him to stay.
- Even before the team’s 4-14 record in September, a high-ranking Braves source told Bob Nightengale that Wren and maybe Gonzalez would be fired if Atlanta missed the postseason.
- There’s already been speculation regarding Royals GM Dayton Moore returning to Atlanta, and Royals owner David Glass tells MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel that he wouldn’t stand in Moore’s way if he wished to leave. However, Glass also says he “can’t imagine” Moore wanting to leave, adding that the organization is committed to Moore, and he feels that commitment is mutual. As Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star points out (on Twitter), Moore has spent eight years with the Royals building toward what could be the team’s first postseason appearance in nearly 30 years, and it’d be a shock for him to leave that behind. He is under contract through 2016.
I’ll do it. $2m a year if I make the postseason. $500k if I don’t.
And you pay them $500K if the Braves finish last?
I’ll take that bet.
Melvin Mendoza, Jr.
I wonder if Bobby Cox would make a good GM, and/or if he would be interested in the position.
You wonder if he would make a good GM? He has been a GM before, including for the Braves so you don’t have to wonder too much.
That was 25 years ago. You do have to wonder at least a little.
Of course Cox is still praising Fredi, they’re buddies. How long will we let Cox protect Fredi’s incompetence?
I was cringing while he was praising Fredi’s work. Like, have you not watched the team from 2011 on??
Meh. Seems like there is pretty unanimous dislike for him, but 15 games out is more than the manager.
Of course; but the manager bears the brunt of it IMO.
exactly there is no excuse for fredi’s shortcomings as a manager he HAS to go if not we wont be very succesful next year if we some how are it wont be because of him
Frank wanted Fredi gone and since Bobby basically hand-picked Fredi as his successor, he wanted none of that and the Braves chose to side with Bobby and cut anyone with and all ties to Frank?
It’s obvious Fredi isn’t going anywhere unless the Braves perform like this again next season. Bobby is just too strong of a backer for Fredi.
Not necessarily at all. Keeping Fredi on will affect how good of GM candidates they get in there, meaning there’s not many good candidates that will want to be setup to fail, by keeping Fredi on. Fredi hasn’t done enough to warrant losing out on a good candidate, like Coppolella, if they disagree with the direction going forward with Fredi at the helm.
I’m beginning to fear that their idea of a good GM candidate will resemble their idea of a good manager (someone Bobby likes).
Bingo, I have been saying this from the word go. No decent GM would agree to join the Braves without the ability to choose his own manager. That would basically be condition #1 on any list from a potential GM.
Bobby Cox might THINK he is going to keep Fredi as the manager, but no way it actually happens unless Hart is the new GM.
Whether Fredi has done a fantastic job or not, that decision should always be left to the GM. It sounds like the Braves are handling that right.
Whoever the next GM is, I would be surprised if he does not bring in his own manager. September collapses have become too common under Fredi Gonzalez.
Fire Fredi and get Chipper Jones to coach 😀 itd be an interesting hire if anything else
I would love to see Chipper as hitting coach, especially hearing him take digs at BJ Upton’s swiss cheese swing in the cages. Good luck, Chipper.
They fired his brother, too? Can Kyle be far behind?!?
If the next GM chooses Fredi,the Braves will have suffered two blunders that will make the Wren years appear glorious. If Bobby really has the power to save Gonzalez,he will only hurt the team and stain his reputation.This whole year,even these changes as they are appearing are becoming one tangled, endless horror show!