1:03pm: The Braves have announced the promotion, adding that Coppolella signed a four-year contract that runs through the completion of the 2019 season.
12:02pm: The Braves will promote assistant general manager John Coppolella to the role of general manager later today, reports MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Coppolella has been serving as the second-in-command to president of baseball operations John Hart while holding the title of AGM, as the Braves did not formally name a GM last offseason after firing Frank Wren and bringing Hart on board on a permanent basis. Hart will remain in his role as president of baseball ops, per Bowman.
As Bowman writes, while Hart had final say over a number of key trades in the past year, it was Coppolella who did much of the legwork in structuring those franchise-altering transactions. Among the deals architected by Copplella were the trades of Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis, Justin Upton and Craig Kimbrel as well as the swap that brought Hector Olivera over from the Dodgers.
Coppolella has served as the Braves’ assistant GM since 2012, and it’s been widely believed that he was being groomed to become the next Atlanta GM, though many reports indicated that he’d rise to the post when the team’s new stadium opened in 2017. Coppolella has been with Atlanta since 2006 and has previously held the titles of director of baseball operations and director of pro scouting.
Bowman reports that both the Brewers and Mariners had interest in Coppolella to fill their GM vacancies last month, however, and interest in the rising 37-year-old executive led the Braves to promote him now as a means of ensuring that he would remain in the team’s baseball operations hierarchy for the foreseeable future.