The Atlanta Braves announced earlier today that they have dismissed general manager Frank Wren from the organization. John Hart, a senior advisor for the organization, will step in as interim general manager. He will also be a part of a three man team, including team president John Schuerholz and former manager Bobby Cox, that will find Atlanta's next general manager.
Wren has been on the hot seat as of late, especially during the Braves current 20 game stretch, in which they have just won five games. I wrote just yesterday in support of Wren, noting that he could not have predicted the injuries of two vital pitching pieces in Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, and did all he could to make the team as good as possible. I blamed the fact that the Braves look sluggish as the reason for their struggles and raised the question of whether Fredi Gonzalez, their manager, should take blame.
Obviously, the Braves do not see eye-to-eye with me. Wren took over the team in October 2007, and during his tenure, the Braves have just had one losing season, although they will likely have another this year. From 2009 to 2013, Atlanta averaged 91.2 wins, making the playoffs in three of those five seasons. Regardless, the team looks to be headed to their second losing season under Wren, and after being eliminated from the postseason yesterday, they ultimately decided to part ways.
Wren was known for making good deals as general manager, and developed much of the talent that is in Atlanta today. Andrelton Simmons, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Julio Teheran, and Craig Kimbrel were all developed under the discretion of Wren and successfully turned into major league stars.
However, signing key free agents to add to his core of young players is an issue for Wren. He made bad deals for B.J. Upton (.207/.282/.327) and Dan Uggla (.149/.229/.213), signing them to a five-year, $75.25 million and a five-year, $62 million deal, respectively. Those were swings and misses for Wren and may have cost him his job. The Braves can only hope that their next general manager is able to surround this young core with good, cost-effective free agents.