After seven seasons as general manager, Frank Wren was fired Monday morning by the Atlanta Braves. His top assistant, Bruce Manno, was also let go.
The Braves are expected to make more far-reaching moves throughout the organization, in scouting and player development.
John Hart, a former general manager with the Indians and Rangers, has been named as the interim GM. Hart was hired last winter by president John Schuerholz as a senior advisor, baseball operations.
Hart, Schuerholz and former manager Bobby Cox will form a three-person transition team to conduct a search to find a permanent general manager.
The Braves had just two wins in the playoffs and no playoff series wins in Wren’s tenure. The team has fallen apart in the second half of this season and was eliminated from playoff contention Sunday when they lost to the Mets and the Pirates beat the Brewers.
Wren was promoted to general manager when Schuerholz was promoted to his current role in October, 2007. Wren had previously been the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles in 1999 but lasted only one year.
The Braves are 4-14 in September and have scored only 40 runs in the 18 games played. The team is 24-36 since the All-Star Break and 59-72 since a 17-7 start.
Atlanta won the NL East last season with a 96-66 record. In 2012, the Braves won 94 games but lost to the Cardinals in the wildcard game. The 2010 team won the wildcard but lost to the Giants in the division series.
Before this season, the only losing season in Wren's time as GM was his first year at the helm, when the Braves went 72-90.
Several of Wren's critical decisions backfired on him and the organization. Before the 2009 season, Wren signed free agent pitcher Derek Lowe to a four-year, $60 million dollar contract. Lowe had a 40-39 record and a 4.57 ERA in three seasons before he was traded away to Cleveland prior to the 2012 season.
Wren signed Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami to a three-year contract for $22.3 million that same offseason. Kawakami was 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA in 50 games (41 starts) with the Braves.
Dan Uggla was acquired from the Marlins before the 2011 season and promptly given a four-year, $52 million contract extension through the 2015 season. Uggla was released this year at the All-Star Break after hitting .209 in his four seasons on the roster. The Braves will still pay him $13 million next season.
And prior to last season Wren signed free agent outfielder B.J. Upton to a five-year, $75.5 million contract. Upton has hit .197 in his two seasons with the Braves.
That's almost $210 million spent by Wren on players that have not lived up to expectations.
The Braves have also had a huge downgrade in the farm system under Wren's watch. Former scouting director Roy Clark left after the 2009 season and the last few drafts have not been solid. Most websites rank the Braves near the bottom of baseball in farm system rankings.
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Braves fire general manager Frank Wren
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