Johnny Almaraz, the current director of international scouting and operations, could be an option. Almaraz was with the Reds for 16 years before joining the Braves three years ago. He signed Adam Dunn and B.J. Ryan as an amateur scout before sliding over to player development for the Reds..
There are two former scouting directors on Wren's staff. Both are special assistants to the general manager and major league scouts.
The first is Chuck McMichael, who was director of scouting for the Texas Rangers from 1997 through 2000 before joining the Braves' organization. McMichael is from the John Schuerholz scouting tree, having worked for the Royals from 1982 through 1996.
Here are some of the players McMichael drafted with the Rangers in his time as scouting director:
1997: Jason Romano (1s) and Mike Lamb (7th)
1998: Carlos Pena (1st) and Barry Zito (3rd)
1999: Colby Lewis (1s), Hank Blalock (3rd), Kevin Mench (4th), Aaron Harang (6th), and Noah Lowry (19th)
2000: Scott Heard (1st), Tyrell Godwin (1s), Jason Bourgeois (2nd), Laynce Nix (4th), Nick Massett (8th), and Edwin Encarnacion (9th)
As an amateur scout with the Royals, McMichael was responsible for signing Mike McFarlane and Harvey Pulliam and also was involved in the scouting of Bret Saberhagen, Jeff Conine, and Sean Berry.
Wren's scouting director in Baltimore may also be a candidate. Tony DeMacio started with the Braves back in the mid-1980s. He's technically responsible for signing both Tom Glavine and Chipper Jones.
DeMacio also worked with the Indians (1991-1994), Cubs (1995-1998), and then Wren hired him in Baltimore in 1999. DeMacio outlasted Wren, who was fired after one year in 1999, and remained the scouting director through 2004.
After working for the Pirates from 2005 through 2006, DeMacio returned to the Braves prior to the 2007 season.
Here are some of DeMacio's bigger draft picks while the scouting director in Baltimore:
2000: Beau Hale (1st), Tripper Johnson (1st), and Brandon Fahey (32nd)
2001: Chris Smith (1st), Mike Fontenot (1st), Eli Whiteside (6th), and Chris Britton (8th)
2002: Adam Loewen (1st), Val Majewski (3rd), Hayden Penn (5th), and John Maine (6th)
2003: Nick Markakis (1st), Chris Ray (3rd), James Hoey (13th), and Casey Janssen (49th)
2004: Wade Townsend (1st), Jeff Fiorentino (3rd), Brad Bergesen (4th), Kevin Hart (11th), and Will Venable (15th)
In an assessment of DeMacio's drafts, The Orioles Warehouse wrote the following in 2004:
"If there is a pattern to DeMacio's drafting strategy, it is this: 1) an early-round predilection for pitchers, man of whom subsequently hurt their arms; 2) an inability to select star-quality position prospects; and 3) a gift for finding the odd middle- or late-round surprise. DeMacio has shown a particular weakness for power lefties like Stahl, Smith, and Loewen."
One thing to keep in mind with DeMacio was the interference at times from Orioles' owner Peter Angelos. And DeMacio had four general managers (Wren, Syd Thrift, Mike Flanagan, and Jim Beattie) in his six seasons as scouting director.
Another internal candidate for the Braves could be former major league pitcher Tim Conroy, who is currently a special assistant to the GM and major league scout. Conroy started with the Braves in 2001 and spent several seasons on the amateur side, working as a national cross checker for two years and a national supervisor for two years as well.
Whoever takes over for Clark will have big shoes to fill, but the Braves probably have several internal candidates they will consider for the position.
Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Braves Show Talk Show. Shanks writes a weekly baseball column for The Macon Telegraph and is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. You can email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.