Despite starting the season strong, the Atlanta Braves have plummeted in the second half and have now found themselves eliminated from playoff contention. Currently 15 games in second place behind the Washington Nationals, the team has decided to relieve long-term general manager Frank Wren of duties immediately.
Overseeing operations as general manager since 2007, Wren has continued the storied success of the Atlanta franchise. However, a ballooning payroll and decreasing production has led to his firing. Many expected to see a move within the organization, and the writing was on the wall for Wren’s departure over the past 48 hours.
The firing of Wren is likely to be the first of many personnel moves executed over the remained of the 2014 season as well as the upcoming offseason by Atlanta. Manager Freddi Gonzalez has to be looking over his shoulder as well in the coming weeks. Wren was a big fan of Gonzalez, but with Wren out of the picture the future for the Braves’ skipper is uncertain. Many general managers prefer to bring on their own manager, unless the new GM is promoted from within the organization.
For Atlanta, much of the focus of the team’s failure and Wren’s firing must be focuses on player moves. The team’s success over the years has lied within their ability to “grow from within”. During Wren’s tenure, the team began to adopt the “buy” persona that has doomed many teams over the years. Wren paid $72.25 million over five years for B.J. Upton and also signed now former second baseman Dan Uggla to a $62 million extension just three years ago.
The talent has always been there for Atlanta, but the execution has not been acceptable this season. Atlanta’s front office will likely sit down and set forth a long term plan in the forthcoming months, and it would not be all that surprising to see a radically different roster and coaching staff when Spring Training 2015 begins.
Cover Photo: Associated Press
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