Wren, so far

As Braves GM, Wren has proven himself to be a blunderer as a PR man, but generally adept at his real job of building a better team. A recap: 

October 2007

  • Traded Edgar for JJ and Gorkys. A+
  • Chris Woodward granted free agency. Easy call. A+
  • Andruw granted free agency. The right call.

November 2007

  • Traded Villarreal for Josh Anderson. Bleh.
  • Signed Tommy G. as a free agent. Loved it at the time. Has not worked out. No great loss from a pure baseball standpoint.
  • Traded Jose Ascanio to the little bears for Ohman and Infante. A+

January 2008

  • Traded Joey Devine, Jamie Richmond to Oakland for Mark Kotsay. B. Kotsay did what we figured. Devine was pretty good for the A’s last year, but is out for the year now.
  • Traded Willy Aybar and someone to the Rays for Jeff Ridgway. C. Aybar’s been good in Tampa, but Wren had to move the guy. Ridgway was awful.

May 2008

  • Traded a player TBN (Nelson Payano) to the Mariners for Greg Norton. He got some big pinch hits last year. B.

July 2008

  • Shipped Teshowmethemoney to Cali for Kotchman and Stephen Marek. B-. What else could he do? A salvage move after JS’s mistake.

October 2008

  • Corky Miller granted free agency.
  • Ohman let go. Hasn’t hurt as much as we thought it would. Thank you, Eric O’Flaherty.

November 2008

  • Picked O’Flaherty off waivers from Seattle. B+
  • Traded Tyler Flowers, Lil Britches and a couple minor minor leaguers to White Sox for Boone Logan and Javy Vazquez. So far, so good. A

December 2008

  • Signed back-up catcher Dave Ross. Huge upgrade over Dorky. B (Can’t get an A for signing a No. 2 catcher.)

January 2009

  • Smoltz goes to Boston. PR disaster. Not a huge loss in purely baseball terms. Still, a D
  • Signed Derek Lowe. A, so far anyway.

February 2009

  • Signed Glavine again. In retrospect, should not have done this. D
  • Signed Garret Anderson. C

June 2009

  • Cut Tommy G. Right move for the team, baseball-wise. Sad for the fans, nonetheless. All in all, C.
  • Traded Charlie Morton, Gorkys and Locke to the Pirates for McLouth. B+
  • Promoted T. Hanson. A

As for a few moves he didn’t make. We didn’t trade top propects and/or Yunel for Peavy. I prefer having Lowe, Yesco, Hanson, et al. As bland as he’s been, I still think I’d rather have GA than Griffey. We can quibble about not signing Abreu, but the McLouth deal more than makes up for that.

So, Wren has really not made a bad baseball move. Time will be the true judge, but to date, Wren has been a good to excellent GM in terms of his core job. As a keeper of the image and the Old Braves Club, he’s failed. If he had to fail at one or the other, I’ll take that.  As Rankin Rob said, it’s business when players sign contracts. Sad for us, yes, when something like Tommy G.’s unceremonious release happens. Nonetheless, cold reality is when you  pay employees millions a year, they live with it.


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14 Comments on Wren, so far

  1. Burnett suspended 6 games for throwing too close to Nelson Cruz’s head. I feel even better.

  2. rankinrob // June 4, 2009 at 5:27 pm //

    Lil’ Britches?

  3. charlesad // June 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm //

    Lillibridge. A lame nickname I came up with.

  4. atlpaddy // June 4, 2009 at 5:51 pm //

    To call GA “bland” is being too kind. I think that Garret Anderson’s life-size, cardboard cutout has more personality.

  5. JGraham // June 4, 2009 at 9:28 pm //

    You could put a Fathead of GA on the left field wall and it would have better range.

  6. You forgot DFA’ing Boyer then trading him to the Cards for Barton. The Cards DFA’d Boyer today, so I guess that one goes in Wren’s favor, too.

  7. PepeFreeUs // June 4, 2009 at 9:40 pm //

    Yunel Escobar is walking proof of the adage about the best trades sometimes being the ones you pass up. There are future Braves fans currently swimming in their dad’s balls who would still have been regretting that trade.

  8. PepeFreeUs // June 4, 2009 at 9:41 pm //

    I hadn’t heard about Blaine.

    If Dave Duncan can’t straighten you out, you’re not going to get unbent.

  9. williemontanez // June 4, 2009 at 9:50 pm //

    atlpaddy – I think the GA cardboard cutout would have more range in LF.

  10. clete boyer fan // June 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm //

    Pepe, your description of future Braves fans is giving me a visual I can really do without…

  11. PepeFreeUs // June 5, 2009 at 12:05 am //

    It’s a “Repo Man” reference. Can’t get enough of those.

  12. sansho1 // June 5, 2009 at 9:05 am //

    Bust up the country club, Frankie. We’ve been witnessing the diminishing returns for years now.

  13. clete boyer fan // June 5, 2009 at 12:14 pm //

    Well Pepe, it’s an intense visual. But a repo man is always intense.

  14. CD: Thanks for the review. Didn’t we trade J.Anderson at some point?

    I’m mostly with you on these trades;

    Tex$$ – Kotchman + 1: A+, given the nature of the situation. Has Kotchman committed an error yet?

    Devine – Kotsay: F. I enjoyed watching Kotsay play for us, but that deal was Tex-lite. We finally ended up with Luis Sumoza. Joy.

    Vazquez: B-. Dude is a 4.x ERA pitcher, who is soaking up innings.

    Signed Kawakami: you missed this one. :) C. That deal looked very much like a case of the me-toos. He’s another 4.x ERA pitcher, who is soaking up innings.

    Signed G. Anderson: A. He’s a 2nd-half hitter, and should receive most of the playing time after the break.

    McLouth: Too early to tell. I think we’ll be making moves all summer, and McLouth could be on his way through a revolving door. Honestly, if we actually got him as cheaply as I think we did, we could turn him around for a gain.

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