02/21/11 2:36 PM EST
GM Wren gets extension through 2013
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
When Braves president John Schuerholz ascended to his current position after the 2007 season, he confidently chose Frank Wren to serve as his successor. He hasn't been given reason to regret his decision during any of the three seasons that have followed.
After the Braves completed their workout at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex Monday morning, Schuerholz proudly announced Wren had been given a two-year contract extension that positions him to serve as the Braves' general manager through at least the end of the 2013 season.
"This organization stands on continuity and continuing success," Schuerholz said. "We did it for 15 years when we won all of those division championships. It was continuing of the same successful effort. Frank brings that to the role with him and will continue to do so for the next couple of years, at least."
Wren spent eight seasons as one of the Marlins' assistant general managers before being named the Orioles' general manager for the 1999 season. He was named the Braves' assistant GM at the end of the '99 season and remained in that role until he was named general manager in October of 2007.
During his eight-season span as Atlanta's assistant general manager, Wren was approached by a handful of clubs and contemplated accepting the role as the Pirates' general manager. But as he prepares for his fourth season as Braves GM, he certainly has no regrets.
"Organizationally, it doesn't get any better than this," Wren said. "Obviously, Atlanta is a great place to live. It's been a great place to raise my family. There's been a lot of things that has made it a perfect fit.
"At the end of the day, when you count the organizations that you feel will allow the general manager to do his job, have the resources and have the people surrounding him to put it all together, I think our organization is second to none."
When he became Braves GM, Wren accepted the responsibility of beginning another successful era for the organization. Schuerholz led the club to 14 consecutive division titles before seeing the 2006 and '07 seasons conclude without a playoff appearance.
While turning the page, Wren has had to make emotional roster decisions regarding legendary figures like John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. In addition, he has brought some stability back to the scouting department and fortified the Major League club courtesy of good trades like the one that brought Dan Uggla to Atlanta in November.
Wren added to the value of the trade when he quickly completed a five-year contract that will keep Uggla with the Braves through at least the end of the 2015 season.
Having shown an ability to be both aggressive and patient when necessary, Wren made an immediate splash in October 2007, when he landed right-handed pitching prospect Jair Jurrjens and outfield prospect Gorkys Hernandez from the Tigers for aging shortstop Edgar Renteria.
A few months later, he made another trade that now appears quite lopsided in his favor. With that transaction, he landed left-handed reliever Will Ohman and Omar Infante from the Cubs for Jose Ascanio.
"Frank's work speaks for itself," Schuerholz said. "He's done a remarkable job in his years as general manager in rebuilding our farm system, scouting department and the work he has done with our Major League club. Getting into the playoffs last year was really the icing at the top of that cake."
While serving as the Braves' general manager from 1991-2007, Schuerholz became one of the most successful figures the game has seen in that role. But when it came time to walk away, he says that he gave Wren full responsibility and the comfort to know that he could always approach him for advice.
"When Frank got this job, I wanted to be sure the whole world knew it wasn't Schuerholz back there making the snowballs and Wren was throwing them," Schuerholz said. "That wasn't the deal. From the very first day, it was his to do."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.