Frank Wren

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Franklin E. Wren (born March 17, 1958 in St. Petersburg, Florida) is an American front office executive in Major League Baseball.[1] He began his baseball career as a player for the Montreal Expos, and later joined the team as an executive. Wren moved to the Florida Marlins in 1991, then was hired by the Baltimore Orioles in 1998 for his first stint as a general manager. After the season, Wren was hired by the Atlanta Braves. The Braves promoted Wren to general manager in 2007, a role he kept until 2014.

Career[edit]

Montreal Expos[edit]

Wren graduated from Northeast High School in St. Petersburg.[2] He then attended St. Petersburg Junior College and signed with the Montreal Expos as an outfielder in 1977. In five minor league seasons, Wren batted .259 and peaked with a 38-game stint with the Double-A Memphis Chicks in 1980. He accepted a job coaching in the Expos organization in 1981 while recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor. After trying to resume his playing career in the spring of 1982, Wren became a full time coach that June with the Jamestown Expos.[3] He joined the front office as General Manager of Jamestown in October 1984 and was promoted to Assistant Director of Scouting in September 1985. He was named Director of Latin American Scouting in 1989.[4]

Florida Marlins[edit]

In September of 1991, Wren's boss, Expos GM Dave Dombrowski, accepted the position of GM of the Florida Marlins, a National League expansion franchise set to begin play in 1993. He followed Dombrowski to the Marlins as the club's assistant GM.[5] He was promoted to vice president in 1996. In 1997, the veteran-laden Marlins won the franchise's first World Series. In 1998, owner H. Wayne Huizenga would order his front office to divest the team of its high-priced veterans, and the Marlins spiraled into the basement of the National League East Division.

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

When Pat Gillick resigned as GM of the Orioles at the close of the 1998 season, Wren was named his replacement.[6] But the 1999 Orioles were a major disappointment. The club finished six games under .500 despite one of the highest payrolls in the game and the signing of free agent slugger Albert Belle to the most lucrative contract in baseball at the time. During the season, Wren and the team were criticized publicly by Baltimore owner Peter Angelos,[7][8] and after just one season, he replaced Wren with veteran executive Syd Thrift.[9]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

Wren then joined the Braves as top assistant GM to longtime Atlanta GM John Schuerholz, a position that he held for eight seasons.[10] On October 11, 2007, Schuerholz was named president of the Braves and Wren was promoted to executive vice president and GM, signing a four-year contract.[11]

Wren was known for developing a strong farm system.[12] He has had many prospects reach MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, notably Julio Teheran.[13]

Wren was released by the Braves on September 22, 2014, a day after the Braves were eliminated from playoff contention.[14] In his tenure as general manager, Wren made some effective trades to acquire a resurgent Javier Vazquez in 2009, Michael Bourn in 2011, and Justin Upton in 2013.[15] But some free agent signings did not go as well. Derek Lowe was signed to a 4 year, $60 million deal in 2009, but struggled in 2011, before being traded to the Cleveland Indians.[16] Kenshin Kawakami was signed from the Chunichi Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball in 2009. He spent two years with the Braves and posted a 8-22 record with a 4.32 ERA.[17] Wren traded for Dan Uggla in the 2010 offseason and signed him to a 5 year, $62 million contract. Uggla did well for two years, then slumped before being released in 2014.[15] BJ Upton joined the Braves on a 5 year, $75.25 million contract in 2013, but has not yet found the success he had with the Tampa Bay Rays.[18][19] The money committed to Upton was Wren's most expensive deal.[20]

Personal[edit]

He and his wife Terri[21] have three sons: Jordan, an outfielder at Samford;[22] Colby, a former Georgia Tech infielder; [23] and former Georgia Tech outfielder Kyle Wren. Kyle was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 30th round of the 2012 MLB draft. In 2013, Kyle was selected by the Braves in the eighth round.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Baseball America Executive Database". Baseball America. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Miller, Glenn (21 June 1979). "Frank Wren: Benched by Spinal Meningitis". The Evening Independent (Google News). Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Strauss, Joe (31 October 1998). "Rolling with punches Frank Wren". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Braves Sign General Manager Frank Wren to Two-Year Contract Extension". MLB.com. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Edes, Gordon (29 September 1991). "Third Expo Set To Join Marlins". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Orioles name Wren GM". The Free Lance Star (Google News). Asscociated Press. 24 October 1998. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Chass, Murray (8 January 2006). "What's the Deal? Angelos Is Orioles' Dr. No". New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  8. ^ O'Brien, David (7 June 1999). "Ex-marlins Also Struggling". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Thrift replaces Wren in O's front office". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 22 December 1999. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Strauss, Joe; Kubatko, Roch (14 October 1999). "Wren hired as Braves assistant". Batimore Sun. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Longtime assistant Wren replaces Schuerholz as Braves' GM". ESPN.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Justice, Richard (22 September 2014). "Braves decide they need a new tone". MLB.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Bowman, Mark (29 January 2013). "Teheran ranked No. 31 among Top 100 Prospects". MLB.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  14. ^ O'Brien, David (22 September 2014). "Braves fire GM Frank Wren". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Crasnick, Jerry (22 September 2014). "Free-agent missteps led to demise of Wren". ESPN.com. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Braves trade Derek Lowe to Indians". ESPN.com. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Braves Send Kenshin Kawakami Down To Double-A". The Chattanoogan. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  18. ^ Bowman, Mark (22 September 2014). "Wren dismissed by Braves; Hart named interim GM". MLB.com. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Crasnick, Jerry (9 July 2013). "This isn't how it was supposed to be". ESPN.com. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "B.J. Upton could be demoted". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  21. ^ Edes, Gordon (4 October 1994). "Marlins' Wren Becomes Hot Property For Gm Spot". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Samford University". Samford University. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "College Baseball Insider – Your Home for College Baseball". Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Salazar pick sets tone for Braves on Day 2". Atlanta Braves. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Pat Gillick
Baltimore Orioles General Manager
19981999
Succeeded by
Syd Thrift
Preceded by
John Schuerholz
Atlanta Braves General Manager
20072014
Succeeded by
John Hart