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Thread: DOTW 8/15/'13 : JS vs. FW

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    DOTW 8/15/'13 : JS vs. FW

    Today, we discuss... Frank Wren or Suspenders?

    Suspenders has an impressive resume of 14 straight divisional titles, although his critics say his last few years in office were nothing to be proud of. He also had the luxury of having the highest payroll for several years in baseball , before the Yankees dethroned us and doubled.

    Frank Wren has been on the job for 5 years, and I think most of us would give him a thumb of approval.
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    JS drafted Francouer and Cody Johnson...

    He also drafted/signed Freeman, Venters, Heyward, McCann, Prado, Teheran, Medlen.

    FW has drafted/signed Simmons, Minor, Wood, Beachy, Kimbrel....
    Forever Fredi


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    Fredi Gonzalez Supporter Dalyn's Avatar
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    JS made far less mistakes on the free agent front, but (so far) a few more on the trade front.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
    JS made far less mistakes on the free agent front, but (so far) a few more on the trade front.
    IDK, to me it's an era thing. JS had more money to throw around, so it was easier for him to offer the guy he really wanted to go after and do it.

    Wren had a huge amount of money to spend a few years ago when we got Kawakami and Lowe, but the market was thin and he needed more than one. That year I think AJ Burnett was also available, but IDK.

    The Upton signing certainly hasn't looked that good, and Uggla's contract extension (I know he was a trade) doesn't look like the best money spent either.

    In this day and age, teams are more willing to bring up a guy from the minors than drop a big ticket contract for somebody. The free agent market is thinner, meaning the teams with more money are the more attractive option. To Wren's credit, he hasn't really overspent. BJ's contract for what he got I considered was market to below market value for a 2012 contract when you think about contracts inflating these days. Lowe and Kawakami were needs, so I can understand why he paid more for that.
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    Playing the Waiting Game Krovahn's Avatar
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    Overall, I'd say they both have done (did) excellent jobs. I honestly couldn't pick one over the other at this point.

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    Fredi Gonzalez Supporter Dalyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithLockhart View Post
    IDK, to me it's an era thing. JS had more money to throw around, so it was easier for him to offer the guy he really wanted to go after and do it.

    Wren had a huge amount of money to spend a few years ago when we got Kawakami and Lowe, but the market was thin and he needed more than one. That year I think AJ Burnett was also available, but IDK.

    The Upton signing certainly hasn't looked that good, and Uggla's contract extension (I know he was a trade) doesn't look like the best money spent either.

    In this day and age, teams are more willing to bring up a guy from the minors than drop a big ticket contract for somebody. The free agent market is thinner, meaning the teams with more money are the more attractive option. To Wren's credit, he hasn't really overspent. BJ's contract for what he got I considered was market to below market value for a 2012 contract when you think about contracts inflating these days. Lowe and Kawakami were needs, so I can understand why he paid more for that.
    Wren hasn't made a decent free agent signing yet (outside of the organization).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
    Wren hasn't made a decent free agent signing yet (outside of the organization).
    Fortunately he hasn't had to. He traded for Jurrjens, got rid of Hansen. Kotsay trade sucked.

    Since he's taken over, the Braves have become a mid market payroll team. JS's last few years we were still in the top 10 I think. Now we're around 15-16.

    Will McCann potential extension be considered a signing? If he leaves, then Gattis or Bethancourt are our likely starters.

    Freeman is still under control, as is Heyward. Simmons is under control. He traded for Justin and CJ. Still early to tell IMO. The signings he made that sucked in 08 were his first year. Still green.
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    Connoisseur of Minors zitothebrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
    Wren hasn't made a decent free agent signing yet (outside of the organization).
    Chad Durbin
    Stockholm, more densely populated than NYC - sturg

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    So far Wren has pretty much flopped on every large contact he has handed out (Lowe, KK, Uggla, BJ). It's almost like the $90M-$100M budget puts him in the position where he can't splurge on the truly impact FAs, so he is stuck overspending on the next tier down. He would probably be better served signing filler FAs that require a much smaller commitment. Maybe take some chances on stars coming off injuries.

    He has more than made up for it on the trade front though. He has also done an amazing job constructing a cheap and effective BP.

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    It's JS. It's like comparing a good modern band to Led Zeppelin. Maybe in 20 years we'll look back on it and say Wren was a classic. JS won at KC and completely turned around the Braves. He just about made all the right moves in the 90's and early 00's. Sure he struggled at the end of his career, but who doesn't?
    thank you weso1!

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    Director of Minor League Reports rico43's Avatar
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    Schuerholz hired Wren. End of discussion.

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    I don't really see where you could adequately compare the two when Wren's still active. JS and Bobby were really the architects of the dynasty. JS made a lot of great deals, but some bad ones in his final years, but was generally on the money with free agent signings. Wren has been a great trader, but his FA signings haven't really panned out.

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    While we all love that many our youngsters have blossomed into stars, we've had some growing pains with them. Wren likes to hold on to our top prospects and let them help out the big league club, particularly our pitching prospcects. And while that formula has worked so far, sometimes you have to take a gamble and risk your future if you want to win it all. The Upton trade is really the only time Wren has traded premium talent in return for premium talent. JS wasn't afraid to do that, and he did that several times with trades for McGriff, Sheffield, JD Drew, Tex, et al. Now obviously some of these trades burned him, like the Drew and the Tex trade, but he put together a very good unit nearly every yr he was GM. Even still Drew and Tex played some of the best baseball of their career as a Brave.

    I don't know that one philosophy is much better than the other. It's quite obvious JS's method worked quite well and that Wren's method is currently working. Just glad we are winning again and at the top of the league again.
    Last edited by Carp; 08-15-2013 at 11:33 PM.

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    I'm only bringing up JS's last few years, because those were the the years post Braves being in Top 3 or Top 5 in payroll. I think 2003 we still had a 100+ million dollar payroll, and then 2004 is when the major cuts started happening.

    How would JS construct a team if he was restricted to a mid-level payroll like Wren is?

    I don't think it's fair to Wren that he has had to build the team the natural way compared to JS who HAD the flexibility of really going out and getting a FA in the 90's. And when Wren's had money to play with, he's not been able to sign top top dollar talent for top dollar money, he's had to get above average talent and above average dollar money considering our payroll limitations.

    JS his last few years once the budget started getting tight, put his bullpen together with old washed up vets mainly and hoped Mazzone would do something with them. The last 5 years he had to rely on an old Alfonseca, Robo, Ken Ray, Bernero etc to be a reliable arm. I mean 2002 Chris Hammond and Darren Holmes were two of our best relievers, and they were guys sitting at home watching TV just months before the season. Wren on the other hand has made some slick waiver pick ups, good call ups and live arms. We actually had John Foster in 2005 as our premium option out the pen, a guy who could barely hit 88... Wren has picked up O'Flaherty, and been fortunate enough that Venters and Avilan have been extremely awesome.

    When JS had the reigns, we were one of A-Rod's top suitors his first time in free agency... we were nowhere near the discussion for someone like Hamilton, Pujols, Reyes.

    Team payrolls have caught and surpassed us since JS has left, and one can only wonder if the last 3 years (2005 we won division but relied heavily on luck and rookies, 2006 was not a good team and 2007 wasn't either) of his tenure been extended another few years, if we're in the shoes we are today of being built for at least the next 3-4 seasons.

    JS was a shrewd GM in making trades, but let's not act like he's made some fabulous ones. It's easy for him to trade Brian Jordan, Andy Brown for Gary Sheffield... but when it came down to it, he gave in and gave away Wainwright for one year of Drew, and gave away a treasure chest for 1.5 seasons of Teixeira. I give him complete credit for selling high on Pumpkin and I know trading Meyer wasn't popular at the time, Hudson has given us 7 serviceable seasons. Wren hasn't been ROBBED in all the trades he's made looking back in hindsight. The Jurrjens trade we won, Devine isn't in the majors anymore, Prado and the spects we gave up aren't producing majorly for the D'Backs yet. Walden has had a much better season than Hanson, and we still ahve control over him.

    Is Wren a better dealer than JS? He got rid of Vizcaino and got value for him, and got rid of Delgado, yet we were able to keep Teheran and Simmons.
    Forever Fredi


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    Obviously in a few years, Freeman, Heyward, Simmons, Kimbrel will be approaching FA. If we're the Yankees or have a big backing owner, they're probably all re-signed. But given our limbo status with Liberty, and no guarantees we're going to get a payroll increase other than the new TV deal, Wren is going to have to make some severely tough decisions. Re-signing McCann may play a huge effect on any potential extension for Heyward, Freeman, Simmons.

    Kimbrel obviously would be the odd man out just because he's a reliever and his arm is maybe a ticking time bomb. We'll still have BJ's albatross contract, and Justin may enjoy playing with his bro for a few years but once he becomes a FA and he figures out how to put up numbers regularly like he did in April and August, he may be out of our price range too. If he plays this streaky in his contract year, I don't see us trying to bring him back TBH. BJ might be unhappy about it the last 2 years of his deal, and may not give us the true effort for now bringing back his bro.
    Forever Fredi


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    Got the Call to Lynchburg chopdrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post
    Wren hasn't made a decent free agent signing yet (outside of the organization).
    Ramiro Pena? The Troy Glaus move was ok until his knees gave out.

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    NL Rookie of the Year NYCBrave's Avatar
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    I think the key is that the organizational philosophy has seemingly remained intact for the most part to the point where Wren slid in and took over for JS without a hitch.

    Sure all of the free agent signings have bombed so far (which is pretty inexplicable, it's like guys come here and just flame out). But with a mid market payroll, he has our team in contention to win every year which is all you can ask for.

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    Fredi Gonzalez Supporter Dalyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chopdrew View Post
    Ramiro Pena? The Troy Glaus move was ok until his knees gave out.
    Pena is okay. I mean, he played in 50 games for us and did well. Nothing wrong with that. Not a huge signing or anything. Glaus had an awesome run. I still remember the incredible (all things considered) double-play he started. Wow.

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    Fredi Gonzalez Supporter Dalyn's Avatar
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    Sheets also did well while he lasted.

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    Shift Leader thethe's Avatar
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    Like KL said, Wren is really going to be judged based on which parts of our incredible young core he keeps. The core I am thinking of is:

    Heyward
    Freeman
    J-Upt
    Simmons
    Minor
    Kimbrel
    Teheran (still has a lot of time)

    Those are some tough decisions. Probably should backload all of these contracts so that the big escalators come when BJ isn't on the team.

    So depressing because if the Braves had a 110-120 million dollar payroll we could keep them all and have an incredible 10 year run with multiple championships. I can't imagine how good Freeman/Heyward/Upton are going to be as they get older.
    Warm feelings guy!

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