Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren has constructed a playoff-worthy team in two of the last three seasons, and on Friday it was announced that the team has extended the GM's contract through 2014.
Wren just completed his fifth season as John Schuerholz's replacement in the Braves' front office. He figures to have some money to spend -- a rarity in Atlanta's current tightly budgeted reality -- this offseason with the contracts of Derek Lowe and the retiring Chipper Jones coming off the books. Lowe was one of Wren's first big Braves free agent acquisitions four years ago. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians last offseason following a dismal third season in Atlanta, with the Braves paying most of his contract.
Wren has also been responsible for the trades to acquire second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielder Michael Bourn in his tenure. Bourn is a free agent this offseason, and it remains to be seen if the Braves will have enough to re-sign the speedy leadoff hitter. Also on Wren's agenda this winter: whether to pick up the options of catcher Brian McCann and starter Tim Hudson, as well as possible extensions for young cornerstones Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and Martin Prado.
In other front-office moves, the Braves promoted assistant general manager Bruce Manno to assistant vice president and assistant general manager/director of player development, and they promoted John Coppolella, previously the Braves' director of scouting, to assistant general manager.