Yahoo: Braves offer Hart full-time GM job, sort of

That’s John Hart on the left. Don’t recognize the other two. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

That's John Hart on the left. Don't recognize the other two. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

That’s John Hart on the left. Don’t recognize the other two. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Atlanta Braves have offered to make John Hart their permanent general manager — he’s already the interim GM — but Passan also speculates that such permanence might have a short shelf-life. Writes Passan:

Were Hart to accept the job, it’s likely he would groom assistant GM John Coppolella … It’s conceivable Coppolella could be elevated to the job now, too, though Atlanta could widen its search were Hart to turn it down. Hart had a similar situation in Texas, where he left the job in the hands of then-28-year-old Jon Daniels.

I’d have no objection with this, given that it’s the exact scenario I proposed Monday. I can’t see Hart, who’s 66, taking the job for long, but I regard Coppolella, who’s 36 and has worked here for eight years after serving the Yankees for seven, as the sort of GM —  versed in both analytics and scouting — who’d render an organization that has tended to work on gut feelings more of a data-based entity.

I’m told Hart has great respect for Coppolella, who’s know as “Coppy.” (The two could be seen talking outside the Braves’ clubhouse at length Monday afternoon.) Most baseball folks do. Baseball Prospectus named Coppolella the No. 1 GM candidate in the sport three months ago.

I know there’s some in-house sentiment to bring back Dayton Moore, who left to be the GM in Kansas City after serving as John Schuerholz’s No. 2 here, but I don’t see where Moore is a clear upgrade over Frank Wren. Moore might have better people skills, but if you set the two GM resumes side-by-side, I don’t think Wren’s loses. (Three playoff appearances for Wren’s Braves as opposed to one for K.C. under Moore, assuming the Royals don’t blow it these final five days.)

There’s also this: Wren traded Jeff Francoeur to the Mets for nothing — actually, for Ryan Church — in July 2009; Moore signed Francoeur in December 2010 and gave him a two-year contract extension worth $13.5 million in August 2011. Not two years later, the Royals cut Francoeur.

And this: Moore continues to employ Ned Yost, widely regarded as the worst manager in the majors.

And finally this: Moore would be another dip into the Braves’ past, much the way hiring Fredi Gonzalez to succeed Bobby Cox was. (I’ve had no great issue with Gonzalez’s job performance here until this past month — I’m on record as saying I believe him to be a good manager — but the 4-16 of September has given me pause.) I see Coppolella as the future, and a brighter one at that.

Further reading: Here, from MLB Trade Rumors, is a 2011 interview with Coppolella.)

Reader Comments 0

55 comments
Wilbo
Wilbo

Oh, boy! Golly gee! I just can't wait!


"Moore signed Francoeur in December 2010 and gave him a two-year contract extension worth $13.5 million in August 2011. Not two years later, the Royals cut Francoeur.

And this: Moore continues to employ Ned Yost, widely regarded as the worst manager in the majors.

And finally this: Moore would be another dip into the Braves’ past, much the way hiring Fredi Gonzalez to succeed Bobby Cox was."


That sounds like the absolute quintessential Braves hire! He's gotta be our guy.

BRAVES2143
BRAVES2143

considering the payroll of the 2 teams Moore is head and shoulders above Wren.  Wren was given plenty of money to make deals and sign free agents and Moore actually had to work within a real small budget?  As far as Ned Yost goes, he tried to hold some players accountable with the Brewers and they didn't like it but looking at where the Royals are and where the Braves are I would say Yost is a better manager then at least 1 NL clubs skipper,

Bogey
Bogey

This franchise needs an infusion of new blood and fresh ideas, so Hart should take it until the new stadium opens and then he and JS can both retire. Copy will get intense OTJ training from Hart (NOT a Braves guy).

Despite Bobby's unwavering loyalty to Fredi, he's got to go. The players obviously don't respond to him - this roster plays with no passion or energy, and that I place on the manager.

carlc599
carlc599

John Schuerholz is the best   GM we've ever had.  I say name Coppy to the job and he'd have Schuerholz around to mentor him   need a major shakeup of the roster too.    anyone    except Freeman, Kimbrell and Teheran



kindergartenmath
kindergartenmath

If this is true, how does Yahoo scoop our local media on this announcement? Guess that the local media  can "tip your hat" to Yahoo. :)

docsbro
docsbro

This is all pretty much what Bradley said was going to happen yesterday. In fact I think he had the exact comment about the mentoring. I thought the guy was quoting Bradley actually.

paul829
paul829

@ARCHANGEL - why bother to appoint and introduce a search committee if you aren't going to do a legitimate search? That's all I'm saying. The committee actually needs to do something.

Zing
Zing

@paul829 Agreed.  But then, the Braves have a history of cutting secret backroom deals, don't they?

Zing
Zing

Regardless of who her (or she) is, the first thing the new GM must do is trade Justin but only if BJ goes, too. Then stick Gattis in LF in 2015 and see if he can handle it full-time.  If not, sadly, because he is one of my favorite players, the Braves will need to trade him.


And get a starting pitcher who can throw harder than 92 for goodness sakes!


Actually, whichever of the candidates is most able to pull off that BJ/JUp trade is the one who should be hired. If that means Hart, then hire him for a year and then give the job to Coppy.

TomGaff
TomGaff

@Zing I agree,send Gattis to winter ball(if he is healthy) to learn how to play a DECENT not glove glove LF! He is a fan favorite and does not cost us much money now. Personally, I think he can do just as a decent job in LF as Justin. Trade Justin Upton and BJ in a package deal, please!

TomGaff
TomGaff

@Zing My badd, I meant to say gold glove not glove glove!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

@Zing  Why would trade your best hitter on the team, SMH


You have keep Justin.


GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

highfive
highfive

@devounknown1000 @Zing You trade Justin because he only has one year left on his contract and because he is a poor clutch hitter. His average with RISP is more than proof of that.

Zing
Zing

@TomGaff @Zing You know the thing that is crazy to me, Tom?  Justin Upton WON THE FIELDING BIBLE AWARD FOR HIS PLAY IN RIGHT FIELD a couple of years ago. Over guess who?  J-Hey.  How?  HOW?  

Zing
Zing

@devounknown1000 @Zing highfive said it before me, but you trade him because there is no way the Braves will re-sign him to the huge contract that he will get from somebody.  So, you trade him now and try to pawn off his brother on someone as well while you can.  I also think JUp isn't as good as his numbers show, either, because who was it who said it -- he's really good at hitting bad pitches but not very good at hitting good pitches.  Reminds me a lot of Andruw Jones in that respect; he'd put up some pretty-looking overall numbers, but you just knew that he was useless against the Aces on the other team.  And guess who throws the ball for the other team in the playoffs?


Those postseason swoons seem to have a common denominator, now, don't they?

Calel
Calel

If the Braves go back to what WAS "the Braves Way" of the 90's, pitching and defense, Gattis is a huge liability in LF. Sort of like Klesko being out there, to keep with the 90's theme.

I don't understand why you'd trade Justin in hopes of landing or growing another player with his production. You're not getting rid of BJ unless you take the loss in releasing him, take a huge chunk of his salary in a trade, or send him off entirely to a team WITH Craig Kimbrel right behind him. No team with a sober GM is taking BJ...UNLESS Hart has some footage of this GM bashing his wife in an elevator or something like that.

alpha001
alpha001

@Zing @devounknown1000  Another reason to trade JUpton is because if the Braves decide to release his brother (I hope), they will never sign JUp.  I think it would be perceived as treating his brother badly and will leave a bad taste in his mouth.  Trade him, get some value and drop the waste of roster space.

58Supersports
58Supersports

Look at the picture, Bobby Cox  looks pissed  at Hart.... 

Ersatz
Ersatz

If Hart hasn't agreed to the full-fledged position yet, the barves just have to wine-and-dine him at the 16-story Applebees in barvesworld to close the deal. What better fringe benefit than all the brewskis, tater skins, and babyback ribs you can eat, all paid for with cobb taxpayer dollars?

Ersatz
Ersatz

You didn't even finish your mozzarella sticks. We still have Buffalo wings on the way, so eat up and don't let those cobb tax dollars go to waste.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

1. LA STELLA 2B


2. HEY WARD RF


3. EVAN 3B


4. FREEMAN 1B


5. JUSTIN CF


6. GATIS LF


7. SIMMONS SS


8. BETHANCOURT CATCHER


GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

This team built by Wren to live or die by the homerun was also let down by the other tennant of the "Braves Way" and that being stellar defense. Strong up the middle must return and will with BOTH UPTONS gone.

drewK
drewK

What exactly does a GM do?  

I mean, he has scouts do all the work.

Isn't he just a "yes" or "no" guy?

So, anyone could do the job. I think you make it out to be rocket science.

Just sayin'

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Trade Braves top prospect 3rd base Johnson and pitcher Julio Teheran for 3rd base Evan Longoria and sign free agent pitcher John Lester


RELEASE B.J



GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!



RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Reading the interview with Coppy, he sounds like a clone of Frank Wren and John Schuerholtz, don't see that he would make drastic changes that are needed.  He is an organization man predominately. 

Calel
Calel

This was part of the plan all along. If you watch that press conference, Hart was SPECIFICALLY asked if he was ruling out going back to the office, and he danced around it with a nuanced answer, basically saying he wasn't ASKING for the job. JS jumped in and covered for him, but he never ruled it out. So of course he's not asking for the job, but I think the rumor of him "holding" the position until someone else is ready may be true. I don't think the Braves are going to search far outside the organization. 

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

Every fan with a brain stem knows that "widen its search were Hart to turn it down." really means just Dayton Moore.  I don't often agree with MB, but I do here.  Moore flat blows and is basically Frank Wren with people skills.  With the mentality of Schuerholz and Cox, its almost a certainty they haven't thought about anyone else other than Hart and Moore.  I'm ok with Hart taking the job and given a choice between the 2, I'd rather have Hart every day of the week.  But there's a small part of me that's hoping both turn the Braves down and watch mass hysteria ensue in the front office because the good ol' boys club will actually have to go out and assess/look at other candidates who don't have ties to them.

BannedPoster
BannedPoster

I would welcome a move to name Jon Hart the permanent GM.  He would give a whole evaluation of the organization and put in the place the people to turn the team around.  He did it in Cleveland, he did it in Texas, and now he can do it here in Atlanta.  The big league club is not that far off - they did win 96 games last year with most of this group intact.  A few changes by someone who understands building a winning team can get this team back in contention next year.  Give "Coppy" the task of rebuilding the farm system and let's see how he handles the next 2-3 drafts and then do the inevitable "hand-off".

Calel
Calel

@BannedPoster


I like Hart's track record, but I think this team needs someone a bit younger. I think the plan is to wipe the slate clean as much as possible, and then build this team to win in 2017, maybe 2016, but with the Cobb move on the mind. 

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

I would like see John Smoltz as the new GM, and Terry Pendleton as the new Head Coach, this team need to stay with in Organization with new young Blood.


I REMEMBER BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN BRAVES WAS THE WORST TEAM IN BASEBAL FOR A DECADE AND FIRST PLAYER TO CHANGE THIS ORGANIZATION AROUND WAS TERRY PENDLETON.


Hire Chipper as the Braves hitting Coach.


GM - JOHN SMOLTZ


HEAD COACH - TERRY PENDLETON


HITTING COACH - CHIPPER


PITCHING COACH - ROGER MCDOWELL


GO BRAVES! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Gonzalez have to go point blank period no matter who the GM is, the team have quit on this guy and when that happen, then Boat have sailed on you as a coach.


GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

all_i_am_saying_is
all_i_am_saying_is

Well, we all know that Baseball Prospectus is never wrong.  I mean why are we even waiting.  Anoint Coppy!


Seriously though, please conduct a real search, interview a wide range of candidates including Coppolella, and then make the hire.  Get it started and done by end of October.  The GM of the Braves is a plum job and we have a great farm system and some trade bait at the MLB level (Gattis, Justin Upton, and a pitcher or two to name a few).


The point of conducting a real search is not only to hire a replacement but also to interview a number of sharp minds outside of the organization and pick their minds for thoughts and ideas about what they would do if they got the job.  Make them share specifics. Heck, make them write up an analysis and bring it to their in-person interviews.  That's how you end up with some valuable info no matter who you hire.


LET'S GO BRAVES!

patriotdog
patriotdog

Coppy would be a good choice, I think. Hart would be a good fill in if he was allowed to run things his own way.

patriotdog
patriotdog

My only beef with a Hart hire is it will ensure no big changes in an organization that seems to need them. Hart won't go against his friend Schuerholz, who won't go against his friend Bobby, who won't back a managerial change. After the last month, I think one is needed. I'd bring in a couple of players with clubhouse presence. The team needs a leader or two as they had with Hinske, Ross, Chipper, Huddy, etc..Saw some of that with Santana but he won't be brought back..too $$$$

Calel
Calel

@patriotdog


This is the first year the Braves haven't had a clubhouse leader, but it's not the first year they've dipped in September. Even if they stuck closely to the Nats after August, they would have blown it in September. THAT might just be a manager and not the lack of a clubhouse leader. 

paul829
paul829

correction - shouldn't not should

paul829
paul829

I don't think the Braves should be so quick to give the job to Coppolella. His background with the Yankees is not a positive. The Yankees don't develop a lot of minor league talent and use their check book to build their team. The Braves need to restock their farm system and work as hard to develop hitters as they do with pitchers. Intelligent use of the free agent market to bring in proven talent instead of giving big bucks to career .240 hitters and strike out kings.

Archangel
Archangel

@paul829 Ok, but what GM would you have in place to do those things?

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

Just go ahead and give Coppolella the job. Hart is a good baseball man who's built some fantastic offensive clubs, but there's no reason to delay the inevitable if Coppy is going to be the guy a year or two from now. I'm optimistic that Coppy, being a sabermetric-minded guy, would see the need to make a managerial change. His seemingly anti-Braves approach is exactly what the Braves need right now.

ATLJacket
ATLJacket

I'm going to weigh in with my usual Braves cynicism and go ahead and predict whomever they choose will fail. It starts with the owners and they have to go.

Archangel
Archangel

@ATLJacket So in other words, you find it easier to not have an opinion than it is to give thoughtful analysis to this discussion.

Birdhair
Birdhair

All of this coming from a writer who supported and backed Frank Wren through and through and then after Wren gets fired back tracks and says that he's okay with the firing. Frank Wren set this organization back for years. We are a car wreck. We won't even win 80 games! Our farm system is depleted. It's going to take a solid 5 years min to make this team legit contenders. And that would be if we hired a strong GM.

So the writer who backed the failing and incompetent GM is making a recommendation. Hmmm. And he's recommending a guy who spent the past few years working for one of the worst GM's in the game. Many reasons for skepticism and concern. Do your homework, Braves. Need a slow and comprehensive search as Hart suggested.

TEB1
TEB1

@Birdhair Yes, and if Bradley is really concerned with distancing the Braves from the past then why not support the firing of John Schuerholz. Maybe bring back Kasten or his equal to run the Braves as President. I mean as bad as Wren was, it was Schuerholz who hired him and left him with a depleted farm system due to the horrible Teixeira trade. I believe this organization worships Schuerholz a little too much. He was also the same guy who was run out of Kansas City for trading David Cone away for Ed Hearn.

Archangel
Archangel

@Calel Good post and read. He is a product of the Yankees and Braves system without being too influenced by Cox.