The Atlanta Braves announced that General Manager Frank Wren's contract has been extended through the 2014 season. He just completed his fifth season as Braves GM, and has done a better than average job by most accounts. He has had to deal with tough budget constraints, and needed to rebuild a system that was laid bare before he came to the job.
He has made a handful of mistakes, the highlight of which the Braves are just now digging out from under. The contracts handed out to Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami did not work out and cost the team a tremendous amount of money. Wren has to hope that Dan Uggla does not follow in those same footsteps, and Wren also has to be wary about how he spends the extra money he has this off-season -- not wanting to repeat the mistakes of Lowe and KK.
The Braves also promoted Assistant General Manager Bruce Manno to Assistant Vice President and Assistant General Manager/Director of Player Development. This elevation was likely a move to keep Manno as the senior assistant, while they also promoted John Copolella, previously the Braves Director of Scouting, to Assistant General Manager. Copolella has been instrumental in bringing advanced statistical analysis and methods to the Braves front office, and is widely considered a future GM candidate.
This is the continuation of the long history of the Braves promoting talented executives from within their organization, and of engineering smooth transitions from one executive to another. We can expect Copolella to have more of a hand in the day to day Major League operations now that he's Frank Wren's assistant.