Evaluating Frank Wren's Trades

With the trade deadline drawing near I wanted to take a look at the job Frank Wren has done during his time in Atlanta. I'll be breaking this down into three pieces: trades, free agent signings, and drafts. Most of the commentary I see on Frank is good publicity. As usual though, you can't please everyone. I thought it'd be nice to take a step back and look at the notable moves we have made in Frank's tenure. Frank was named the GM in late 2007, so we'll begin at 2008.


July 28, 2008. The Braves acquire Casey Kotchman and Steve Marek in exchange for Mark Texiera.

The original Tex deal ended up being a huge loss for Atlanta. At this point in the season the Braves were already out of it and just had to cut their losses and acquire whatever was possible. I would have liked to get more, but his contract was expiring so leverage wasn't exactly in Wren's corner. Although, it makes me sick to know that the Angels took Mike Trout with their compensatory pick for not resigning Tex.

December 4, 2008. The Braves acquire Javier Vasquez and Boone Logan in exchange for Tyler Flowers, Brent Lillibridge, Jon Gilmore, and Santos Rodriguez.

This is one of my favorite deals of the Wren tenure. Vasquez compiled 6.2 fWAR in 2009 in a Braves uniform. It's hard to argue with that production. Logan didn't do much in his short stay in Atlanta, but has ultimately turned into a nice piece for the Yankees. Tyler Flowers is currently in the majors, but he would have been blocked here anyways. Brent Lillibridge is well on his way to becoming a journeyman. Neither Jon Gilmore nor Santos Rodriguez has made it to the majors, with Gilmore never making if above AA. Rodriguez still may have a shot at becoming a bullpen piece, but he's nothing special.


June 3, 2009. The Braves acquire Nate McLouth in exchange for Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, and Gorkys Hernandez.

I remember being excited for this trade at the time. Sure, Nate McLouth absolutely fell off of the wagon once he got to Atlanta, but this trade was a good move at the time. Jeff Locke, even though he has outperformed his peripherals this season, didn't project to be anything special. Charlie Morton has been mostly useless, except for a few stretches, in his career. Gorkys Hernandez, despite all of the love from scouts, never amounted to anything. I guess you have to give the Pirates the edge simply on Locke's 2013 alone. It is nice to see Nate bouncing back in Baltimore this season though.

December 22, 2009. The Braves acquire Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn, and Arodys Vizcaino in exchange for Javier Vasquez.

This is another one of my favorite deals that Wren has made. We got one of the best years Vasquez ever had in 2009 and immediately flipped him at peak value. Vizcaino alone might have made this trade worth it at the time. Melky never panned out, but he ultimately found success in other places. Mike Dunn had a very nice stint in 2010 for Atlanta before ultimately helping us acquire Dan Uggla in the offseason.


July 14, 2010. The Braves acquire Alex Gonzalez, Tim Collins, and Tyler Pastornicky in exchange for Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes.

This trade made a lot of sense for one reason: Bobby Cox didn't like Yunel very much. He's been a headache wherever he has gone. Gonzalez's offense might have left a lot to be desired at times, but his solid defense helped anchor a pretty good team down the stretch in 2010. Pastornicky has turned out to be nice organizational depth and may even turn into a nice utility player down the road.

July 31, 2010. The Braves acquire Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth in exchange for Gregor Blanco, Jesse Chavez, and Tim Collins.

I would love to have Tim Collins right now. Farnsworth was kind of meh during his stint with Atlanta; as was Ankiel. At least we can thank Ankiel for that shot into the bay versus the Giants, but man I'd love to have Tim Collins right now. Blanco has made himself pretty valuable based on his defense and speed, but the Braves essentially have the same player (maybe better) in Jordan Schafer.

November 16, 2010. The Braves acquire Dan Uggla in exchange for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn.

Everyone, including myself, thought we fleeced the Marlins. Uggla has caught a lot of flak from fans this season and in the past, but he's still been very useful. Mark had a very good article on Uggla's value. We acquired a 2.5-3 win player for a reliever and a utility man. That's a phenomenal trade. If you want to make an argument that the extension was a little ill-advised then I could see that argument. The trade itself was very solid.


June 31, 2011. The Braves acquire Michael Bourn in exchange for Jordan Schafer, Juan Abreu, Brett Oberholtzer, and Paul Clemens.

Huge. Man, I was so excited to wake up and see the news that morning. I went to bed livid that the Braves seemed to have everyone "off limits." Bourn was very good in Atlanta despite his occasional second half swoons in 2011 and 2012. Jordan Schafer ended up back in Atlanta after being cut and has perhaps turned himself into a very useful player. Abreu has essentially never made out of the minor leagues. Paul Clemens isn't very good and it doesn't appear like Oberholtzer is going to amount to very much. This trade was a resounding win for Frank Wren and the Braves organization.


October 31, 2012. The Braves trade Derek Lowe in exchange for Chris Jones and salary relief.

Yep. I was just glad to see him go. His spot in the rotation paved the way for Minor to get a chance. Thanks D. Lowe.

April 1, 2012. The Braves acquire Juan Francisco in exchange for J.J. Hoover.

It was a very nice move at the time; a high upside 3B power bat in exchange for a reliever that was dealt out of organizational depth. Hoover has turned himself into a pretty nice piece for the Reds, but I still was a fan of this deal at the time.

July 31, 2012. The Braves acquire Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson, and cash in exchange for Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman.

This was a very nice move after Ryan Dempster turned down the trade. Maholm was a very solid addition for the second half. He compiled a 2.84 ERA in the second half and was very crucial to the Braves making the playoffs. Losing Vizcaino hurt, but he hasn't been able to stay on the field. It's a shame because he has so much talent. This trade is another clear win for Wren in my books.

November 30, 2012. The Braves acquire Jordan Walden in exchange for Tommy Hanson.

My favorite trade of Wren's tenure. Wren took a broken down Hanson and turned him into a high leverage reliever that has been fantastic so far in a Braves uniform. Hanson's been hurt again, seen his velocity decline even more, and could be a non-tender candidate this season. Meanwhile, Walden has compiled a 10.58 K/9 ratio to go along with a 2.11 FIP. I never thought we would get anything of value in return for Hanson once he went downhill; we got one of the best relievers in the game.


January 20, 2013. The Braves acquire Justin Upton and Chris Johnson in exchange for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Nick Ahmed, Zeke Spruill, and Brandon Drury.

This trade was the blockbuster of Frank Wren's career. Both Upton and Johnson have performed well in Atlanta; even though Upton cooled a bit after a torrid start. No matter how you slice it; the Braves acquired three years of both Johnson and Upton in exchange for 1 year of control over Martin Prado and Randall Delgado. Ahmed and Drury are both a pretty good ways away and were blocked in ATL anyways. Martin Prado was a nice piece, but it was pretty clear the Braves weren't intent on signing him to an extension. This move also allowed Teheran to be given the reigns to the 5th spot in the rotation and we all know how that has worked out. With that in mind I believe this trade is a clear win for the Braves.

June 3, 2013. The Braves acquire Tom Keeling in exchange for Juan Francisco.

I was not a fan of this deal at all. I liked the power Juan had and I also liked having his defense on the field instead of Chris Johnson. I believe the platoon would have had much better results if it was allowed to play out a little longer. I'd much rather have Juan than Reed Johnson at this point.

I'll take a look at our notable signings next time. I guess the main point of this research is simply don't trade pitching with Frank Wren. He usually comes out on top. I have full trust in any trade Frank makes in the future.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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