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Bud Black seen as "heavy favorite" to be Atlanta Braves manager in 2017, per report

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Fredi Gonzalez is still the manager of the Braves, but could the organization already have a front-runner for the position next season?

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Fredi Gonzalez might get fired during the 2016 season and, at the very least, few people expect the manager of the Atlanta Braves to keep his job when it comes to the 2017 campaign. While the speculation will continue until an actual decision is made on Gonzalez's future with the club, a report has surfaced that the Braves could be zeroing in on Gonzalez's replacement.

Bud Black was last seen as the manager of the San Diego Padres, where he served from 2007 until his firing in the midst of the 2015 season, and he was famously in the running for the same title with both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals this off-season. During his time in San Diego, Black compiled a .477 winning percentage, but he is generally seen in a favorable light in the industry, and roster constraints certainly come into play with his win-loss record.

At any rate, it seems odd that a name like this would come to light as anything approaching a "heavy" favorite in early May, but with Gonzalez firmly on the hot seat as the Braves struggle, it isn't a shock, either. Bud Black would certainly be qualified to lead the team moving forward if that is the direction that the organization wants to move toward, and it must be noted that he served under John Hart in the Indians front office for a long stretch of time.

Hmm.