The Braves could shake things up in their baseball operations department

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The Braves have wilted down the stretch and it appears that some changes could be in store for their front office following the season.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the team could consider hiring John Hart to run their baseball operations department. Meanwhile, Braves beat writer David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Consitution hears that Hart or John Schuerholz could have an expanded role regardless of whether the club decides to retain general manager Frank Wren. Peter Gammons first wrote about the possibility involving Hart earlier this week.

Hart, who has previously served as general manager of the Rangers and Indians, was hired as senior advisor of baseball operations by the Braves last November. Schuerholz currently serves as team president and was the general manager from 1990 to 2007 before Wren took over as his replacement.

The Braves began this season at 17-7 over their first 24 games, but they are just 59-70 since. They’ll begin play tonight at 76-77 on the year, which puts them in danger of finishing under .500 for the first time since 2008. The starting pitching has held up nicely despite significant injuries, but the offense has been one of the worst in the majors. Big contracts to Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton loom large over Wren’s tenure as GM.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.