Frank Wren fired as Braves GM, John Hart to take over on an interim basis

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And there it is:

Hart, the former Indians and Rangers GM, was hired a year ago as a special advisor. He’s currently an analyst for MLB Network as well. He goes back a long way with Braves president John Schuerholz, so he has support in the organization, but it seems unlikely he’d keep the job for long.

A very likely candidate to take over full-time: assistant GM John Coppolella, who is well-regarded within the game and fits the Braves profile of promoting from within.

Wren was promoted to the GM chair in Atlanta following the 2007 season. He has been successful in maintaining a strong farm system and he has made multiple trades which have worked out OK for the Braves. But his judgment in giving out contract extensions and free agent deals to the likes of B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Derek Lowe has been poor, leaving a Braves team which is usually very budget conscious with limited payroll flexibility.

Ultimately, the Braves cratered this year and someone had to take the fall. That someone is Frank Wren.

Brad Ausmus interviewing for Astros manager job

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I did the Handsome Managers list in December. Thought I had moved on. Thought I’d never have to think about him again. But here is, walking right back in my door: Brad Ausmus is interviewing for the vacant Astros manager job. So reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

Ausmus played for the Astros longer than he played for any other team in the bigs, notching ten years of service in two stints and playing on the 2005 NL Pennant-winning club. As a manager, you know, that he led the Tigers for four seasons and was the Angels’ skipper last year.

Houston has already interviewed Dusty Baker for the job. They’ll presumably want someone in place before spring training begins in a few weeks.