Frank Wren, Stat-Head

A morning meeting prevented me from posting this earlier, but I heard two interesting interviews with Braves General Manager Frank Wren this morning on 680 The Fan and 790 The Zone (audio link). Here are some highlights. The quotes are paraphrased from my memory.

— On Javier Vazquez, Wren stated that using “sabermetric” methods—”taking into account park factors, defense, and other factors”—Vazquez should have won 16 games and had a sub-4 ERA last season. He repeated this in the second interview, both times using the term “saber”. So, I nearly crashed twice on my way to the office.

— On left field, Wren stated that there just aren’t many options on the free agent market. He stated that they want guys who can not only hit home runs but can play good defense. My translation: Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell are off the table. He also stated that Kelly Johnson would not be moving to the outfield.

— On the Jake Peavy negotiations, he made some curious comments. One interviewer asked him if having many GM-types in the Padres front office complicated the deal. He responded, “I’ll let you say that.” Another interviewer stated that it must have been difficult to discuss a deal with the San Diego front office leaking offers to the press. Wren’s response, “Thank you!” Though, he did qualify his remarks by saying he did not think the leaks came from the front office, but that the leaks were frustrating. He also said that he has a good working relationship with Padres GM Kevin Towers.

— On Mike Hampton leaving for the Astros, he said that he was not surprised. He said that he was aware of Hampton’s desire to move elsewhere for family reasons in September, and he feels no betrayal. This runs counter to some sentiments expressed by the local media.

He commented on a few other things, but these are the highlights. They were informative and candid interviews. I commend Wren’s willingness to speak directly to local fans.

9 Responses “Frank Wren, Stat-Head”

  1. Rick says:

    Schuerholz must have called him into his office when he got to work this morning if heard Wren use terms like saber and park factors when discussing a player. I never thought I’d live long enough to hear the Braves FO use those terms.

  2. Marc L. says:

    This is awesome!

  3. Kyle S says:

    Thanks for the update, JC.

    What’s your take on Bobby Abreu for our LF slot? I know he’s played RF in the past, but to me he’s being criminally under-rated by everyone. He’s had 11 straight seasons of 150 games played, an OBP above .365, an OPS+ at or above 114,  and 19 or more steals. Is it because he’s left-handed that we’re ignoring him?

  4. Rick says:

    They want good defense.

  5. Cyril Morong says:

    But don’t forget that Vazquez is not a big game pitcher (according to Guillen). Of course, I don’t think much of that idea.  I am disappointed that the Braves seem to be ahead of the White Sox in analysis. Maybe the prospects they got will pan out.

  6. Frank says:

    Probably just convenient rhetoric to sell the public on the trade (I like it ok but some grumble about dealing Flowers).  It’ll all be forgotten next time the Braves pick up some sort of “gamer.”  Asking Wren at that point about park factors or the like will elict a blank stare or romantic gushing over the instincts of veteran scouts.

  7. william says:

    One interviewer asked him if having many GM-types in the Padres front office complicated the deal. He responded, “I’ll let you say that.”
    ____
    Make no bones about it, this is Sandy Alderson’s team.

  8. Ron E. says:

    Interesting. Did Wren’s take on Vasquez seem correct to you, JC? If so, it’s an even better trade than I thought.

    And to heck with left field, who are they going to get to play right? ;)

  9. Scott says:

    Frank Wren always does a great job talking to the local media.  I listen to 680 and 790 all the time, and this season he was on the air more than any other guest I can remember.  He answers questions honestly and clearly and I think he’s doing a great job relaying what’s going on with our beloved franchise.