The Red Sox front office just got a bit more experience added to it, as Frank Wren joined the team as the Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations. Wren was reportedly a candidate for the vacated general manager job at one point, but that went to former assistant GM Mike Hazen, who was officially promoted on Thursday. Instead, Wren will report to President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, and ranks below Hazen in the organization, according to ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes.
The separator is that Hazen, in addition to being a Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations like Wren now is, is also the general manager. Two key roles trumps the one -- for perspective, Brian O'Halloran and Allard Baird are also Senior Vice Presidents within baseball ops. In fact, Wren will be doing a bit of what Baird does now, based out of Atlanta, according to Sean McAdam.
The hiring of Wren is a good thing. It's easy to get lost in what Wren did wrong in his stints as a general manager, especially with the Braves, where his mess is still being cleaned up, but he wasn't just promoted to those roles out of nowhere. Wren had ability in his pre-GM roles, enough to get noticed and moved up through the ranks, and now he finds himself in a position where he does not have direct decision-making authority. He's a voice in the room, one familiar to Dombrowski, as the two worked together with the Montreal Expos and then-Florida Marlins.
Wren is not going to go out and sign Dan Uggla or mess with the farm system: he's there to be another voice, to give his opinions, and to have his superiors mull them over in conjunction with those of everyone else. The Red Sox might have gotten a little insulated over the past few years thanks to the rush of front office talent that departed before and after Theo Epstein left for the Cubs -- getting some new, experienced voices in the mix to go along with the impressive core that is already there is a positive.
The press release from the Red Sox states that Wren will be a talent evaluator and will also assist Dombrowski in all aspects of baseball operations. He doesn't report to Hazen, from the sounds of it, but that might just be because everyone reports to Dombrowski, who is for all intents and purposes, the super GM of the Red Sox. Wren will not only join Hazen in a new role, but also Brian Bannister, who earlier this year was promoted into a new analytically minded Director position for pitching development.