Atlanta Braves name John Hart President, Baseball Operations


Longtime front office executive John Hart has been named as the new President, Baseball Operations for the Atlanta Braves, according to a release from the team and first reported by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Hart has agreed to a three year deal, which will take the team through the 2017 season – their first in their new stadium, SunTrust Park.

"“I’m delighted that John Hart has agreed to accept the position of President, Baseball Operations,” Braves team president John Schuerholz said in the press release. “Our organization is now poised to more forward in the best possible manner to do the important work that lies ahead. John’s credentials speak for themselves. He has had great success as a baseball executive and demonstrated remarkable ability to construct championship teams. We are excited by John’s dynamic and positive leadership style and look forward to him leading our baseball operations.”"

Hart has served as a senior advisor for the past year and was named the team’s interim GM in late September, following the firing of longtime GM Frank Wren. Hart’s resume includes 13 seasons working with the Cleveland Indians – leading them to six AL Central titles in a seven year span in the late 1990’s – and a stretch with the Texas Rangers – which included their World Series runs in 2010 and 2011. Hart has also worked as an analyst for MLB Network since 2009.

Initial speculation when Wren was let go centered on Hart being a candidate to take over on a permanent basis, but reports at the time suggested that he was hesitant to part with the job at MLB Network. Hart reportedly turned down the position just a week ago.

This new role, however, is of a much larger scope. With Hart leading the entire baseball operations department, the Braves still appear likely to hire a GM to work under him and they may have their ideal candidate in-house already. Assistant GM John Coppolella has long been viewed as a “future GM” within the organization, but he remains inexperienced. Pairing him with a veteran executive like Hart, however, could offer a strong mentor to lead things into the future. Hart’s knowledge of building a winning team has already made an impact on Atlanta, as he was reportedly a fundamental piece in the team’s contract extensions last winter with Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran, and Craig Kimbrel.