Frank Wren: We Saw Andruw Jones’ Decline
Frank Wren is the little-known Braves GM, probably because he was serving under John Schuerholz his entire career, and we all know how much Schuerholz loves to get attention. Anyway, Wren’s running the show now, and he joined The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio to talk about the Braves. He was asked about the decision to let Andruw Jones walk which was imminent last year because of financial reasons. Wren took it even a step further:
We had the ability to watch over the last two or three years that Andruw was not the same, and he wasn’t the same player he was three years ago. We had already seen the decline begin. Now he very well may get it back to some extent but we had seen the decline so [letting him go] was easier.
While this is the type of thing that would make Dodger fans groan since it would fall into the Ned Colletti category of failing to do proper homework (much like the Jason Schmidt trade), I’m not buying it. Wren says Andruw was showing signs of losing it two or three years ago. Two years ago Andruw had one of his best offensive seasons, and three years ago he popped 51 out of the park. Contrarily, it appeared as if after all the time in the league, Andruw was just coming into his own; last year’s season was the anomaly. And even with his poor hitting, Jones was still playing really well defensively. It may be easy to speak from hindsight after seeing what Andruw’s done this year, but I don’t believe the Braves wouldn’t have been interested in re-signing Jones had his price tag been cheaper. I’d be really interested to know if Wren saw a decline in Jones’ work ethic, rather than physical skill — now that would make more sense.