October 15, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) While the Braves' search for a new general manager continues, a new management team already is taking shape.

Braves president John Schuerholz, interim general manager John Hart and special assistant to the GM Bobby Cox are searching for the full-time replacement for Frank Wren, who was fired as GM last month.

Hart already has made several moves this month that might be expected to come from a full-time GM. He announced manager Fredi Gonzalez will return. Hart also named Roy Clark and Gordon Blakeley as special assistants to the GM.

Among other moves, Brian Bridges was promoted to scouting director and Dave Trembley was named director of player development. Schuerholz's son, Jonathan Schuerholz, was named assistant director of player development.

John Schuerholz provided a simple answer when asked why the hires and promotions were announced before a full-time GM was named.

''Because they made us better,'' Schuerholz said Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press.

Schuerholz said last month Hart's only interest was in the interim position. Schuerholz said Wednesday ''nothing has changed substantially since that time.''

Schuerholz wouldn't say when he expects to name the GM.

''It is a process that will continue until we have finalized our new structure,'' he said.

Hart said last month assistant GM John Coppolella, 36, would be considered. Another possible candidate is Kansas City GM Dayton Moore.

When he was named the interim GM, Hart said he would lean heavily on Coppolella.

''He'll be the guy I go to, the right-hand guy,'' Hart said.

Hart said Coppolella is a ''very bright executive.''

Clark, 57, spent 22 years as a top scout with the Braves before serving as Washington's assistant general manager from 2010 to 2013. He worked last season in the Dodgers' scouting department.

Blakeley, 60, was with the Yankees for more than two decades, including as farm director.

The hires prompted speculation Schuerholz already has selected a full-time GM.

Even former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones seemed to be intrigued. Jones said Wednesday on his Twitter account: ''Amazing that all these people are coming BACK to the Braves organization! Wonder why??? Hmmmmm.''

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