ATLANTA -- Now that the Braves have been essentially eliminated from the playoffs, they might not wait until the conclusion of this season to make what would be their most significant organizational change in nearly a quarter of a century.
As the Braves have collapsed over the past few weeks, there has been growing reason to wonder about the futures of general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez. The club has not dismissed a general manager or manager since 1990. But this could change within the next few days.
If the Braves opt to part ways with Wren, they will likely utilize assistant general manager John Coppolella as an interim general manager until hiring a permanent replacement.
There is reason to believe longtime baseball executive John Hart, who joined the organization last year, would help guide Coppolella and the other members of the baseball operations department through the transition. But because he enjoys his other responsibilities, namely serving as an analyst for MLB Network, Hart has indicated he is not interested in handling any full-time duties.
The Braves would look at all their options to fill the general manager's position. But the most intriguing candidate appears to be Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who learned his craft while working for Braves president John Schuerholz from 1996-2006. Schuerholz was the club's GM throughout that span.
Moore has two years remaining on his contract and he has further endeared himself to Kansas City's ownership by taking the Royals to the brink of a postseason berth this year. But there would certainly be many members of the Braves organization pulling for the chance to work for Moore, whose people skills have been likened to those possessed by Schuerholz.
Gonzalez has taken responsibility for the struggles the Braves have encountered during this disappointing season. But there seems to be a good chance he will be allowed a chance to remain in his role for one more season with an altered coaching staff. The club's offensive struggles have jeopardized the futures of hitting coach Greg Walker and assistant hitting coach Scott Fletcher.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.