Hart, 66, was named Atlanta’s interim general manager on September 22. The longtime GM of the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers had stepped away from the game to an extent, working as a senior advisor to the Rangers the past seven years and serving as an analyst for the MLB Network since 2009.
The move is part of the rebuilding of the Braves front office, necessitated when Frank Wren was relieved of his duties. The Braves have made some hires in baseball operations and scouting since then, but nothing on this scale. And we’re guessing this won’t be the last hire; presumably the team will be adding a general manager as well. (John Coppolella is said to be the frontrunner for that position.)
“I’m delighted that John Hart has agreed to accept the position of President, Baseball Operations,” said team President John Schuerholz. “Our organization is now poised to move 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.”
Before joining the Rangers in November 2001, Hart spent 13 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, including the last 10 as executive vice president and general manager. After not advancing to postseason play since 1954, Cleveland captured six American League Central Division titles in a span of seven seasons (1995-2001), including two American League pennants (1995 and ’97) under Hart’s leadership. He was honored by The Sporting News as the Major League Executive of the Year in both 1994 and ’95.