It seemed inevitable, but I think few realized it would happen so quickly. Thursday afternoon, the Braves announced that John Coppolella would become the team’s new General Manager. Around this time last year, John Hart took over the team, becoming the President of Baseball Operations, and made all the moves. He acted as GM, but nobody assumed the title. Coppolella, also known as “Coppy”, occupied the Assistant GM role. The two used a committee approach when making transactions this past season, and he has a huge influence on our front office decisions.
John Hart always appeared to be somewhat reluctant to take over the reigns of the team given his age, and I always figured he was to pass the baton to Coppy sooner rather than later. However, Hart will continue to assume his role while the team promotes Coppy. This is absolutely the right move for the team. Coppolella is smart, has over 15 years of experience in MLB front offices… and hasn’t even hit his 40’s yet. The Braves signed him out of the Yankees’ front office in 2006, where he developed a great reputation for himself. Today, the Braves team signed him to a 4-year deal, and it’s great to see the team lock him up. The 37-year old figured to become a hotter GM commodity as the years go by, and John Hart has made the right move in expressing his vote in confidence in him.
Coppy is a hard worker, following the team on road trips and going the extra mile for the club. On top of that, he also has a great baseball mind. He has a scouting background, and offers the team different perspectives on the game. He is familiar with sabermetrics as well as the old school methods of scouting.
Don’t expect a huge turnover like like offseason when John Hart took over. In some ways, this is merely a title change for now. The team will still be run by a committee approach, but the Braves have now made it clear that they want Coppy to be their guy for years to come. I think he is one of the brightest baseball minds on the rise, and this may very well end up being the best move the Braves make in 2015 when looking back in retrospect.
Well earned Coppy, now let your legacy begin in Braves Country.