Ken Rosenthal wrote a great piece breaking down the Braves’ offseason moves. The thesis is that the problem may not have been the farm system, since it has produced so many great prospects that made it to the majors.
I agree the Braves farm system has been excellent, but those in the know seemed to think that the next five years don’t look as bright. In addition, a key factor seemed to be interpersonal issues with their GM, Frank Wren. Check out this story from Baseball America. A key section:
“More than 22 years in the Braves organization, including 11 as scouting director, ended with Clark resigning over a “difference in philosophy” with the direction the Braves were headed under general manager Frank Wren.
When the Braves fired Wren and his assistant GM Bruce Manno in September and began restructuring their front office, all it took was one phone call from team president John Schuerholz to get Clark back.”
So it would seem that interpersonal issues made a big part in the decision to move on from Frank Wren. In the final analysis, it seems as though a likely breakdown of “what went wrong” would go something like: 1) Wren’s inability to get along with colleagues, 2) Wren’s signing of big money free agents that flopped terribly, and 3) the Braves’ inability to replenish their farm system under Wren’s leadership.