Braves dismiss scouting leaders Bridges, Clark

The Braves released scouting director Brian Bridges and senior adviser to amateur scouting Roy Clark, the AJC confirmed Wednesday.

Both assumed their posts in 2014 during a major retooling of the front office. Bridges was promoted to scouting director under John Hart and John Coppolella’s regime. 

Clark rejoined the team in October 2014 after leaving in 2009 following more than two decades with the team. He had stints with the Nationals and Dodgers before rejoining the Braves.

Clark, who spent 11 years as the Braves’ scouting director, helped draft well-known players such as Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Jeff Francouer and others. He first joined the franchise as an area scout in 1989.

Bridges orchestrated the recent Braves’ draft, which featured an emphasis on prep pitchers during the team’s pitching-heavy rebuild. Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright, Ian Anderson, Bryse Wilson, Kyle Muller and Joey Wentz were among the pitchers selected under Bridges’ leadership.

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The Braves are awaiting MLB’s decision regarding their failure to sign last summer’s first-round pick, Carter Stewart. The team reportedly discovered a right-wrist injury after his drafting, which complicated signing matters. The MLB players’ association filed a grievance, stating the Braves’ didn’t offer 40 percent of Stewart’s slot value, which would mean the Braves wouldn’t receive their compensation pick (No. 9 overall) next draft if proven true.

It’s commonplace for new executives to rebuild departments, so general manager Alex Anthopoulos reshaping the organization from the ground up shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s unclear what (if any) influence the Stewart situation had, but there were prior rumblings Anthopoulos would shake up the scouting staff.

Ultimately, the Braves can bring in fresh blood with new perspective as the franchise’s transformation over the past calendar year continues.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report their dismissals.

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