Tim Marchman over at SI.comrecently wrote an article on something that about every baseball writer eventually does (whether it’s published or not), ranking the GMs. I thought I would put my opinion into his rankings.
Before picking apart his rankings, I need to highlight a statement that he provided near the beginning of his article:
“One problem is that it’s hard even to tell what general managers should be judged by. Each has different goals, different resources and a different amount of control over his team, and for these reasons it’s not rare for an empty suit to run a good club, or for a bright spark to run a lousy one.”
This is so true. There’s no good objective way to rank the GMs. With that said, let’s look at his rankings:
1. Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay Rays – It is hard to argue with this.
2. Theo Epstein, Boston Red Sox - 15 of 39 players on 40-man farm raised
3. Brian Cashman, New York Yankees - He (not by himself though) has made some bad decisions, enough was cleared off the books last year to reload. Farm system still needs improvement. Downgrade.
4. Larry Beinfest, Florida Marlins – Choked by management, it’s hard to argue with how Larry’s kept them respectable.
5. Jack Zduriencik, Seattle Mariners – I agree with the spot for the most part, worry about lack of respect for gathering hitting talent….but then again he was behind Fielder and Braun drafts in Milwaukee.
6. Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers - I agree but worry about him without Jack at his side.
7. Dan O’Dowd, Colorado Rockies -Close, Coors can make any GM look bad occasionally (Hampton, Neagle).
8. Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers - He may be a couple notches higher. Tough park to grow pitching, but farm system and trades have been good.
9. Ken Williams, Chicago White Sox - Good trader, but inability to draft/grow young talent.
10. Billy Beane, Oakland A’s - I’d actually downgrade him (WHA?!?!). Not much, but his love for slow, defensively challenged players has done him in repeatedly.
11. Josh Byrnes, Arizona Diamondbacks - Adequate spot
12. Andy MacPhail, Baltimore Orioles - Adequate spot….check back in a couple years when talent is settled in the Majors and ownership opens up the pocketbook to fill the holes.
13. Dave Dombrowski, Detroit Tigers - Used to be a big fan, but financial decisions in recent years have been horrid. Farm system hasn’t been that great over the past few years either. Down a few spots.
14. Walt Jocketty, Cincinnati Reds - About right.
15. Tony Reagins, Los Angeles Angels - About right. Farm system has gone downhill under him, but team still winning.
16. Jim Hendry, Chicago Cubs - Downgrade here. Plenty of bad contracts, lowly farm system for the past few years.
17. Frank Wren, Atlanta Braves - Farm system has been restocked, but his player relations sucks.
18. John Mozeliak, St. Louis Cardinals - About right, maybe a touch higher. The team’s always a winner.
19. Ruben Amaro Jr., Philadelphia Phillies -
Dogged for his acquisition/dealing of Cliff Lee
, but two pennants in two years, he should be higher.
20. Neal Huntington, Pittsburgh Pirates - He’s dogged a bunch, but I can see his plan and the Pirates will be somewhat better in a couple years. A little higher.
21. Bill Smith, Minnesota Twins - Santana, Garza, Bartlett….lower ranking.
22. Mark Shapiro, Cleveland Indians – Forced to slash, he’s better than this. Not by too much, but better.
23. Mike Rizzo, Washington Nationals -Under-ranked about as much as Amaro Jr. No money to play with, but he’s fixing a team that was destroyed under Jim Bowden’s regime. Good low-level moves.
24. Alex Anthopolous, Toronto Blue Jays -Alex has done what his predecessor couldn’t do, pull off a major trade. He has an uphill battle in front of him, but I’d definitely put him in front of Bill Smith right now, even with his short tenure.
25. Jed Hoyer, San Diego Padres - Have yet to see his value, we shall see. I’d still put him above Bill Smith, neutral rank is better than negative.
26. Omar Minaya, New York Mets -This ranks him as the fifth worst GM in the game, he’s definitely in the bottom four.
26. Ned Colletti, Los Angeles Dodgers -Sure, he’s had some bad contracts, but he keeps winning. Cashman has had some too. Farm system has been better than the Yankees’ regularly though. But Cashman has a few World Series rings….Ned should be high teens, low 20s.
27. Brian Sabean, San Francisco Giants – Watching these bottom three run (and Minaya) a team is hillarious, unless you are a fan of the teams. Sabean has a certain love for old players on the downside of their careers.
29. Ed Wade, Houston Astros - UGH.
30. Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals - Oddly, he was often talked about in other GM searches before the hapless Royals nabbed him. Sure, he’s handcuffed by low payrolls, but there’s many bad decisions beyond that.
Pretty decent ranking overall by Marchman. There were only two significant under-rankings in Rizzo and Amaro Jr. Noteable over-rankings would’ve been Smith and Minaya (although Minaya can’t go much lower).