The GM of the Month Award – December 2011: Billy Beane

The GM of the Month Award has been on hiatus for a while, but it seems appropriate to start it up again.

December is always a busy month for GMs as the annual Winter Meetings take place and numerous trades and signings go down. With the flury of activity this winter, there are plenty of candidates for the Award. One could argue for Miami Marlins GM Michael Hill with all of that rejuvinated team’s signings. You could also point out Jerry DiPoto’s work in Los Angeles since taking over the reigns this fall.

However, the GM of the Month Award will be going to Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics. He has been tasked with the development of a team that would be able to compete in three years to coincide with a stadium that hasn’t even been approved of yet. Once again, the team must itself down and reconstruct itself for anotehr run. Considering how tough Texas and L.A. are going to be next season, it may be better to set the A’s up for contention as players on those teams start to show their age.

Also, trades carry a greater weight (good or bad) in my eyes when considering the winner of the award. Over the past month, Billy Beane has traded away pitchers Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, and Andrew Bailey for 10 players. In Cahill, Beane received a potential rotation anchor in Jarrod Parker, a fringe starting outfielder (one of my favorites of this type though) in Collin Cowgill, and a decent relief prospect in Cook. With the Gonzalez trade, Beane picked up three solid pitchers including A.J. Cole who could front the A’s rotation with Parker in the future. They also receive Derek Norris, a former top catching prospect that many think (though I’m not one) will still develop into a viable hitter. Finally, Bailey brought the A’s another outfielder for the near term along with a couple lower level prospects with decent upsides.

For this masterful dealing of the month, Billy Beane wins the December 2011 GM of the Month Award.

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