03 January 2010

Joe Sheehan Chat and AL GM Rankings

Weekend editions are usually a good time to look back on the previous week. So, here are some Orioles focused quotes from the most recent Joe Sheehan chat:

[Mike Gonzalez' deal is] a very inexpensive contract, and the Orioles' bullpen has sucked for a while, so I don't hate the deal. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than signing Garret Atkins, who is 1) not very good and 2) redundant even at his potential skill set and role because of Ty Wigginton. Gonzalez can at least do something.

This echoes my sentiment. Gonzalez is a roughly average to below average deal. It is one that does not seem to make most of having the 3rd pick in the second round, but the value lost there is not great. The Garrett Atkins deal is a headscratcher and only makes sense in take the alternative is atrocious and he has some upside. Of course, sending Scott Moore out there and banking Miguel (Angel Sano) Jean with the difference would have been a better move in my opinion.

[Best GMs in the game are] Epstein, Cashman, Beane, [Zduriencik, and] . . . Daniels or Williams . . .

That puts Andy MacPhail at seventh or lower in the AL.

My ranking of GMs in the AL and some other Sheehan quotes after the jump.

Crawdaddy's list of best GMs in baseball:
1. Theo Epstein, Boston Red Sox - Best run program in the game. Domestic/International talent acquisition is stellar and free agents pickups are largely successful (outside of SS).
2. Bill Beane, Oakland Athletics - Slightly shaky lately and somewhat overrated . . . still the Gold Standard. Set with a misguided run last season, he was able to turn around and replenish his minors.
3. Jack Zduriencik, Seattle Mariners - Nearly every move he has made has been a steal. He wound up with Cliff Lee for less than the Yanks gave for Vazquez.
4. Andrew Freidman, Tampa Bay Rays - Competing in the AL East with a slim payroll and having arguably the best Minor League talent pool in the game.
5. Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers - Has turned things around greatly in the past couple years. He used to be rather awful. Great minors and solid MLB moves.
6. Dave Dombrowski, Detroit Tigers - Great turnover in the system, but he acquires top amateur talent and has made a few excellent trades (although somewhat blemished--Dontrelle Willis).
7. Brian Cashman, New York Yankees - He is difficult to evaluate, but Cashman's tenure has been much smoother since he was given more of a free reign to go after younger players. Money certainly helps though and they do not seem to embrace progressiveness like the BoSox.
8. Andy MacPhail, Baltimore Orioles - He has shown a lot of patience in getting generally solid returns in trades (Bedard and Sherrill deals) and an emerging proliferation of minor league talent. Free agent acquisitions do not seem incredibly shrewd and the team missed out on trading some of their players at the right time.
9. Mark Shapiro, Cleveland Indians - This might be too low for Shapiro. Solid assessment of high round minor league talent and young positional players. Poor drafting (to be kind) and a near complete lack of evaluating pitching. Kerry Wood acquisition was expensive for the team and did not address starting pitching.
10. Kenny Williams, Chicago White Sox - Williams is a gambler who seems to make moves using his gut much more than his head. When he had a set of supernaturally healthy and good starters . . . it worked. He has had trouble getting back to that. The Peavy and Rios deals could set this team well. The Teahan deal is perplexing. The outfield is often peculiarly addressed. Has the feeling of a rotisserie team.
11. Bill Smith, Minnesota Twins - This will probably be a rather controversial placement. Smith though has been underachieving for years. His Santana deal paled in comparison to what the Erik Bedard deal was. Solutions to add offense to the squad were met with continual bouts of failure. MLB level moves look quite poor. The team excels with its amateur scouting. I am unsure how much Smith is involved with that.
12. Tony Reagins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - They have not done much to replace the massive amount of talent they had. This includes at an amateur levels and at a pro level. Also seems to have a tendency to hold onto prospects for too long. Not much was gained from Tex's departure.
13. Alex Anthopoulos, Toronto Blue Jays - Not much to grade him on, but the Jays did seem to get value closer to what the O's got for Bedard than what the Twins got for Santana. So he easily rates above the fourteenth selection whom I am at a loss to name a single good move.
14. Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals - Two words: The Process.

[One of the three worst moves of the offseason is the signing of] Garret Atkins, because the Orioles already had a fat, slow, pseudo-corner-guy with a huge platoon split who hits into lots of DPs.

Yeah, Sheehan is not fond of this one. Nor am I.

That is all we have for today.


bradoneill said...

Really good rankings. I liked putting Jon Daniels at #4 and I still think Dombrowski's a great GM despite the Marlins trade not bringing him the anticipated results.

I like what McPhail's doing in Baltimore also. Be's quietly picking up really solid young players. Outfielder/Catcher are set for a long-time, and this year will tell a lot about Matusz, Tillman, Arrieta & Co. I wouldn't be surprised if he bolsters the infield in next year's draft w/ Christian Colon (Cal-Fullerton SS).

I'm less sold than most on Seattle's GM. It looks like his strategy is to make a run this season after his team played well last season. Perhaps it will work, but his team seemed to overperform last season. They'll have a great rotation, but middle-of-the-order production might be a problem. I think the Rangers (and possibly Oakland) are going to be more competitive in the AL West than Seattle is project, and if the team underperforms (78-84), it could create a mess w/ financial issues, etc.

My friend & I started a site called deepleagues.com where we analyze farm systems/transactions/other gm-related stuff.

Good post.

Jon Shepherd said...

I'll check you site out. Sounds interesting.

I actually think the Mariners performed right on level last year. Straight pythag is not as accurate as using WAR with respect to team performance and how much of it related to "luck." What he has done that has surprised me is that he successfully implemented defensive statistics into the team's design. Right now, they have plus defense everywhere on the diamond except second base. Last year, their run prevention was about a half run better than the average defense. That is astounding. It is also cheap with defense being underrated still. I thnk the Mariners success is what led Boston to ignore the big bats this offseason and focus instead on Beltre and Cameron.