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  • GM Rankings

    SI.com's Jon Heyman ranked the GM's recently, and calls Theo Epstein his #1. It's a very subjective topic, but I agree that Theo is among the best GM's in the game.

    Link

    The one thing I found interesting was this snippet:

    "Asked to name the best decision made during his tenure, he points to following the 2004 championship with an '05 draft that set up the Sox to compete for years: Clay Buchholz, Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Michael Bowden and Craig Hansen were their first five picks."

    The Red Sox got all kinds of crap from the fans after the 2004 World Series when they let Pedro, Damon, Lowe, and others go. Looking back at who they drafted with those draft picks, and seeing how Damon and Pedro have broken down (and Varitek has not), you gotta think that was a very important off-season for the Red Sox, and they did a heck of a job.
    Visit my card site at Mike D's Baseball Card Page.

  • #2
    To all Sox fans wishing Theo had resigned O-Cab, we used the draft pick we got back to draft Ellsbury.
    Trusted traders list-
    Mike D. Rockhound, MadHatter

    2007 PawSox Dunkin Donuts set: 24/30.

    Still need: Kevin Cash, Jacoby Ellsbury, George Kottaras, Jon Lester, Brandon Moss and Ed Rogers.

    Comment


    • #3
      I often wonder how the last couple years would have gone if we'd kept Rent, though. Although that probably means no Crisp, since the trade was basically Rent, Meredith and Shoppach for Coco.

      If I had to answer the question of whether I'd rather have Renteria, Meredith and Shoppach, or Lugo, Crisp, and Javier Lopez, it seems obvious on the face of it but I'm honestly not sure how I'd vote, but it basically comes down to Shoppach v. Crisp which is a tougher call than a lot of you are about to tell me it is.

      Comment


      • #4
        Theo isn't a bad GM, but he's hardly the best. Varitek, IMO, was a bad move to resign. I don't see how Damon has "broken down" (that said he still sucks, I don't see why Boston fans hate him, he's like a Trojan Horse, terrible terrible move by Cashman) and Varitek hasn't. Does anyone remember his 2006? He was injured in the second half and had an 83 OPS+. Other bad moves:

        Julio Lugo, I'll let Evan handle this one
        JD Drew, wasn't as bad as other signings since he got an opt out clause in his contract, but I don't see this as a good move.
        Eric Gagne: Engle Beltre has sick potential, Gagne was a two month rental (and a bad one at that), and Kason Gabbard could provide solid depth
        Matt Clement: Boston's Carl Pavano
        The Loretta trade
        Getting Dougie Goes Deep back.

        Derek Lowe wouldn't have actually been a bad signing. He's worked out well for the Dodgers, and I think he's a good pitcher. However, when ranking GMs it's hard to tell what goes on behind closed doors. So I feel it's only fair to rank the front office as a whole, and as a whole Boston's front office hasn't done a bad job. However, I feel the best front office in baseball is an overstatement.
        "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

        "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

        Comment


        • #5
          'Tek really hasn't broken down that much. He turned in a bad year in '06, but he was playing through pain for most of that year -- the knee was just what finally took him down, his back was in trouble too as I recall. And it isn't all that different from the trouble he ran into in '01, so with a decent '07 behind him I think we can put '06 behind us. I thought it was intriguing that Tek finally turned his offense on the first time the Yankees came to town and then more or less sustained it for the rest of the year. Hey, whatever gets you off the schnide I guess. And unlike Damon, he can still defend the position he was originally brought in to cover.

          For the record, they're talking about signing Tek to an extension and I'm all for another 2 years for the big guy and let Kottaras, Brown, Wagner and Still fight it out for who has the right to be the heir apparent.

          I refuse to defend the Gagne trade. I was adamantly against it at the time, and Gabbard would have provided a much-needed dose of keep-Tavarez-out-of-the-rotation this season even if, as usual, he wound up getting hurt and struggling with command down the stretch. Kason also responded well to Farrell and always pitched well at Fenway which means I suspect he'd have done better for himself in Boston than outside of it. All the players in that deal were expendable but that's definitely not how I would have expended them. All I'll say in defense of theo is that even the best GM screws up sometimes.

          Lowe just plain needed to get out of Boston. He'd pitched his way out of the rotation in 2004 and nearly done the same in 2003. He was having problems handling the pressures of Boston, was struggling with alcoholism, and needed a wake-up call, which his tour through free agency and a chance to be the ace of a squad in LA provided him. The fact that he moved from the AL East to the NL West probably helped him too. And we got some nice picks out of the whole thing.

          Drew: Only 16 points of OPS behind a certain Bobby Abreu and for similar money. We'll let the statgeeks sort out which one of Abreu and Drew was the worse pickup for this year but Drew was signed to a long-term deal with the knowledge in hand that he'd had shoulder surgery which would sap his power in the first year. He rewarded the team by coming back huge down the stretch and in the playoffs (including but not limited to the 14 Million Dollar Grand Slam in an elimination game). I have no particular insider knowledge but I've been saying all year that this contract is probably not going to be judged based on how Drew does this year -- that the second and third years will probably be the point of judgement.

          As for Lugo, the only other thing I thought we could have done that offseason is perhaps swing a deal for Maicer Izturis or Eric Aybar, but the Angels would have demanded a very steep price for either one so I agree with signing the free agent. Who we had no particular reason to believe would have underperformed this badly BTW but that's beside the point -- unless you propose that we could have kept Pedroia at short and re-signed Loretta, or dealt Manny to the Angels for not much, Lugo was the man.
          Last edited by Imgran; 02-19-2008, 12:45 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Imgran View Post
            'Tek really hasn't broken down that much. He turned in a bad year in '06, but he was playing through pain for most of that year -- the knee was just what finally took him down, his back was in trouble too as I recall. And it isn't all that different from the trouble he ran into in '01, so with a decent '07 behind him I think we can put '06 behind us. I thought it was intriguing that Tek finally turned his offense on the first time the Yankees came to town and then more or less sustained it for the rest of the year. Hey, whatever gets you off the schnide I guess. And unlike Damon, he can still defend the position he was originally brought in to cover.
            I wouldn't say Tek is still a good defensive catcher, but then again I really only see a few good defensive catchers in the AL:

            Jojhima
            Mauer
            Napoli

            and that's about it.

            For the record, they're talking about signing Tek to an extension and I'm all for another 2 years for the big guy and let Kottaras, Brown, Wagner and Still fight it out for who has the right to be the heir apparent.
            I don't see any of those guys being more effective than Tek, plus Tek is a fan favorite, so he's probably a better option than that collection.

            I refuse to defend the Gagne trade. I was adamantly against it at the time, and Gabbard would have provided a much-needed dose of keep-Tavarez-out-of-the-rotation this season even if, as usual, he wound up getting hurt and struggling with command down the stretch. Kason also responded well to Farrell and always pitched well at Fenway which means I suspect he'd have done better for himself in Boston than outside of it. All the players in that deal were expendable but that's definitely not how I would have expended them. All I'll say in defense of theo is that even the best GM screws up sometimes.
            Your last point is good, but you're begging the question. I still don't see Theo as the best GM in baseball.


            Lowe just plain needed to get out of Boston. He'd pitched his way out of the rotation in 2004 and nearly done the same in 2003. He was having problems handling the pressures of Boston, was struggling with alcoholism, and needed a wake-up call, which his tour through free agency and a chance to be the ace of a squad in LA provided him. The fact that he moved from the AL East to the NL West probably helped him too. And we got some nice picks out of the whole thing.
            You still think Lowe is the Ace in LA?


            Drew: Only 16 points of OPS behind a certain Bobby Abreu and for similar money. We'll let the statgeeks sort out which one of Abreu and Drew was the worse pickup for this year but Drew was signed to a long-term deal with the knowledge in hand that he'd had shoulder surgery which would sap his power in the first year. He rewarded the team by coming back huge down the stretch and in the playoffs (including but not limited to the 14 Million Dollar Grand Slam in an elimination game). I have no particular insider knowledge but I've been saying all year that this contract is probably not going to be judged based on how Drew does this year -- that the second and third years will probably be the point of judgement.

            I am in no way saying that Abreu was a good resigning. I wanted them to take the pick and sign Fukudome. However, JD Drew was signed long term. The Yankees got Abreu AND Lidle for essentially CJ Henry, who is back with the team anyways now. So I'd say Abreu was the better move there, however Abreu still sucks.

            As for Lugo, the only other thing I thought we could have done that offseason is perhaps swing a deal for Maicer Izturis or Eric Aybar, but the Angels would have demanded a very steep price for either one so I agree with signing the free agent. Who we had no particular reason to believe would have underperformed this badly BTW but that's beside the point -- unless you propose that we could have kept Pedroia at short and re-signed Loretta, or
            dealt Manny to the Angels for not much, Lugo was the man.
            Well they could have let your boy Lowrie play second and Pedroia at short, or they could have resigned Alex Gonzalez.
            "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

            "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ChrisLDuncan View Post
              Matt Clement: Boston's Carl Pavano
              I don't think that's a fair assessment at all. Clement had a GREAT start to his Boston career...he probably should have started the 2005 All Star game for the AL. Then he took a line drive off the head and STILL made 32 starts for the year. Sure, after the injury, he pitched poorly, but he came back.

              Then in 2006, he suffered a SERIOUS shoulder injury. Everyone thought he was a head case, soft, etc...the talk shows were attacking him left and right. Then they opened up his shoulder....and it looked like a gernade went off in there. Since then, he's been rehabbing.

              I can't blame the GM for signing a pitcher going into his age 30 season who had good stuff, and then got hurt twice (once in a freak...and very scary...incident). The contract wasn't insane by any means (far less than resigning Pedro or Pavano got), and saying it was a bad idea because he got hurt is just revisionist history. At the time, we didn't know he'd get hurt, and if his first half in 2005 is any indication, he very well could have had a great 3 years in Boston.

              Boston fans love to complain, and belittle, and second guess...but I put Theo among the best GM's because he's able to ignore that, devise a plan, stick to it, and the results have been very good. Show me another GM who's done better in the 2000s...some are in the conversation, but there's none I'd say has a better track record. None are perfect, Theo included...you just need to make good decisions based on what you know at the time.
              Visit my card site at Mike D's Baseball Card Page.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ChrisLDuncan View Post
                I wouldn't say Tek is still a good defensive catcher, but then again I really only see a few good defensive catchers in the AL:

                Jojhima
                Mauer
                Napoli

                and that's about it.
                I don't see any of those guys being more effective than Tek, plus Tek is a fan favorite, so he's probably a better option than that collection.

                Your last point is good, but you're begging the question. I still don't see Theo as the best GM in baseball.

                You still think Lowe is the Ace in LA?

                I am in no way saying that Abreu was a good resigning. I wanted them to take the pick and sign Fukudome. However, JD Drew was signed long term. The Yankees got Abreu AND Lidle for essentially CJ Henry, who is back with the team anyways now. So I'd say Abreu was the better move there, however Abreu still sucks.

                Well they could have let your boy Lowrie play second and Pedroia at short, or they could have resigned Alex Gonzalez.
                I see Varitek as still being a pretty good defensive catcher. I liked that signing. Solid catchers are hard to come by.

                I've been one of Theo's biggest critics, and I wouldn't call him the best GM in baseball, but he is probably in the top 10. Other than Lugo he hasn't made any of those insane Juan Pierre/Gary Mathews Jr./Francisco Cordero signings. I still think Drew might pan out to be worth it, and there weren't many other options as he made the right choice to let Nixon go (as much as I hate the move from an emotional standpoint).

                He has done VERY well in the draft and has built the system up -- even being called #2 by a publication (i'd probably go with them at 4 or so). He has let the right people go (Damon, Martinez) for the most part and has gotten some vital pieces in trades (Beckett, Lowell, Roberts, Cabrera). And I give a big thumbs up to both of the Japanese player signings.

                #1 may be a stretch, but overall, i'm still pretty happy hes a competent GM and not someone like Bavasi, Hendry, Krivsky, or Daniels. Plus, being the only GM to win 2 World Series championships since he took over in Boston is a pretty damn good resume (Although, Duquette probably claims that he was the engineer of the '07 WS too).
                Originally posted by Domenic
                The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There are a couple others you might name as better than Theo right now but they both retired. Twins' GM Ryan and the Braves GM whose name I can't spell to save my immortal soul. Cashman's decent but Theo is 2 rings ahead of him at this point and while you give Cashman a bit of a mulligan for having the Steinbrenner monkey on his back the results have still been better for Epstein.

                  Beyond that, who is there really? Stoneman was a contender a couple years ago but his reluctance to deal from a position of strength and take the team to the next level just got him fired. Beane has become addicted to the tools of his original success and is now doing more harm than good to the Athletics organization. Who else hsd s GM worth considering? The Rockies or Diamondbacks possibly? The Tigers? The Brewers?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Theo seems like a good GM but he has been blessed with some good fortune. He took over a team with a solid core, including three superstars, had sufficient financial resources that he could acquire serious talent, the team has remained generally healthy, and he has an owner that understands his role.

                    With the core he started with and the financial resources at his beck and call why shouldn't he win?
                    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Westlake View Post
                      I see Varitek as still being a pretty good defensive catcher. I liked that signing. Solid catchers are hard to come by.
                      Solid's probably the word I'd use to sign him.


                      I've been one of Theo's biggest critics, and I wouldn't call him the best GM in baseball, but he is probably in the top 10. Other than Lugo he hasn't made any of those insane Juan Pierre/Gary Mathews Jr./Francisco Cordero signings. I still think Drew might pan out to be worth it, and there weren't many other options as he made the right choice to let Nixon go (as much as I hate the move from an emotional standpoint).
                      He's probably top ten too, but there are a lot of GMs whose work I hate. He's competent he doesn't go after insanely overrated players, and he doesn't sell of the farm. Realistically, given his resources that's enough to do a good job.


                      He has done VERY well in the draft and has built the system up -- even being called #2 by a publication (i'd probably go with them at 4 or so). He has let the right people go (Damon, Martinez) for the most part and has gotten some vital pieces in trades (Beckett, Lowell, Roberts, Cabrera). And I give a big thumbs up to both of the Japanese player signings.

                      Off topic but I didn't understand the Lowell hate at the beginning of the season.

                      #1 may be a stretch, but overall, i'm still pretty happy hes a competent GM and not someone like Bavasi, Hendry, Krivsky, or Daniels.
                      A few of my favorite GMs left during the off season:

                      Walt Jockety
                      John Scherholz (I know, I butchered the name)
                      Terry Ryan


                      They weren't exactly replaced with bastions of competency either. However, I'd probably lump Theo in group that's right below the "elite" GMs them being:

                      Beane
                      Shapiro (I'm not so sure of this pick)
                      Byrnes
                      O'Dowd
                      Friedman


                      I'm not quite sure if he's better than Towers, but he's in that category.

                      EDIT: Dave Dombrowski is up there too.
                      Last edited by ChrisLDuncan; 02-19-2008, 01:17 PM.
                      "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

                      "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Imgran View Post
                        There are a couple others you might name as better than Theo right now but they both retired. Twins' GM Ryan and the Braves GM whose name I can't spell to save my immortal soul. Cashman's decent but Theo is 2 rings ahead of him at this point and while you give Cashman a bit of a mulligan for having the Steinbrenner monkey on his back the results have still been better for Epstein.
                        Actually Ca$h has three rings to Theo's two, he took over in 1998 and they had a three-peat. So Cash is one ring ahead of him at this point.
                        "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

                        "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Westlake View Post
                          Plus, being the only GM to win 2 World Series championships since he took over in Boston is a pretty damn good resume[/B] (Although, Duquette probably claims that he was the engineer of the '07 WS too).
                          I'm not sure how much of that was JUST Theo, the front office as a whole has been pretty good. However, bad GMs can win championships. See: Williams, Kenny.
                          "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

                          "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ChrisLDuncan View Post
                            I'm not sure how much of that was JUST Theo, the front office as a whole has been pretty good. However, bad GMs can win championships. See: Williams, Kenny.
                            Well of course it wasn't JUST Theo. No GM wins a championship by himself (Hoyer and Cherington do great jobs). However, that's what he's there to do, and that is what he has done.
                            Originally posted by Domenic
                            The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I guess is what I was saying is that Theo is a good GM in a front office with good FO people. I remember the old Yankee days, Ca$h was a good GM in a front office filled with idiots. There are other teams that have had good GMs but terrible FO people, that have done well. Likewise there are good FO people (scouting directors, owners, etc.) but terrible GMs.
                              "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

                              "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqul1GyK7-g

                              Comment

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