Friday, July 10, 2009

Top 5 Worst Current Baseball General Managers

Tim's Top 5:

1. Dayton Moore - Lest Ryan feel he's all alone on this one, I have to admit, he's earned his way atop the list. His retarded move to acquire the fourth worst hitting shortstop of whom I'm aware (#1 and #2 were both Royals as of this Monday in Tony Pena Jr. and Luis Hernandez, #3 is the woeful Alex Gonzalez, though I think Jimmy Rollins wants to make this list...) is just one of a litany of moves that are directly contrary to both his stated goal (to get the Royals players who could get on base) and any conceivable baseball strategy. He's neither Adam Everett (a worthless hitter who seems to be on winning teams a lot) nor a draw-the-walk patient hitter. And he plays a position that is likely to be adequately filled once Mike Aviles gets back next year, a thought that completely slipped my mind earlier today when I already thought it was a terrible acquisition.

What's more puzzling is how much he's regressed. When he first became the Royals' GM, he made a lot of sound moves that seemed like they'd put the team on the right track. He dealt head case Mike MacDougal for prospects,

Career high point: Re-signing Zack Greinke, signing Gil Meche to a way above market 5-year, $55 million deal that actually panned out, selecting Joakim Soria in the Rule 5 draft, trading the felonious Ambiorix Burgos for Brian Bannister.

Career low points: acquiring Mike Jacobs, signing Kyle Farnsworth (both of which prevented the Royals from signing Orlando Hudson), signing Jose Guillen to a multi-year deal, traded JP Howell for Joey Gathright.

2. Ned Colletti - "Hey, do you mind paying for Casey Blake? I'll give you one of the top 25 prospects in all of baseball AND be your best friend." I assume that's how the average call with Ned Colletti goes. Either that or " you're a one-dimensional outfielder who doesn't get on base, gets caught stealing all the time, and can't hit for $55 million enough?" Ned Colletti has signed Jason Schmidt to a long-term deal (Schmidt's yet to pitch under that), given out huge money to a collapsing Andruw Jones, big years and big dollars for Juan Pierre, dumped Edwin Jackson for Danys Baez and Lance Carter (who then disappeared off the face of the earth). He's made one good move, and even that didn't pan out this year.

Career highlight: Trading not much for Manny Ramirez, getting the Dodgers to the NLCS.

Career lowlights: pretty much every other move he's ever made. Hopefully Carlos Santana for Casey Blake will top that list.

3. Omar Minaya - Quick, name all the moves that Minaya's made that have panned out. By my count, the number is one. The man who's responsible for one of the top five most lopsided trades in history (Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and hey, why not Lee Stevens for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew) has made one really good move since becoming GM of the Mets -- trading a bunch of nothing for Johan Santana. Signing Francisco Rodriguez has worked out for this year, but is a deal with very high B.J. Ryan potential. He's been armed with loads of money and has turned it into mediocre #5 (or worse) starters -- Oliver Perez, Pedro Martinez; he's traded some valuable players for nothing (Heath Bell, Matt Lindstrom, Brian Bannister), that ultimately left him with a pitching staff that's mind-blowingly awful for a team with a $100+ million payroll.

4. Brian Cashman - Hip hop Jor-hay! Both New York teams make the list, Cashman's idiocy is just hidden under a gigantic brown bag with a green dollar sign on it. When you can simply buy away your mistakes, it's less noticeable that you've made nothing but mistakes for your tenure as GM. The horrific tenure as GM is masked by an infinite payroll, but this team paid Giambi $20 million a year to be a lousy first baseman, has paid Jeter $20 million to be a "team captain" that can't field his position, will be paying A-Rod $30 million a year when he's scuffling, and gave A.J. Burnett five years and the right to opt out. It's really astounding to think what a quality general manager could have done with the money that's been wasted on Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, and the like.

Career highlight: uh...none? He's signed some great players, but he did so by having more money than anyone else.

Lowlights: Pretty much every contract on the team.

5. Jim Hendry - Like three of the four above him, Hendry comes from a team with money, but he has no clue what to do with it. Hendry had a good start to his career, adding Aramis Ramirez for nothing, signing Derrek Lee, and building a franchise that looked like it had a bright future. Then, on the verge of greatness, they've laden their team with overrated players like Alfonso Soriano, gambled on mediocre Japanese talent in Kosuke Fukudome, and traded away their most useful piece for nothing, only to have him end up on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Career highlight: Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton for Bobby Hill and Jose Hernandez. Sighing Ted Lilly.

Career lowlights: having to hand over Mark DeRosa to sign Milton Bradley, who can't play in the field and stay healthy and hasn't played well when he has played. Paying big money for Alfonso Soriano.

Not that far off: Ruben Amaro Jr. - the Ibanez signing didn't make sense, the fact that it has worked thus far doesn't mean the three years will be good, the other moves have all been uniformly stupid, and signing Pedro will be a disaster. He'll be back on the top 5 soon; Ed Wade - he loves making high-risk, no-upside deals, whether it's giving up Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett for Michael Bourn and Geoff Geary or giving Mike Hampton a multi-year deal. Billy Beane will make it soon if he keeps having seasons like this one, where he's made three of the worst acquisitions in the game (Cabrera, Holliday, and Giambi).

Dan's Top 5:

1. The Spectre of Dave Littlefield - OK, so technically he's not been a GM since 2007, but I still blame him for the shittiness of the Pirates two seasons after the fact. I'm waiting to see how Huntington chooses to fail to revitalize the team, but until then, I can still hate Littlefield.

2. Dayton Moore - He's in charge of the Royals, right?

3. Jim Hendry - I wouldn't actually say that he's a bad manager, but as a casual Cubs fan, it sure looks like he's paying a lot of money to get mediocre results. Still, a faulty cost-benefit ratio isn't the worst of possible offenses.

4. Brian Cashman - I figured that whoever is currently writing a paycheck to Alex Rodriguez should be included on this list automatically.

5. Neal Huntington - I have absolutely nothing against this guy yet, but I take note: during the 2009 off season there were "no significant transactions." Given my poor knowledge of management, I say that's good enough for inclusion in this list.

Honorable Mention - Billy Beane. Partly personal bias from reading Moneyball, but also the fact that the A's are really in the toilet nowadays.

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