MLB General Managers Power Rankings 2013
MLB General Managers Power Rankings 2013
Recently the Major League Baseball General Managers took center stage as the non-waiver trade deadline made headlines everywhere. Every city that has a MLB team suddenly found themselves hearing a lot about the guy that hangs around batting cages in designer clothes. While not all GMs wear designer clothing, they all do have one thing in common. Though they make headlines only a few times each season, they are extremely important to their entire franchise on a weekly basis.
The trade season of July gives way to the waiver-deal days of August and we find ourselves talking about these guys again. What makes a good GM in baseball? There are lots of things that go into doing a great job and of course some things are up to the guys on the field. If a team wins every season, that is a lot of the players’ doing but it is the GM’s job to keep the guys on their field and playing happy. It isn’t an enviable position unless that’s the kind of thing you enjoy.
We are going to look at how each GM stacks up as of this season in the MLB GM Power Rankings. This will look at a lot of how the GMs have performed this season as well as a little bit of their track record leading up to the 2013 season. A GM that has had a terrible team the last five seasons might not make the number one slot even if he has been the best GM this season in other words. Some credit has to be given to the guys that have a proven track record of putting a winning team on the field.
Sometimes the ‘P’ in MVP can stand for ‘person’. Certainly it seems clear to me that one of the most valuable players on each MLB team isn’t a player at all. Let’s see how the GMs stack up. Feel free to post your opinion or rank them yourself in the comments below or on twitter using the RML hash-tag.
30 Rubén Amaro, Jr. – Philadelphia Phillies
Amaro took over as GM of the Phillies in 2008 after they won the World Series. They lost the big series the next season and lost earlier in the playoffs the next two years. That downward trend has continued as the core of the team has grown older. This year instead of moving some of the older players in some way he actually has extended Chase Utley. Nothing against Utley or any of the elder statesmen there but the longer they wait to flip that roster the longer it will take to win once again. Amaro has dropped the ball and the Phillies are headed towards their first below .500 season since 2002 because of it.
29 Doug Melvin – Milwaukee Brewers
Melvin has been at the GM spot for the Brewers since 2002 and in that time frame has only seen four seasons above .500. They made the playoffs twice during that time. Their best player one of those years was C.C. Sabathia who then signed with another team and the other time it was Ryan Braun and we all know what happened with him. The Brewers are becoming the former team of quite a few great players for other teams. That is partially on the ownership but Melvin is at the wheel and perhaps needs to shake things up a lot if he wants to see a drastic change in wins. This year they were basically stagnant during the trade season and for that reason Melvin remains towards the bottom of the list.
28 Brian Cashman – New York Yankees
Cashman has seen a lot of success during his time with the Yankees but so much of it has come through trades to bring talent in which also depletes their farm system. In terms of farm system the Yankees might be trying to improve but that proves difficult because of the large contracts on so many of their players. They can’t expect to unload salary that would blow up another team’s payroll so their system is slow in reloading if it’s reloading at all. More of the same this year lands Cashman lower on the list than his teams records over the years might suggest.
27 Alex Anthopoulos – Toronto Blue Jays
It seemed like Anthopoulos might be one of the most successful GMs in the Power Rankings just a few months ago. The drastic moves he made in the off-season were designed to make the Blue Jays a contender in the American League East. Instead they have stayed near the bottom of the division for most of the season. They are in a situation where not much could be done to fix it as well. Sadly enough, the fact that his moves did not work is his responsibility. That lands him at this spot.
26 Jack Zduriencik – Seattle Mariners
The Mariners have not been great this season. Zduriencik has the given one pitcher the highest paid contract in history while hanging on to several free agents. It is extremely unlikely that this team will be able to sign Joe Saunders, Raul Ibanez, Michael Morse and the few other players that are aging and free agents after the season. Yet, Zduriencik made no move to get something back for his free agent players to bolster his farm system. None of that is good for the Mariners.
25 Sandy Alderson – New York Mets
The only substantial thing that Alderson seems to have done for the Mets is to lock up David Wright long term. While that in and of itself is a good thing, he needed to do more to give Wright some support. Without a few more players that can provide offense for the team or enough strong starting pitching, the Mets wind up at the bottom of the league. With basically no moves being made this season either, Alderson remains in the bottom ten solidly.
24 Josh Byrnes – San Diego Padres
Though Byrnes did pull off one deal this trade season for starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, the Padres have kind of remained stagnant for a while. They have had flashes of being almost good enough but then they falter once again. There were no big moves to fix any of this during the trade season and the one deal for Kennedy wasn’t exactly a blockbuster. Byrnes has some work to do to improve his standing and the team’s performance.
23 Rick Hahn – Chicago White Sox
Hahn has not been all good or bad for the White Sox. They have had some success but with things falling apart this season, it looks kind of bad on team management. To his credit Hahn did sell off some of his big name salary eaters this season but it remains to be seen just how good of a job he did restocking the system. He isn’t as far down as some would have been given his situation this season.
22 Terry Ryan – Minnesota Twins
Ryan has a ton of money still tied up in Joe Mauer. Nothing against Mauer because he is a great player but the contract he was given could have been more roster friendly part. That continues to haunt the team through this season. The redeeming quality about Ryan is that he has helped build an extremely strong farm system to almost constantly give the Twins an outside shot at winning. We can all wonder where that system might land them if they weren’t a lower market team paying $25 million to one player.
21 Jerry Dipoto - Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are a tale of two franchises at times. Dipoto has a decently stocked farm system but he also has shelled out a ton of money for a team that hasn’t won significantly all season long. Nothing much was done around the deadline to affect that either. Like it or not, when you try to buy a World Series and it doesn’t work, you fall down the GM rankings.
20 Dayton Moore – Kansas City Royals
With Moore we begin to get into the lower ranking GMs that have at least tried to do really good things for their franchises. Moore risked a lot to stock the Royals pitching staff by trading away one of baseball’s best young prospects at the time in Wil Myers. While it was a high price, it seems that the Royals are beginning to see the payoff of the move. If Moore can keep the team heading in the right direction with moves such as he made around this year’s deadline, he might begin to climb quickly up this list.
19 Michael Hill – Miami Marlins
Hill is not in the best situation because he has an owner that most of the resident baseball fans despise and that probably means he isn’t the easiest guy to work with. Still the Marlins are certainly improving right now and showing a strong farm system in the process. Hill was willing to trade Ricky Nolasco for good return but hold tightly onto Giancarlo Stanton at the same time. That shows someone that could be on his way to building a winner. He just isn’t there yet.
18 Mike Rizzo – Washington Nationals
The success that the Nationals have seen over the past few seasons was very encouraging coming into this season. However some of the moves that were made are questionable now. A new contract for Adam Laroche after a career year might be a little questionable as was bringing in an unsteady starter in Dan Haren. When the Nats only tried to bolster their bench at the trade deadline instead of selling off a few good free agent relievers while basically falling out of the race, Rizzo dropped a few slots on this list.
17 Jed Hoyer – Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are trying to improve it seems and Hoyer appears to be making decent moves to get it done. He made sure to get rid of Carlos Marmol for a somewhat okay return reliever but the rest of the moves he made sure to get top dollar for. Chances are, as long as the boys on the field do their part, the Cubs might become a threat for the pennant in a few years. That is all dependent on Hoyer sticking to his current plan of course. He has done well but there is uncertainty yet to be resolved.
16 Billy Beane – Oakland Athletics
I’m not sure if Beane would be fun to watch as GM of a team with a huge payroll or if his talents are best for a team like the A’s. Year in and year out Beane seems to do the best with what he has. Once again this year his team is leading and has a chance to win because of a few decent moves. A little more to work with would probably get him an even higher ranking but he is a very respectable 16 for sure.
15 Dan O'Dowd – Colorado Rockies
The Rockies constantly seem to have to work against their ballpark and the high altitude but that doesn’t seem to be quite the issue anymore. I believe some of that is due to the good work that O’Dowd has done in the long period of time he has been there. This year he didn’t do a lot but they are slowly building a better and younger team. That is to O’Dowd’s credit and they will have a chance to win in the next few years if he keeps the decent moves coming.
14 Walt Jocketty – Cincinnati Reds
Jocketty has been good for the Reds. They have had a lot of success in recent years to be sure and he is certainly one reason why. This year he didn’t do much of anything in trade season but he has the talent to know when not to make a move. The Reds are sitting in the dangerous second wildcard spot this year and their continued success keeps him higher on this list. There could have been a tiny bit of room here and there but he’s one of the good ones for sure.
13 Kevin Towers – Arizona Diamondbacks
Towers has done a very respectable job turning the DBacks into contenders over the past several years. He even was somewhat successful in sending away one of the franchise’s most beloved players in Justin Upton. That move was huge but it came at the right time and he got good return from it. This season they have seen some success from his moves and yet they have had room for improvement. If Towers had gotten the Jake Peavy deal done that he was reportedly in the top running for, he would be easily in the top five; but he didn’t.
12 Brian Sabean – San Francisco Giants
Sabean finds himself in a bit of a strange situation this year. The Giants have had a ton of success of late including of course their World Series Championship just a year ago. Now he has seen the same team he put together fall flat on their face. He has made a few moves but with that freefall, even a good GM would have taken a dive down the rankings. The Giants and Sabean will be back at the top soon. Of that I have no doubt.
11 Ned Colletti – Los Angeles Dodgers
Colletti has quite the juggling act to work with over in Dodger’s land. This year they seemed to have a ton of money wrapped up in way too many pitchers but it has turned out that they needed every single one of them. Actually they have added another at the deadline and Ricky Nolasco has worked out well for them. He had the good fortune of a strong return from having brought in Hanley Ramirez not long ago and also an awesome debut from Yasiel Puig. Colletti deserves some credit for the Dodgers rise, make no mistake about it. If nothing else, he knew that he should ignore the doubters and keep Don Mattingly at the helm.
10 Jeff Luhnow – Houston Astros
Luhnow has been GM for the Astros since 2011. During a time when the franchise has really struggled, Luhnow came in and has done more good in a short time than any short term GM I’ve seen. With all of the flipping and flopping, even changing leagues, he has built what is probably the deepest farm system in all of Major League Baseball and hired one of the best younger managers in the game in Bo Porter. Luhnow is without a doubt a very aggressive and extremely smart GM and the Astros could not be in better hands than his for their coming rise.
9 John Mozeliak – St. Louis Cardinals
I love a GM that has the good sense to let an aging superstar go. Even though they lost Albert Pujols a few years ago, Mozeliak has continually helped put a winning team out on the field. His success since 2007 is respectable to say the least and he would be higher on this list if he had pulled the trigger on a deal for a catcher in the last possible moment to stand in for Yadier Molina. That probably will not cost them the post season but it did cost Mozeliak a few spots on this ranking.
8 Dan Duquette – Baltimore Orioles
The moves that Duquette has made have all been at least good in recent years. This year they needed pitching help and he did what he felt he could to get some. It isn’t easy to walk that line between giving up too much of the farm system and bringing in a good player to help the team and Duquette seems to be able to walk that line pretty well. They are starting to see the benefit of signing good young players as well as the benefit of allowing their own prospects to rise to the MLB level.
7 Frank Wren – Atlanta Braves
There is a lot to like about what Wren has done in Atlanta. They probably have the strongest pitching of any farm system in baseball and it keeps getting richer with each passing draft. He does not trade too much away for a single player and much prefers to allow the system to work for him. The only knock against Wren right now is the franchise record deal he gave B.J. Upton. I think Upton is a good add for the Braves but he probably could have been worth a little less money. Still, it isn’t bad enough to sink Wren any further on this list.
6 Dave Dombrowski – Detroit Tigers
Dombrowski has been very good at a rare combination of skills for a GM. He has traded for and signed players that were good enough and young enough to help build a winner. At the same time he is also building the farm system to a point where they are seeing the fruit of that labor as well. It is a rare combination that the Tigers have pulled off quite well. Dombrowski pulled off a gem this year by adding himself into the Jake Peavy deal to get an extremely good shortstop from the Boston Red Sox. It was exactly what they needed. He did the same by making a couple of bullpen deals through the trade season as well. All in all this team will be there at the end and they have him to thank for it.
5 Chris Antonetti – Cleveland Indians
The Indians have done a very quick turnaround from a couple of years ago. Antonetti has brought in the right guys when he needed to starting with the manager Terry Francona. He then brought in Michael Bourn and had already gotten a great return for the departing Shin-Soo Choo. They are right in the mix this season in what could have been a rebuild year. That speaks to how well Antonetti has done his job.
4 Neal Huntington – Pittsburgh Pirates
It could be said that the skills of a good GM are best tested when they do not have an excess of money to deal with. Huntington certainly finds himself in that position with the Pirates. Even though he does not have a ton of money he still has built and bolstered the franchise to the point where they are a serious threat for MLB best record this season. That includes bringing up the right minor leaguers at the right time as well as small deals that have really helped the team. He has done a great job and is seeing a great return for what he has done.
3 Andrew Friedman – Tampa Bay Rays
Friedman is amazing. He clearly knows a lot about what he is doing as a MLB GM because of the results he nearly always sees. I don’t know if he has ever come up on the short end of a deal. Even sending James Shields and Wade Davis away for Wil Myers has turned up golden. He knew the caliber of system he had built and knew he could part with those guys. It seems that any player they allow to go somewhere else is always replaced with seeming ease. I don’t know how he does it so well but Freidman is one of the best and has shown it again this year coming into the season and during it.
2 Ben Cherington – Boston Red Sox
Cherington has been leading the Red Sox since 2011 and they are already seeing the results of his moves. They now have a team that has a good mix of experience and youth. He made the huge move to bring in Jake Peavy at the trade deadline giving his team one of the best starting rotations in the game. What the team has needed, he has made happen. Without a doubt his early results from the last couple of years are substantial.
1 Jon Daniels - Texas Rangers
There have been good and bad for Daniels but his activity at the MLB trade deadline this season shoved him to the top of this list. His team had fallen behind in the division and needed pitching and offense. He brought in Matt Garza early enough that it really mattered for them. Then he knew he would really need a hitter with the Nelson Cruz PED suspension that was looming. He was after Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox but did not pay the huge asking price. Then all Daniels did was get Rios for about a third of the price in an August trade. It was a masterful job to get the man they needed for a much lower price. If the Rangers do not win this year, it will not be because Daniels didn’t do his job well.