• BBA’s Executives Of The Year Makes Cashman Looks Like Susan Lucci

    Posted by on January 6th, 2011 · Comments (21)

    Have you ever seen Baseball America’s selections for Executive Of The Year?

    Here there are, since 1998:

    Executive Of The Year
    1998 Doug Melvin, GM, Rangers
    1999 Jim Bowden, GM, Reds
    2000 Walt Jocketty, GM, Cardinals
    2001 Pat Gillick, GM, Mariners
    2002 Billy Beane, GM, Athletics
    2003 Brian Sabean, GM, Giants
    2004 Terry Ryan, GM, Twins
    2005 Mark Shapiro, GM, Indians
    2006 Dave Dombrowski, GM, Tigers
    2007 Jack Zduriencik, scouting director, Brewers
    2008 Theo Epstein, GM, Red Sox
    2009 Dan O’Dowd, GM, Rockies
    2010 Jon Daniels, GM, Rangers

    Amazing, considering that the Yankees made the post-season 12 times in 13 tries, since 1998, all under Brian Cashman – winning four World Series rings in the process – and, yet, BBA never felt that “Cash” warranted winning their award for Executive Of The Year. Any thoughts on why?

    Comments on BBA’s Executives Of The Year Makes Cashman Looks Like Susan Lucci

    1. MJ Recanati
      January 6th, 2011 | 12:38 pm

      I’d love to know what the selection criteria are for this award. If “Cash” excludes an executive then what the heck is Theo Epstein doing on there? The Red Sox are absolutely no strangers to using their market power on free agency and draft bonuses.

    2. rankdog
      January 6th, 2011 | 1:04 pm

      Brian Sabean the man who paid Barry Zito the huge contract to be a 5th starter. The man who traded Fransico Lirano, Joe Nathan, Boof Bonser for Pierzynski in 2003 when he won the award. Its definitely a merit worthy award. How many World Series has Billy Beane won again? How many appearances?

    3. January 6th, 2011 | 1:12 pm

      I think the Cashman would have to get snubbed because of the Yankees top payroll in all but one year (’98) so he’s had the most money to play with. Seems the BBA rewards those with less payroll that produce winning teams that performed above expectations.

      Each winning GM’s team’s salaries, and how they rank with the rest of the majors

      98 TEX – 5th highest
      99 CIN – 20th
      00 StL – 11th
      01 SEA – 11th
      02 OAK – 28th
      03 SF – 9th
      04 MIN – 19th
      05 CLE – 25th
      06 DET* – 14th
      07 MIL – 19th
      08 BOS – 4th
      09 COL* – 18th
      10 TEX* – 27th

      * Pennant Winner
      (source: USATODAY MLB Salaries Database)

    4. Raf
      January 6th, 2011 | 1:16 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      If that’s the case then I would think having a stronger farm system would give Theo an edge over Cashman.

    5. MJ Recanati
      January 6th, 2011 | 1:26 pm

      Raf wrote:

      If that’s the case then I would think having a stronger farm system would give Theo an edge over Cashman.

      Certainly a fair point in comparing the two GM’s specifically.

      My point, however, was that if BBA rewards executives that do more with less (as @ Bill Style is intimating) then Epstein isn’t really someone that should be winning this award in any given year. If he’s winning it then you can certainly argue that Cashman had a better year than Dan O’Dowd in 2009 for pete’s sake.

    6. Evan3457
      January 6th, 2011 | 1:49 pm

      Part of it is payroll, the other part is like Manager of the Year, the guy that leads his team into contention for the 1st time in several years, or keeps his team in contention despite a lowish payroll, or leads a team to an unexpected title.

      The Yanks always lead in payroll.
      The Yanks are never out of the running for several years.
      No title they win is ever unexpected.

      Therefore, Cashman would have win with a substantially lower payroll to ever be considered for this award.

    7. MJ Recanati
      January 6th, 2011 | 1:50 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Part of it is payroll, the other part is like Manager of the Year, the guy that leads his team into contention for the 1st time in several years, or keeps his team in contention despite a lowish payroll, or leads a team to an unexpected title.

      Agreed. Which is why Theo’s win in 2008 seems so incongruous.

    8. Evan3457
      January 6th, 2011 | 1:51 pm

      Also, BBA’s emphasis is on player development; the draft, waiver claims, minor league free agents. BBA doesn’t regard signing free agents or acquiring players via salary dump trades as being particularly worthy of praise.

    9. Evan3457
      January 6th, 2011 | 1:52 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:Part of it is payroll, the other part is like Manager of the Year, the guy that leads his team into contention for the 1st time in several years, or keeps his team in contention despite a lowish payroll, or leads a team to an unexpected title.Agreed. Which is why Theo’s win in 2008 seems so incongruous.

      At that moment, the Sox appeared to have one of the best, if not the best, farm system. In addition to winning the title. The combination of the two probably got him his award.

    10. rankdog
      January 6th, 2011 | 2:32 pm

      Is the Sox farm system a result of adapt player development or propaganda? For instance we have heard names brandied about for years than watch then crumble on other teams or languish in their system. Justin Masterson, Lar Anderson, Michael Bowden for example. It could be argued that the Yankees have produced just as many players (Cano, Gardner, Hughes, Joba, Wang, Robertson, Coke, Navarro, Cabrera) at the major league level yet the Yankees are not considered in the same class as the Sox. If you play keeper league fantasy baseball you will notice people have caught on with Sox prospects. Over-hyped.

    11. MJ Recanati
      January 6th, 2011 | 2:42 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      At that moment, the Sox appeared to have one of the best, if not the best, farm system. In addition to winning the title. The combination of the two probably got him his award.

      They won the title the year before, in 2007.

    12. MJ Recanati
      January 6th, 2011 | 3:00 pm

      rankdog wrote:

      Is the Sox farm system a result of adapt player development or propaganda? For instance we have heard names brandied about for years than watch then crumble on other teams or languish in their system. Justin Masterson, Lar Anderson, Michael Bowden for example. It could be argued that the Yankees have produced just as many players (Cano, Gardner, Hughes, Joba, Wang, Robertson, Coke, Navarro, Cabrera) at the major league level yet the Yankees are not considered in the same class as the Sox. If you play keeper league fantasy baseball you will notice people have caught on with Sox prospects. Over-hyped.

      The Red Sox do an exceptional job of deploying their financial assets in the draft, manage the arbitration process very well and develop players competently in the farm system. I don’t think it’s propaganda popelling them forward.

    13. rankdog
      January 6th, 2011 | 4:40 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The Red Sox do an exceptional job of deploying their financial assets in the draft, manage the arbitration process very well and develop players competently in the farm system. I don’t think it’s propaganda popelling them forward.

      I think they are hit or miss on arbitration. Decent at leveraging their draft picks in trades but I think their prospects are incredibly over hyped. The one thing they do well that the Yankees do not is obtain draft picks by buying Type A and Type B players. The Wagner trade being a classic example. The Yankees got on the board this year with Javier.

      But lets not overstate the fact that Red Sox are where they are by outspending the rest of baseball. The 300 million they dropped on players this year proves 1) Their farm system isn’t able to fill roster spots. 2) Their success is predicated on payroll just as much as the Yankees.

      Hence Theo is no more deserving of “executive of the year” than Brian.

    14. rankdog
      January 6th, 2011 | 4:42 pm

      As a counter argument I would also say the Yankees do far better in the Latin American signings than the Sox. Placing 12 in the top 30 over the last decade.

    15. Ryan81
      January 6th, 2011 | 4:57 pm

      In 2008, the Red Sox were coming off their 2nd World Series victory in 4 years (Mind you, this was a team that didn’t win one over the lifespan of my grandmother). They were going to go to their 4th ALCS appearance in 6 years (2-2 and coming thisclose in the 2 they lost). While the Red Sox spent a lot of money, they weren’t on the Yankees level of spending yet. The differences between both teams’ payrolls was pretty substantial back then (209 to 133 million). Heck, their highest paid player at the time (Man-Ram) wasn’t even signed by Theo. Their farm system over the past few years has been consistently better than the Yankees (not by much though). And the Yankees were in such rotten shape that they a.) needed to spend $400 million to improve their team and b.) spent so unwisely in the past that they didn’t even offer arbitration to star free agents like Giambi and Abreu in fear that they would accept it.

      Quite frankly, if you think Cashman deserved that award more than Theo in 2008, you’re a blind homer. There’s no way you could seriously say Cashman was more deserving than Epstein.

    16. Evan3457
      January 6th, 2011 | 5:18 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      Quite frankly, if you think Cashman deserved that award more than Theo in 2008, you’re a blind homer. There’s no way you could seriously say Cashman was more deserving than Epstein.

      I could be wrong, but I don’t think anyone is saying Cashman deserved the award more than Theo in 2008. I think we’re trying to tie down the logic that connects Theo winning the award in 2008 to the other GM’s winning their awards, noting that most of the others were GM’s of middle and small market teams with considerably lower payrolls.

    17. KPOcala
      January 6th, 2011 | 6:30 pm

      Steve, how can anyone have a real idea of how to rate a GM? They get their marching orders from their bosses, and are all in different market niches.

    18. rankdog
      January 6th, 2011 | 6:41 pm

      @Ryan81

      The Red Sox had opening day Salary in 2008 was $133,440,037. (4th highest pay roll) http://baseball.about.com/od/newsrumors/a/08teamsalaries.htm

      They made to the ALCS where they were beat by the Rays who had a payroll of $43,820,598 (2nd lowest payroll).

      They also finished second in the division to the Rays.

      The executive of “year” award is based only the years worth of moves. The world Series wins in 2004 and 2007 should have not applied.

      I am not sure why Theo won the award over Friedman. Friedman appears to have better met the criteria for what qualifies as an executive of the year. At least if we are looking at the other winners of the last 13 years. Theo is the outlier.

      Cashman did not merit consideration in 2008. There is no case to be made.

      Its not surprising that Cashman has not won even when the Yankees do well. As even some of the most visible Yankee fans are clamoring for his dismissal a year removed from the world series.

    19. MJ Recanati
      January 6th, 2011 | 8:38 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I could be wrong, but I don’t think anyone is saying Cashman deserved the award more than Theo in 2008. I think we’re trying to tie down the logic that connects Theo winning the award in 2008 to the other GM’s winning their awards, noting that most of the others were GM’s of middle and small market teams with considerably lower payrolls.

      You’re not wrong. That’s exactly what I was saying.

    20. MJ Recanati
      January 6th, 2011 | 8:39 pm

      rankdog wrote:

      I am not sure why Theo won the award over Friedman. Friedman appears to have better met the criteria for what qualifies as an executive of the year. At least if we are looking at the other winners of the last 13 years. Theo is the outlier.

      Bingo.

    21. MJ Recanati
      January 6th, 2011 | 8:49 pm

      rankdog wrote:

      Decent at leveraging their draft picks in trades but I think their prospects are incredibly over hyped.

      Simply citing Lars Anderson and Michael Bowden as flameouts doesn’t accurately prove that Boston’s prospects are overhyped. If you took any team, you could compile a list a mile long of all the players that got attention as prospects who stalled or flamed out along the way. Do the Red Sox have some players in their system whose stars have dimmed over the past few years? Sure. But so do the Yankees, the Twins, the A’s, and so on.

      rankdog wrote:

      The one thing they do well that the Yankees do not is obtain draft picks by buying Type A and Type B players.

      Absolutely right. The Yankees don’t do this well at all.

      rankdog wrote:

      But lets not overstate the fact that Red Sox are where they are by outspending the rest of baseball. The 300 million they dropped on players this year proves 1) Their farm system isn’t able to fill roster spots. 2) Their success is predicated on payroll just as much as the Yankees.

      Yes and no. The Red Sox have certainly become successful over the past decade because they are suddenly flush with money and have some capable people putting that money to good use. There’s simply no denying that fact. I don’t agree, however, that their farm system isn’t able to fill roster spots. As with the Yankees, there’s simply no reason for them to go the minor league route in all cases, especially when there are great players available to them costing only money (and without the messy development curve that requires patience).

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