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Ranking the General Managers

Mar 4, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

SI’s Tim Marchman — after acknowledging just how hard it is to objectively rate general managers due to differing payrolls, owners, and expectations — tries to rate the general managers.

Top 5: Andrew Friedman, Theo, Cashman, Larry Beinfest  and Jack Zduriencik.

Bottom 5 (worst first): Dayton Moore, Ed Wade, Brian Sabean, Ned Colletti and Omar Minaya.

I like Friedman and Theo, but I think Cashman should probably lead the list. Yes, the Yankees have tons of money, but ever since the owners have gotten off his back, Cashman has made great moves, not just great-for-a-rich-guy moves. I think Jack Z may be a little high. Great offseason, sure, but until the guys he went out and got actually play a few games it may be worth being a bit conservative.

The bottom end is pretty much right.  Dayton Moore has stunk on ice and Ed Wade’s job security is one of the greater mysteries of the universe. I slam Omar a lot, but I still get this feeling that when he’s finally fired we’ll learn that Jeff Wilpon has authored some of the team’s worst moves.

Sabean is my least favorite GM in baseball, less for his actual moves than the fact that he is a spineless man and a loathesome boss. For this reason alone Sabean would be on the bottom of my list even if he traded Aaron Rowand for Stephen Strasburg straight up.

  1. Bob - Mar 5, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Shapira has destroyed the once great Indians!

  2. Coach Writer - Mar 5, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Dave Dombrowski of the Tigers has taken two different teams, from small to medium markets, to the World Series. He does it with rosters of community-minded players. He gives his players a fair chance to succeed. He’s honest and as cooperative as possible with the fans and the media. When a player has a human slip, he tries to help them personally without any fanfare. If one of my sons was playing major league baseball, I would want him playing for the Tigers.

  3. Bag o cheese - Mar 5, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Kind of like our elected leaders…they have exceptionally good taste flying around the world on G -7’s spending other peoples money.

  4. John Street - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    The Dodger GM is a true reflection of the ownership. There is only lip service to be a competitive, top ranked team and organization. With both Mr and Mrs Dodgers going at each other there can not be a well financed and thought provocing plan for the Dodgers in the foreseeable future. Colletti is only a straw GM. He has made huge mistakes during his tenure, but will survive due to the “Parking Lot Attendant” not having the will or the cash to be successful!

  5. Mike - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Cashman has the easiest job. All he has to do is pull out Steinbrenner’s checkbook. Piece of cake.

  6. gary - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Actually, this will be an interesting year to watch the Yankees. Cashman essentially brought in Nick Johnson to take Matsui’s place and Randy Winn to take Damon’s place. Although I have been a Bronx Bomber fan for almost sixty years, I don’t think they have a snowball’s chance in hell of repeating (perhaps not even making the Playoffs this year). Cashman allowed two of the top clutch hitters in baseball leave and replaced them with nothing of note. And, as it turned out, he paid almost as much for Johnson and Winn as he would have had to pay to retain the other two. So, if I am correct (and I truly hope that I am not) Cashman, Johnson and Winn will need to explain to the Boss and his two children why they messed up this season and disappointed ownership, the team and its fans.

  7. John Kavis - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    The 2010 Yankee lineup is easily the worst ever. Also take a look at
    the bench. An absolute zero. This is a World Series Campion and they do not erven have a pinch hitter. Granderson & Swisher will be near
    the top of the leader board in strikeout.
    The name Irabu comes to mind when talking about flops !. With all the money available weaknesses abound.

  8. Dominick - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Bravo! Excellent comment, especially from a non-Yankee fan. I happen to be a life long Yankee fan (over 50 years) and I could not have written it better. Thanks for looking past the tired, Yankee-hating BS and giving credit where its due. I just became a fan of the Rays.

  9. Seattleroar - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    You are right….Seattle has done nothing; other than feed almost every other team either a hall of famer or ALL STAR. I believe though this year could be a different year for this team and its fan’s. Friendly wager Tony? John

  10. John Kavis - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    I left out the word outfield in my comments. The infield lineup may be the best ever.

  11. charlieboy - Mar 5, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Two things: Larry Beinfest is not the GM of the Marlins. Michael Hill is and has been over the last few years. Yes, Beinfest is the architect, but Hill deserves to be given a little more credit up there.
    In my opinion, Beinfest is the best executive in the game. No one is smarter, gets more for less, and has the vision he has to build a team. He beat the Yankees in 2003 with Pudge Rodriguez, Mike Lowell, and a bunch of kids. They’ve been playoff contenders 3 of the last 4 years under the Beinfest/Hill regime which has seen a huge success rate when it comes to their players. The only flops they’ve really had in that span are Andrew Miller, Pokey Reese, and a handful of other guys. Then you look at Johnson, Ramirez, Uggla, Cantu…all guys Beinfest & Hill brought in, drafted, or acquired. He has something the #1 GM doesn’t, and would be flat out scary if he had the payroll Epstein and Cashman have.

  12. Don S. - Mar 5, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    Cashman has unlimited resources…he would be average at best with a ball club that actually has a budget. All he has done is sign the top free agents does this make him a top GM. Give me break. This list stinks.

  13. Nico Toscani - Mar 5, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    How does Jim Hendry NOT make the bottom 5? Soriano, Fukadome, Milton Bradley… the list of high paid garbage goes on and on. Thanks to his bumbling, the Cubs new owners have closed up their pocketbook. Now Cubs fans can look forward to another mediocre year.

  14. BILL W - Mar 5, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    Larry Beinfest gets more out of 50 mil than any GM in baseball. Last year he works with 30 mil and his team is in the hunt all year and finishes 2nd behind the Phillies, and Marlins win season long series against them. Genius is the word for a GM who evaluates young talent the way Larry does. All you have to do is look at the results and the rosters of other major league teams that are branded x-Marlins. No stimulus money needed in South Florida

  15. Bill - Mar 5, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    What a biased opinion, being from new york, a monkey could run that team with all its money….

  16. Gary - Mar 5, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon have to be the worst pair in baseball. Two nitwits. Please, someone buy the Mets and get rid of these two clueless fools.

  17. RICH - Mar 6, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    THIS IS WERE THE YANKS AND IM A MET FAN, HAVE THE ADVANTAGE…THE 60 MIL MORE THEY HAVE TO SPEND LETS THEM HIDE THIER MISTAKES…Pavanno-Wright-Igawa-Hawkins….if any team not just mets had 60 mil more this season they could have signed Holliday Bay and Lackey and have 3-8 mil left over or a team like the Jays could have kept Halliday and signed a boppe….can you imagin if Theo had 60 mil more or a team like the Twins

  18. Southlandcoug - Mar 6, 2010 at 2:51 AM

    In Jack we trust.

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  20. KMSmith - Mar 6, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Man, if you don’t know who “THEO” EPSTEIN is, than you shouldn’t be reading about baseball. Try soccer.

  21. Joe - Mar 6, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    Any way we can trade owners or G.M. , Like the Orioles Owner and G.M. to New York for theirs. ????????.

  22. SI Hater - Mar 6, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    You noticed ! Typical of the entire SI staff which is so pro REd Sox. They are always trying to find a way to downgrade Jeter. THey should all disappear with Buck and McCarver who reall have an anti Yankee bias

  23. ralphgmiami - Mar 6, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Have you all forgotten that we’re in the steroids era!!!!You may call the Red Sox picking up David (Mediocre hitter with the Twins, second coming of Babe Ruth with the BoSox) Ortiz and Manny Ramirez great pickups but they’re still cheaters. The same thing with the Marlins winning it all with steroid bloated Ivan (steroid cheating muscle Pudge) in 2003. Don’t forget that Brian Cashman got the GM post after Bob Watson left after the 1996 season. He was actually Watson’s assistant. He actually was New York Yankees GM when they won championships in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004. That makes it four rings outright. He didn’t trade Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain for Johann Santana of the Twins. Keeping Hughes and Santana could bring the Yankees more world titles. To those of you who say the Yankee lineup is weak despite giving up aging Matsui and Damon, you’re a Yankee haterwho can’t be impatrial because of your hate for the Yankees. At least the Yankees want to win. I’m a former New Yorker who now lives in Miami, also known as south New York for all the former New Yorkers. Our favorite team is easily the Yankees for the seas of Yankee caps on the heads of hundreds of thousands of people here. No such thing for the Marlins as they charge $40 per parking, empty stadiums, higher priced food, and no winning team on the field. Oh that’s right, they get revenue sharing money from the higher paying teams and don’t spend it but keep it all to themselves. Yes Red Sox fans, they later trade most of their best players to your team for prospects. The Marlins will also get a free retractable domed roof stadium from the taxpayers. I say GO YANKEES!!!!!!give us another world championship in 2010!!!!!!!

  24. Erik - Mar 6, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    I totally agree that the mistakes the Yankees have made, and it isn’t just Cashman. Kei Igawa, Hideki Irabu, etc., were moves that would have hurt smaller market teams considerably. What other team could have taken on contracts like that, and gotten so little in return, and not suffered for it?
    The one thing I don’t see is where Cashman fits into the handling of Joba. I’m not sure how much he is part of the on-field decisions.

  25. Vinny - Mar 6, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Typical of all Yankee haters! Just because someone has the money to spend, doesn’t mean it’s always spent correctly. He has made some poor choices and purchases and had to deal with it. GM’s get too much credit as it is and too much blame. He always gets the blame when a player doesn’t work out, but hardly ever gets the credit when a player does. No players guaranteed a sucess just because of a high salary.

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