Stearns wins first-half honors as majors’ most effective GM


The Milwaukee Brewers relinquished their grip on first place just before the All-Star break, but that should not obscure the team-building work done by their general manager, David Stearns.

At the 2018 All-Star break, the impact of Stearns’ moves since the end of the 2017 season has improved the Brewers by 7.1 games, the best performance of any of the 30 major league general managers. The Brewers completed the All-Star break 2.5 games behind the NL Central division leading Chicago Cubs.

Stearns compiled positive scores in all five facets of the rating: acquisitions via trade, purchase or waiver claim; free agent signings; farm system callups;  trade losses; and free agency losses. His trade for Christian Yelich improved the Brewers by 1.5 games based on Wins Above Average. His free agent signing of Lorenzo Cain provided a 3.1 game improvement, and his callup of rookie pitcher Freddy Peralta brought a 0.9 game improvement.

In what may be a surprise, the second best mid-term performance was turned in by Tampa Bay Rays’ general manager Erik Neander, whose moves improved the Rays by 4.9 games. Third was Dave Dombrowski, general manager of the AL East leading Boston Red Sox, whose signing of J.D. Martinez was among moves improving the Red Sox by 4.5 games at the break.

At the other end of the scale, the worst GM performance was by Marlins GM Mike Hill. Supervising his team’s teardown following its purchase by new ownership, the sum total of Hill’s decisions hurt the Marlins by 10.2 games. Kansas City’s Dayton Moore scored -8.1, while Colorado Rockies’ GM Jeff Bridich was saddled by a -7.3 score.

The leader in 2017 was Chicago Cubs’ general manager Jed Hoyer with a score of +9.0 games. Dodgers’ GM Farhan Zaidi was second at +6.7.

Here are the mid-term scores for all 30 major league general managers. (Because Dick Williams relinquished his position in early April in favor of Nick Krall, the Cincinnati Reds have two GMs ranked.)

Rank      Name                            Team                                 Rating

1       David Stearns                    Milwaukee Brewers       +7.1

2      Erik Neander                      Tampa Bay Rays               +4.9

3      Dave Dombrowski            Boston Red Sox                 +4.5

4      John Mozeliak                   St. Louis Cardinals            +3.7

5      Dick Williams                     Cincinnati Reds                +3.5

6      tie Brian Cashman            New York Yankees           +2.8

Jeff Luhnow                       Houston Astros                 +2.8

Mike Chernoff                  Cleveland Indians             +2.8

9      Jerry DiPoto                       Seattle Mariners               +2.1

10   tie Mike Hazen                  Arizona Diamondbacks   +1.6

Alex Avila                            Detroit Tigers                    +1.6

12   Farhan Zaidi                        Los Angeles Dodgers       +1.1

13   Jed Hoyer                            Chicago Cubs                      +0.9

14   Nick Krall                              Cincinnati Reds                 -0.1

15   Jon Daniels                         Texas Rangers                     -0.6

16   David Forst                         Oakland A’s                         -0.9

17   Alex Anthopolous            Atlanta Braves                     -1.0

18   Bobby Evans                      San Francisco Giants         -1.2

19   Ross Atkins                         Toronto Blue Jays              -1.3

20   Billy Eppler                          Los Angeles Angels          -1.6

21   Matt Klentak                      Philadelphia Phillies         -2.2

22   tie Rick Hahn                      Chicago White Sox            -2.7

Mike Rizzo                          Washington Nationals     -2.7

24   Neal Huntington               Pittsburgh Pirates             -2.8

25   Dan Duquette                   Baltimore Orioles              -4.1

26   tie Sandy Alderson          New York Mets                  -5.0

A.J. Preller                          San Diego Padres             -5.0

28   Thad Levine                        Minnesota Twins             -6.1

29   Jeff Bridich                          Colorado Rockies             -7.3

30   Dayton Moore                   Kansas City Royals           -8.8

31   Mike Hill                             Miami Marlins               -10.2

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