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