5 MLB GMs Who Were Way Too Passive During Trade Season
Though baseball's trade season may be over, some fans are still livid over the fact that their teams' respective GMs stayed quiet over the summer and did little to no work to bring in new talent or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, give up too quickly and trade away some of the team's top players.
For example, as a Yankees fan, I'm still complaining about team GM Brian Cashman (pictured) not going all out to acquire a starting pitcher at the July 31 trade deadline. Given how New York's starting rotation is now pretty much being held together with Scotch Tape, it's arguable that the man could have been a bit more aggressive two months ago.
Long story short, the fact that some of baseball's top GMs stayed quiet over the summer is slowly but surely having an effect on their team's final place in the standings. From the New York Mets collapsing to the Milwaukee Brewers seemingly giving up, some fanbases are going to be very upset once October starts and they're on the outside looking in.
As a result, some may be calling for these GMs' heads.
No. 5: Sandy Alderson
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Now, with all due respect to Alderson, his New York Mets weren't expected to do much going into this season.
Yet, the return of David Wright's bat and the magical season of R.A. Dickey plus the team seeming to gel as a whole saw the Mets playing .500 ball right up until the All-Star Break, when the slump started. Still, on July 31, the team was only 50-54, but could have made more of a statement with just one more bat.
Unfortunately, no deals were made and today, the Mets find themselves 65-78, which is good for fourth place and 24 games out of first in the NL East. To add insult to injury, they are also on a six-game losing streak.
Had Alderson been more aggressive and hungry in July, they could very well be fighting for a Wild Card spot.
No. 4: Ruben Amaro, Jr.
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It's no secret that the Phillies were dealt a bad hand in 2012. Not only were top sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the disabled list to start the season, but the offense fell apart without them in the lineup.
In another cruel turn of events, the pitching suffered to the point where left-hander and (normally) surefire stopper Cliff Lee didn't get his first win of the season until July 4th.
Thus, with the season in a tailspin, Amaro basically gave up hope and on July 31, he traded outfielder Hunter Pence, easily one of the most consistent players in baseball, to the San Francisco Giants. Sure, Pence has struggled with his new team, but that can arguably be attributed to playing in a pitcher's ballpark.
Even worse, Amaro got practically nothing in return for Pence. He received a below-average hitter in Nate Schierholtz and two relatively unknown prospects in catcher Tommy Joseph and pitcher Seth Rosin. Seeing as how Pence is a two-time All Star who can hit for a good average as well as some power, Amaro didn't receive nearly enough in return.
Sure, the Phillies are now on a strong push and just three games out of an NL Wild Card spot, but the lack of a regularly consistent hitter may indeed come back to bite them thanks to Amaro's jumping the gun and writing off the season.
No. 3: Brian Cashman
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To say that Cashman's trade season in 2012 was a failure in 2012 would be untrue, but not exactly far off. His acquiring future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki for practically nothing has provided a decent payoff, with the veteran outfielder batting .297 since donning the pinstripes.
Yet, while the acquisition of Suzuki was all well and good, the Yankees' primary need all season long has been starting pitching, especially since Andy Pettitte went down with a fractured ankle.
In the final minutes before the deadline, it actually appeared as though Cashman would make a move to trade for an arm. According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, Cashman and the Yankees were "looking" at the veteran right-hander but he ultimately went to the Texas Rangers, where he has since gone 5-1 with a 4.36 ERA.
Instead of bringing in a reliable starter, Cashman then chose to acquire third baseman Casey McGehee from the Pittsburgh Pirates and keep the pitching staff as it was. Given how the Yankees have basically been sputtering towards the finish line for the past month, his resistance to push hard for a new pitcher at the deadline is definitely a head-scratcher.
No. 2: Doug Melvin
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Before the season even began, it seemed to be common knowledge that Doug Melvin's Milwaukee Brewers would have a tough time repeating 2012's success due to star first baseman Prince Fielder leaving to join the Detroit Tigers.
Yet, a strong pitching staff headed by a Big Three of Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum seemed to give the team a fighting chance now that postseason play had been expanded.
Yet, Gallardo was hot and cold throughout the first half and Marcum spent a lot of time on the disabled list, plus the offense never really clicked. Thus, after the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winning right-hander went 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA in the first half of the season, Melvin traded Greinke's expiring contract to the Los Angeles Angels for infield prospect Jean Segura and pitchers Ariel Pena and John Hellweg.
It wasn't a bad trade by any means, but the Brewers have been hot as of late and are just three games out of a Wild Card spot. Should they make the playoffs, the lack of an experienced shutdown pitcher could hurt them thanks to Melvin being passive and assuming Greinke wouldn't re-sign with Milwaukee.
No. 1: Ben Cherington
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It's hard to not feel sorry for Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, as he was dealt the worst hand any first-year GM could be dealt. Not only does his team have a myriad number of players on the disabled list, but he had to deal with some bad press after last year's beer and chicken fiasco.
As a result, he brought in fiery manager Bobby Valentine to be the team's new manager. This was a great departure from the passive nature seen from previous skipper Terry Francona, who had brought Boston World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
Sure enough, the Red Sox have been a disappointment all season. Some of the team's star players, namely Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett, were not happy with Valentine and actually held a closed door meeting with team management to discuss his and the team's future.
Nothing came of it, except for Gonzalez, Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August.
Yet, that's just the point. If Cherington wanted the Red Sox to contend immediately, he should have pulled rank and dealt away those players in July when the team could have rallied together and perhaps gone on an end-of-season run to make the playoffs.
Instead, his July consisted of trading one middle reliever for another; Matt Albers to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Craig Breslow, to be exact.
As a result, Boston currently sits in last place in the AL East and in terms of the team's future, there's no telling what it holds.