General managers earn their money in the offseason. The moves that they make over the winter will inevitably come back to either pay dividends or haunt them throughout the next season.
This offseason won't be any different. It is shaping up to be an exceptional winter, and it seems as if a lot of big names will be moving around.
Because of this, let's take a look at 10 GMs who are going to get it done this winter.
I know that many people are going to say that the only reason that Brian Cashman has produced so many winners is because he has the highest payroll in baseball.
I don't want to get into that debate. However, he always has a great team on the field, and because of that, I know that he will get it done this off-season.
He has signed the likes of CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira to giant contracts, but he has also signed several role players to fill in the gaps. He will have a very successful off-season. (I realize that his contract is about to expire, but I think he will re-sign with the Yankees.)
I assume that the Philadelphia Phillies are not necessarily going to be looking for a huge free-agent this off-season. They may not even make any very large trade this offseason.
The Phillies are in a pretty solid position right now that needs to be patched up rather than completely overhauled.
However, Ruben Amaro Jr. has definitely shown that he can get done whatever he intends to and place a quality product on the field. Because of that, I am putting him on this list anyway.
I didn't want to have another huge market team right in a row. Nevertheless, he would deserve a place on this list anyway.
He has consistently found under-performing gems like Casey Kotchman, Carlos Pena, and Ty Wigginton to supplement the excellent young players that have come through the farm system.
The Rays are always in a fight with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Andrew Friedman has put them in this position, and he should have another good off-season.
I put him on this list because I believe that Albert Pujols will return to the St. Louis Cardinals. If John Mozeliak indeed does this, I think this would be a victory.
I also think he will make some very successful moves like he has done in the past. For example, he pulled off a good deal to acquire Lance Berkman last winter, and he signed Matt Holliday the winter before that.
He has done very well for acquiring free agents, and I think that keeping Albert Pujols will be the big move this offseason.
John Schuerholz is definitely a tough act to follow, but Frank Wren has definitely been an adequate replacement. The Atlanta Braves are still one of the top teams in the National League even though the Philadelphia Phillies have surpassed them in the division lately.
He has made quite a few important deals for this team such as trading for Dan Uggla last winter and grabbing Michael Bourn at the trade deadline the season.
He doesn't seem to be afraid to trade, and he has the Atlanta Braves in a good position so far this season. Expect more solid moves this off-season.
Brian Sabean has been in San Francisco for a long time. He has had his share of ups and downs. However, he is going to go out this winter and surely find some support for the weakest offense in baseball this season in terms of run production.
Over his tenure, he has traded for several hard-hitting veterans such as Jeff Kent and has never been afraid of spending money. He already has excellent pitching in place, so hitting will again be the emphasis.
I know that he has made some bad decisions over his tenure, but I believe that he is going to go out and fill in the hole that the Giants have.
Winters tend to be very exciting in Detroit, and I am sure that Dave Dombrowski is already thinking about what he wants to do.
In 2007, he went out and swung a deal to bring Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis north. Last winter, he went out and signed Victor Martinez. There have been numerous other smaller trades that have taken place as well.
I think that there will be some motion in Detroit again this winter, and the Tigers will keep improving.
Dan O'Dowd has built a young core for the Colorado Rockies. He has previously traded away players like Matt Holliday and most recently Ubaldo Jimenez. He is definitely not afraid to pull the trigger.
However, over the past few winters he has been acquiring some veterans through free agency such as Jason Giambi or Ty Wigginton who might be underpriced. It is an interesting strategy when combined with the youth.
Therefore, it is kind of had to say what Dan O'Dowd will do this offseason, but he will surely get it done and continue to build around the core that they already have in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. He is not afraid to deal.
I put the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman on this list, so I had to put Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox on as well. All that he has done since coming to Boston is win. He has brought in David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, and Curt Schilling over his tenure among so many other important players.
He will surely get it done this offseason because he has no choice. With the Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays constantly improving behind solid leadership, he needs to improve the Red Sox as well.
He broke the "Curse of the Bambino," and there is no reason to believe that he will not be able to get it done again this offseason.
I think that he will really make his mark on the Arizona Diamondbacks after this season. They are doing extraordinarily well so far this season, but he already made a number of trades last winter when he had only been in that position a few months.
During his previous tenure in San Diego, he built teams around pitching from Kevin Brown all the way to Jake Peavy. With Ian Kennedy already in place at the top of the rotation, I could see this happening in Arizona as well.
Several solid pitchers came through San Diego during his tenure. Through more trades or free-agent signings, maybe he will advance this strategy fartherFriday this winter. He's getting it done so far.