For the Brian Cashmans and Theo Epsteins of the world, life is great.
The baseball universe is their oyster. Their budgets are limited only by the amount of revenue their respective teams generate, which is to say they are hardly limited at all.
Want Adrian Gonzalez or Mark Teixeira? Just wave an obscene contract at them and watch them sign on the dotted line. Need a decent outfielder? Go ahead and drop $142 million on Carl Crawford.
It’s all good. It’s only money.
However, most other MLB general managers live in a very different world—a world where hard budgets actually exist and drawing big-name talent is a challenge, not just another day at the office.
For a myriad of reasons, Los Angeles Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, as an example, has his hands tied when it comes to baseball operations. He is tasked with building a competitive team out of a shoestring budget and clever draft maneuvering. And he is not alone.
Here are the most “handcuffed” GMs in Major League Baseball—the men whose job is turning lemons into lemonade and chicken crap into chicken salad. For these men, the business of baseball is a fickle, challenging mistress.
It’s a tough job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it.