Re: Dan Duquette, Thinking Outside the Box
posted at 8/10/2012 11:37 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Dan Duquette, Thinking Outside the Box
[QUOTE]Theo was a dimwit. Boy wonder. He was a total failure as a GM and vastly overrated. I was wrong to ever defend him.
Posted by 6k42lt913c[/QUOTE]
You were right to defend him. You were wrong to change your evaluation criteria, which is what you did. While he certainly was overrated, Epstein was a good, not great, GM.
When Epstein came on board, we hadn’t won a World Series since WWI. Then 2004 came, and shortly after that, 2007. Now, suddenly fans who read and believed the title “Now I Can Die In Peace” find themselves unable to go 5 years without a title, and believe a drought this long requires heads to roll. Remember when you only wanted one Red Sox World Series before you died? Just one? I didn’t think so. Guess who you can partially thank for allowing you to forget that.
Epstein was never the best GM in the game, but he certainly was innovative. He rebuilt the farm largely by capitalizing on rules other GMs always seemed to somehow miss, particularly the compensations picks. He also did things other GMs always had the ability to do, but somehow simply never did, such as claiming a player who was placed on waivers to permit a sale to a Japanese team.
Duquette had some strong qualities, too. He practically pioneered scouting in Asia, albeit with limited results. (And he has certainly gone back to this tactic in Baltimore.) He also was a master of finding reclaimation pitchers, and somewhat of a fore-runner in noticing the value of OBP. On the other hand, he was brought in to restore the farm system in the manner he did in Montreal, and instead he all but destroyed it through a process of losing high draft picks to compensation, and drafting poorly even by MLB standards. He made some great trades, and very smart extensions. Does anyone remember a pre-arbitration extension signing that extended through early free agency before Pedro? Nowadays, everyone locks up their young stars that way.
Duquette really didn’t do much better in free agency than Epstein, although Manny certainly worked out (max points awarded). His contracts were smaller in terms of years and dollars, but that is more a matter of scale than prudent GM work. Offerman looks like an innocuous signing at $26mill over 4 years today. That’s Juan Uribe money in 2012. But given that same deal in 2007 when compared to league-average salaries would have been very close to the same deal as JD Drew. Offerman’s $6.5mill AAV was about 4 times the league average $1.6mill. Drew’s $14mill AAV was 4.8 times the league average of $2.9mill. Clearly, not identical, but they are clearly more comparable than simply looking at $26mill and $70mill. In 2007 MLB dollars, Offerman was paid $11.7mill per year. Compared to league averages, Offerman’s contract was more expensive than Varitek, Clement, Renteria, Foulke, and Lugo.
DD had some really weird trades, too. Everyone remembers Pedro for Pavano / Armas or Slocumb for Varitek and Lowe. (Classics – both.) But remember when Mike Lansing was a contractual albatross at $7mill? No one ever mentions taking on Mike Lansing’s cumbersome contract just to get Rolando Arrojo. Heck, barely anyone even remembers Rolando Arrojo.
Both got way too involved in free agency. By the time Epstein was GM, contracts had grown exponentially, so contracts looked far worse. When Duquette was GM, $100mill payrolls were rare, typically just Boston and the Yankees. During Epstein’s tenure, about half the league would reach that plateau. The highest paid player in 1994 when Duquette took over as GM was Bobby Bonilla at $6.6mill. Perspective? When Epstein started as GM, A-Rod and Manny had both already eclipsed the $20mill barrier.
Certainly the farm system was better under Epstein. Early in the DD years, the team’s top ranked prospects were guys name Lomasney and Stenson. (Who?) Remember when Tony Blanco was the next big thing? (Again, who?) DD did sign Hanley and draft Nomar, so he was not a total zero with the farm, but he was closer than many realize. But remember, this was why he was hired.
Both were bad with money and free agent contracts. Epstein made enough bad moves, but he also did the near impossible task of winning two championships while also rebuilding the farm system. Duquette, on the other hand, won no championships while destroying the farm system. Neither was the best GM in baseball, but I prefer the track record of Epstein over DD for this simple reason. ..