Stan Kasten resigned this morning as the President of the Washington Nationals. It didn’t come as a surprise as many believed this season would be his last with the Nats.
Kasten gained prominence and notoriety when he became President of the Atlanta Braves in 1986 and presided over a tremendous run from 1987 to 2003, in which the Braves won more games than any other team in Major League Baseball, winning 14 division titles including five trips to the World Series, winning one. The Braves haven’t been back since.
It’s important to note that during that impressive string of dominance, the Braves also had either the first or second highest payroll in the National League during each of those seasons.
Kasten is a great executive who makes solid decisions and was responsible for hiring Braves GM John Schuerholz who would later become one of the best GM’s in the game.
Some are already starting to look at him as a potential candidate for the Mets GM job, but in my opinion a GM job would be a step down for him.
Unless Jeff Wilpon is willing to abdicate his throne, Kasten would most likely have no interest in getting involved with running the Mets operation, despite being a great organizational mind with a sharp business sense, and a solid baseball acumen.
Jim Bowden, the former GM of the Nats, had this to say about Kasten,
“He certainly was given the ballclub and the presidency, and he was involved in every single decision. There wasn’t a baseball decision that didn’t go through him, there wasn’t a baseball decision that he didn’t take above him. It’s an organization where everyone is extremely involved in every decision, there’s no autonomy for anybody.”
This may explain why Kasten chose to move on, and while he would have a lot more payroll to work with on the Mets than he did with the Nationals, he probably would have even less autonomy which I feel is very important to him.