Will Leitch of The New Yorker, tabbed Sandy Alderson as the best GM in baseball and here’s his reasoning:
Almost every move Alderson has made since taking over in 2010 has been golden. The Mets’ farm system, decaying when he took over, is now near the top of the majors, headed by pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. But his specialty is the pump-and-dump: The best example is R. A. Dickey, a cheap free-agent-to-be the Mets swapped for Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud from Toronto. (Syndergaard is now one of the top pitching prospects in baseball and was only the second most valuable player in that trade.) Alderson had done the same a year earlier, turning Carlos Beltran into Zack Wheeler, at the time the Giants’ pitching future and now the Mets’ likely opening-day starter. In an age when prospects are the highest-valued assets in the game, Alderson, somehow, pried away three top ones for players with expiring contracts. No other G.M. has been able to wrangle up even one player like that in a similar deal.
You know what’s interesting here is that last month, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post didn’t even include Sandy in his top ten. He ranked Andrew Friedman, Billy Beane and Jon Daniels as his top three. I love Friedman…
Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay: He and his lieutenants continue to do amazing work on a tiny budget, in a horribly constructed and located stadium that can’t draw any fans, in the toughest division in baseball. As my colleague Joel Sherman detailed, now that the Rays don’t draft high anymore, they must find other ways to replenish their farm system – which they must do, since they can’t be major players in the free-agent market.
Last year, Friedman leveraged two years of James Shields (and the only somewhat useful Wade Davis) into American League Rookie of the Year Wil Myers and three other kids. He also found his annual, buy-low first baseman in James Loney, and the Rays made the playoffs for the fourth time in six years.
I can’t believe Leitch sees Alderson as better than Friedman who I also believe is the best in the game and it’s not even close.
I’ve seen Sandy trade away major league talent, but in four offseasons he hasn’t yet shown the capacity to trade for major league talent. He got nice returns on a HOF bound outfielder still in his prime and a reigning Cy Young Award winner. But let’s see what he can do when it comes to adding All Star caliber players instead of shedding them. If anything he’s tough to grade because I’ve only seen him as a seller and never a buyer. He gets an incomplete from me at least until I see a winning season. I’d love to see him do what Friedman has done in the last five years… And about a half dozen other GMs as well.