GM Candidate: Mike Radcliff

MLBTR’s list of general manager candidates introduced 20 people who were identified by their peers as potential Major League GMs. We’re now going to bring you closer to the candidates with a series of pieces. Today the series continues with Twins executive Mike Radcliff.  

Joe Mauer

When Mike Radcliff joined the Major League scouting bureau in 1982, the best player he would ever draft hadn’t actually been born yet. And it wasn’t until 2001, after years as an area scout, cross checker and scouting director, that Radcliff actually selected Minnesota high schooler Joe Mauer (pictured) with the top pick in the nation over Mark Prior and Mark Teixeira.

Radcliff, who joined the Twins as an area scout in 1987, has worked for Minnesota ever since. He was the team’s scouting director from 1994-2007 before assuming his current role, vice president of player personnel.

The Twins’ roster features many players Radcliff selected in his 14 years as scouting director, including Michael Cuddyer (1997), Justin Morneau (1999), Jason Kubel (2000), Mauer (2001), Nick Blackburn (2001), Denard Span (2002), Scott Baker (2003), Glen Perkins (2004), Brian Duensing (2005), Kevin Slowey (2005), Danny Valencia (2006) and Ben Revere (2007). Former Twins such as A.J. Pierzynski (1994), Jesse Crain (2002) and Matt Garza (2005) are also products of his drafts.

Radcliff’s selections have helped Minnesota acquire a steady stream of affordable talent that has led the Twins to six division titles since 2002. He doesn't necessarily get much recognition outside of Minnesota, but his peers in the game consider him a GM candidate.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.

14 Responses to GM Candidate: Mike Radcliff Leave a Reply

  1. levendis 4 years ago

    It’ll be intersting if any team will give him a shot to GM next year. He deffinetly deserves a shot though, his resume speaks for himself. I truly respect the Twins organization as a whole. They dont have money to spend on superstars (that Mauer extension is going to haunt them) but they find guys that are good old fashion ball players. They’re fundamentally sound, and just know how to play the game right (give credit to Gardenheir for this too). Yeah it fell apart for them this year, but hopefully they come back next year, cant help but root for them.

    • knucka11 4 years ago

      At the risk of sounding condescending, you need to watch this team more, they haven’t been fundamentally sound or “done the little things right” in about 3 years. This year it has just gone to a ridiculous extreme

  2. mauerfan 4 years ago

    Fire that crap known as Bill Smith and replace him w/ Radcliff. Please. I’ve been a good boy.

  3. MSUCorner 4 years ago

    Sounds like a good option to replace Bill Smith at the end if the season.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      couldn’t agree more

    • mypoorbuccos 4 years ago

      While as a Twins fan I get as aggravated with Bill Smith as anyone, when I look at his body of work objectively, I feel more and more that he isn’t any worse than most GMs; and aside from the Capps/Ramos deal and the Hardy to Baltimore moves, I think he’s done fairly well, given his situation.

      Granted he’s no AA, Ruben Amaro Jr., Niel Huntignton, or Andrew Friedman, but I think he gets a little too much blame sometimes.

  4. 2HarborsTwinsFan20 4 years ago

    Adios Bill Smith! Our only hope is to get rid of that clown..

  5. CommissionerBart 4 years ago

    I’m consistently amazed that some think that even a distinguished career in scouting (and, as with Radcliff, deserving recognition as vp of player personnel) qualify someone to be a General Manager.  While knowledge of player skills and potential are decidedly an essential part of baseball operations, there are additional other aspects to being a GM that are also essential. Negotiating skills, force of personality, leadership, broad intelligence, diplomatic abilities, and business acumen are among these.  A good GM has significant elements of ALL these things not only in his background and actual experience but in his natural make up.  And he supplements his own strengths and strengthens the areas he is slightly less expert in by hiring a top-notch cadre of execs reporting to hiim.  But top tier negotiating skills, force of personality, leadership, broad intelligence, and diplomatic abilities must come natural to him as they can’t be taught or borrowed through staff. Assuming a GM has only a pretty good command of player  personnel skills, business skills, and legal comprrehension, on the other hand, the GM  can draw more deeply on those talents in his staff  to complete the “GM package.”

    I don’t know if Radcliff has all these elements or not. I am merely pointing out that even an exceptional background in scouting/player personnel does not a GM make in and of itself.

    Other teams have learned this at great expense across the board and with equally poor results on both the financial ledger sheets and in the standings.

    • Since Radcliff ran the Twins scouting department and drafts, I think it’s fairly certain he understands how to delegate work and contract negotiations.  IIRC, Terry Ryan was a scouting director before he became the Twins GM.  

  6. Guest 4 years ago

    Twins’ farm system is thinner than it has been in a long time right now

  7. Sky14 4 years ago

    Though I agree that the Twins need to stop exclusively drafting college finese pitchers and toolsy OF types in the top of the draft, I disagree completely that Benson is considered a 4th outfield type. He is producing a line of .281/.377/.493 in AA with 14 Sbs this season and had 27 HRs last season. Compared to Hicks who has been abysmal with a .232/.349/.357 line with 15 sbs in A+. The walks are encouraging but he needs to start producing more if he is to still be considered a top prospect, while Benson is starting to reach his potential. The bright side is that Hicks is in the same spot in his development that Benson was at when he started producing, which is much better than most 4th outfielders.

  8. The problem with the quality of Most Like AA (MLAA) is that MLAA-based people stick together, so the team who has the actual AA will attract and eventually control everyone with any MLAA ability.

  9. KLaw had 3 Twins in his top 27.  BA had five twins in their top 100 at the start of the year.  Gibson’s injury hurts but it’s still a pretty solid farm system.  Certainly a lot better than where it was 4 or 5 years ago.

  10. mauerfan 4 years ago

    Benson a 4th OF? Lol.

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