Poll: Which AL GM Made The Best Offseason Moves?

Baseball’s 30 general managers complete hundreds of transactions every offseason as they look for ways of improving their respective teams. Some of those moves, such as the signing of Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder, generate tons of buzz. Others go unnoticed until the season begins and players start exceeding or falling short of expectations.

MLBTR’s Transaction Tracker offers a look back at last offseason’s moves (you can filter by team for more focused summaries). Now that the stretch run of the 2012 season is about to begin, let’s take stock of last winter’s moves. Taking into account both 2012 results and the long-term outlook, which American League general manager had the best 2011-12 offseason?


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91 Comments on "Poll: Which AL GM Made The Best Offseason Moves?"


baseball52
2 years 11 months ago

If Josh Hamilton leaves, it is no doubt Jon Daniels.

ultimate913
2 years 11 months ago

Made. As in the past offseason. Not the upcoming one.

mookie_and_doc
2 years 11 months ago

I actually chose Daniels for the move didn’t make. That move being letting your rival overpay for CJ Wlson. I also like the Darvish deal long-term even though I know many might disagree

2 years 11 months ago

I completely agree with you. Also, the Rangers weren’t phased by the Angels’ signing of Pujols, when many said we had to sign Fielder to counter

joe smith
2 years 11 months ago

This is about offseason moves, why are so many people voting Cherington? This one has to go to Beane IMO.

beisbolista
2 years 11 months ago

I agree totally. Even if it’s not just offseason though, why would anyone vote Cherington at this point? It’s not the fire sale that makes a team better. It’s what he does with the payroll flexibility that determines if he makes the team better or not. Clearly, he has a big opportunity. But no one can really say that Cherington has made the team better just yet. Time will tell.

Tko11
2 years 11 months ago

If you look at these past one and a half seasons the team was clearly not going in the right direction. What Ben was able to do was hit the reset button and more than anything he made the future of the team that much brighter. He cleared $260 million in payroll on a team that was taking a nose dive and now the team has payroll flexibility not only in the near future but even 5-7 years down the line. I wouldn’t call it a fire sale, he traded big contracts who for the Red Sox had been somewhat useless (other than Agon). I’m really unsure how one can disagree with this…the move was a really good one for the Sox. It might turn out well for the Dodgers too if Crawford can come back well. If anything the deal was win-win for both teams at this point in time. Although the Dodgers took on all the risk with those big contracts and that may very well haunt them in a few years while the Sox got rid of the risks.

Guest
2 years 11 months ago

Well, I don’t disagree that the clearing out of that payroll created potential, but that’s all it is… potential. You can’t call the future bright until you see how Cherington spends that money and who is going to be involved in that future.

There are some who would argue that Gonzalez and Crawford were a terrible price to pay to persuade another team to take Beckett off of their hands. And make no mistake, it’s not like there aren’t many teams who would love to have Crawford despite his large contract and current injury. It was certainly a fire sale. That’s what it’s called when you become a losing team and shed payroll for the purpose of entering a rebuilding era.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

the phrase “there are some who would argue” is a weak substitute for an argument

“make no mistake, it’s not like there aren’t many teams who would love to have Crawford despite his large contract and current injury.”

why are you lying? every single team in baseball could have had crawford on exactly these terms. he cleared waivers. no one wanted him

there was no firesale. well before the deadline, the dodgers approached the red sox about acquiring gonzalez; the red sox wouldn’t discuss it. they came back and said they’d take beckett and lackey in addition to gonzalez; they were turned down. later, they eventually said they’d take beckett and crawford and would send prospects not named zach lee back, and the red sox negotiated who those players would be

that’s the trade, as it happened. beckett and crawford passed through the entire league on waivers to LA. the entire league understood they were net negative assets. LA took them because they had to take them to get gonzalez. there was no firesale

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

essentially, they are paying Adrian Gonzalez 270 million dollars and gave up prospects, good ones, to do it

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

sort of. in fairness to LA, even though crawford and beckett are likely to be net negative assets, they can and probably will still be productive baseball players. they just won’t be worth their contracts

but the dodgers don’t care about all of that money nonsense anymore

Guest
2 years 11 months ago

It’s not like a team claiming Crawford on waivers would be signing him on those terms as a free agent. By claiming someone on waivers the price for that person goes up because you expressed strong interest. And it is also true that the Red Sox got more for Crawford from the Dodgers than they would have from other teams because he was included with Gonzalez.

However, it is seeming more and more clear that there is a fire sale going on. Last night rumors started circulating that the Red Sox don’t plan on
resigning Ellsbury. Lester was claimed on waivers today and could be
traded. The Red Sox have gone 69-90 since last September and their fans have been a horrible drag. John Henry knows a bad job when he sees it. The guy wants his money back.

Tko11
2 years 11 months ago

Well then there lies a question that you should answer: Is it better to have player who can potentially impact a team and be good for years to come while at the same time not hold a team back financially or have a guy like Crawford who will come back sometime next year and may never return to his Tampa form. Also a guy like Beckett who I really didn’t care for after that incident earlier in the year. He seemed like he just wasn’t trying anymore. Gonzalez is obviously the guy that made it happen but the other two had very little value to the Sox. Potential is a lot every time a star player is traded he is traded for prospects who have potential to be stars. I can call the future bright because it is brighter now than it would have been had the Sox held onto those financial responsibilities until 2017.

Guest
2 years 11 months ago

Last night rumors started circulating that the Red Sox don’t plan on resigning Ellsbury. Lester was claimed on waivers today and could be traded. As I said, the future won’t look bright unless the Red Sox decide to spend the money and if they do, it also depends how they spend the money. To me it looks like the Red Sox owner just wants his money back after the team’s gone 69-90 since last September.

Tko11
2 years 11 months ago

Getting claimed means nothing at all. Rumors are rumors, how many rumors get posted on this site and nothing ever happens? That’s what makes this site fun. I mean any owner of any team obviously wants to have every dollar worth it. Fiscal irresponsibility is why the US economy is in the dumpster right now. I would like to resign Ellsbury but if they feel like his price too high, I hope they do trade him…If you owned a business and it was going downhill and you were presented with the chance to get your money back, you wouldnt do it? Its pretty simple, I dont really see your argument of how the team isnt better off after that trade.

Joe Valenti
2 years 11 months ago

For the record, the poll is about the offseason. You may know that and may be just addressing the comment and not the poll but I figured I would throw it out there

Tko11
2 years 11 months ago

Yea I know I was just replying to his comment.

Blanketsburg
2 years 11 months ago

I’m hoping I get to vote Cherington in a similar poll next year. Duquette is a close second, but this poll belongs to Beane.

stl_cards16
2 years 11 months ago

He traded Theo.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

there was no firesale

but also, the gonzalez trade began and mostly took place over cherington’s head. henry and kasten were the architects

ultimate913
2 years 11 months ago

Cashman signed a few veterans that have produced very well and the Pineda for Montero trade was good when it happened, but now, most of them are either injured or slumping mightily.

While the A’s moved some big pieces for younger, cost-controlled and potentially better pieces in the future while already showing they can contend in the ALW. Especially with the Astros coming into the division next year. Gotta go with Beane on this one.

furioustoaster
2 years 11 months ago

Eh…. Beane dumped players “for the future” (as is the only thing he is good at) and has gotten extremely lucky with the teams play this year.

Cashman made move to put a competitive team on the field, and they have the best record in the AL.

Cashman actually accomplished something positive for his club. Beane was dismantling, got great pertformance from a PED pitcher and completely lucked out on Reddick/Cespedes. They didn’t Cespedes because of his “mad negotiating skills” they got him because no other team was willing to spend that money.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

“they got him because no other team was willing to spend that money.”

this is a hilarious reason to pick cashman instead of beane

seriously though, they paid more than everyone else at least in part because they believed more strongly than everyone else that he’d pan out. it’s called putting your money where your mouth is

if you acquire players because you expect them to be good and they turn out to be good, is that luck? no. if they turn out even better than you expected, is that luck? again, no. of course not

if it is, every team in baseball is built primarily on luck. from the draft to free agency, the entire process of projecting future performance is filled with uncertainty. it’s a skill game

2 years 11 months ago

I see your angle, and luck is a part of everything, but it’s too much luck to give Beane all the credit, and I don’t mean just for Cespedes, but the overall team performance. Shouldn’t Melvin get as much credit as Beane??

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

i don’t think so, but i can’t make a strong argument against that. it’s extremely difficult to quantify a manager’s influence on a team

melvin definitely has to get some credit, but he didn’t choose the players he’s managing

2 years 11 months ago

Granted, that is true, but he still has to find a way to win with what he’s given.

RepOak
2 years 11 months ago

Easy answer, mr. Beane

2 years 11 months ago

Might get a more objective response if there weren’t a post detailing Billy Beane’s moves immediately after the poll. Beane is the right answer though.

stl_cards16
2 years 11 months ago

My exact thought.

Guest
2 years 11 months ago

im sure the previous article will have no influence on this pole

feathers
2 years 11 months ago

What i think is funny about this poll is that it includes the Twins, Indians, Red Sox and Royals. I guess they are vying for the “Participation ribbon”.

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

They’re probably included in the poll because they’re AL GMs

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
2 years 11 months ago

And the fact that the all “Participated”…. Willingly or otherwise!
You gotta give him some dap for busting out the tremendous use of “Participation ribbon.”

Sky14
2 years 11 months ago

The Twins made two of the best moves this past off-season. They signed Doumit for 1 year $3 million (since has added 2 more years at the same price) and Willingham for 3 years $21 million. Those two have combined for 46 HRs and 154 rbis. Those two moves alone make their inclusion on this poll warranted.

feathers
2 years 11 months ago

Not in my book. Stats mean nothing if the team isn’t improved by it. By improvement i mean being a viable contender, not just a game or two in record. The goal is to get a team good enough to contend for the fans. If the fans aren’t happy then the owners aren’t happy.

Sky14
2 years 11 months ago

Well the poll is, “Which AL GM made the best off-season moves?”. Not Which AL GM is presiding over the best team? Contenders are rarely built in one off-season. Stats mean nothing? So acquisitions are terrible if the player performs great but the rest of his team does poorly or are good if the player puts up terrible stats on a good team? You are being very narrow-minded in your judgement if GM’s. They have restrictions on what they can accomplish in a single off-season. Things like payroll, injuries, position scarcity of FA market, and players on team that can be traded for major league ready assets contribute to the teams on-field success the following year. That is why each move should be viewed individually and yes stats are a great way to objectively measure transactions.

feathers
2 years 11 months ago

I said exactly what i mean. You can call it narrow minded if you want. The fact is, if a GM doesn’t improve his team, whether inherited problems occur or not, how can he even be considered to have had the best off season. He can’t realistically.

$1529282
2 years 11 months ago

So because Terry Ryan didn’t rebuild a contender in one offseason, he failed?

Willingham has been one of the best FA signings in all of baseball. Doumit’s value has exceeded his contract more than twice over. Jared Burton was picked off the scrap heap and has turned in a fantastic season as a setup man.

All three of those players are under contract for next season now, at the very least. That’s to say nothing of Darin Mastroianni, who was claimed off waivers and has delivered 1.6 fWAR for the league minimum.

It’s not Ryan’s fault that he inherited a trainwreck of a team. He made several shrewd moves that have positioned this team to improve in 2013 and beyond. Did he have as good of an offseason as Beane? No. But to suggest that the moves he made are useless because he inherited a terrible product is senseless and short-sighted. No one could have taken the payroll the Twins have and turned the team into a contender in one offseason.

Ryan’s made moves that have lowered payroll all around (replacing Cuddyer with Willingham and Kubel with Doumit) to set the team up to be able to spend this offseason and regain some status in the AL Central. He had a fantastic offseason, even factoring in the misguided Marquis signing.

2 years 11 months ago

I REALLY don’t see how Beane is getting so much love/votes in this… CLEARLY everyone’s more enamored about their record than the moves. Cahill, Gonzales, and just about everyone else that left/was traded, are doing just as good this year with their new teams as they were in Oakland. Their pitching is a tad better, down 0.28 from last year, and their offense is a wash with last year. If it weren’t for the signing of Cespedes, the A’s would be lost. 69 of their games (53.5%) have been decided by either 1 run or 5 or more runs.

I almost forgot to mention that Colon was suspended for 50 games for PED use, ie. CHEATED. Oh and Beane also signed Manny Ramirez… how’d that work out? The point of my argument is that the Oakland Athletics are no better offensively or pitching wise than they were last year, they have merely had a better year in putting wins together.

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

It probably helps that this poll was posted immediately after a long article all about how great Oakland is doing because of their offseason moves.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

“he Oakland Athletics are no better offensively or pitching wise than they were last year”

fact check!

wRC+ last year: 90
wRC+ this year: 93

FIP- last year: 97
FIP- this year: 95

ERA- last year: 94
ERA- this year: 87

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
2 years 11 months ago

Since you’re the stat guy, something clearly I am not.
I wonder if the pitching stats for the Rangers have gone through the floor.
Their pitching has been dreadful. That’s why the A’s are still hanging around in that division. However, the A’s will get the Wild Card and no, I would not want to face them in a one game series.

jb226
2 years 11 months ago

Why does it matter how guys they traded are doing? Of course they were good players — that’s why they commanded good returns. If the A’s are now just as good as they were last year, with cheaper, more controllable players who still have upside to attain instead of more expensive veterans nearer to their peaks and free agency both, how is that not a good offseason? If you’re going to criticize signing Manny Ramirez to a minor league deal, you’re really reaching.

And perhaps more importantly, what other choice is there? Very few other GMs did anything of particular note. Cashman gets some credit for picking up Kuroda. Duquette gets some for the Jones extension. That’s about it, in my mind. Pujols and Fielder got ridiculous contracts even without any other teams bidding while the teams’ more serious needs went unaddressed. Darvish got a truck full of money to be a roughly league average pitcher. What amazing moves am I missing last offseason that catapults some other GM to the top? I guess if you love spending money you can give DiPoto credit, but I’m not particularly impressed with it.

If it were about the best AL GM in general my answer would be different. It might even be different if it were “has done the best job since last offseason;” I haven’t given that a lot of thought. But in terms of the best offseason moves? Giving it to Beane unless somebody can pull up some compelling move I’m forgetting.

2 years 11 months ago

I disagree. Following Colon’s PED usage, looking back, the signing (even to a minor league deal) of Manny looks bad. If you’re judging GMs by their performance during the off season, then it’s only fair to account for their mistakes, shortcomings, and non-moves as much as the moves they did make. I guess you do have me on the salary issue though… I did NOT take that into consideration, so you do have me there, and I will cede a small victory your way.

Regarding Darvish, please bear in mind that the only star Japanese player to come over and dominate after dominating their first year was Hideo Nomo. All Japanese pitchers (especially starters) have an acclimation period, in which some excel, and others do not. I am a Rangers fan, but I will not protect Darvish after his MLB rookie season, only this year do I give him the benefit of the doubt.

To clarify, I believe Oakland’s success is more situational than it is personnel change. This may be debated, but it is what I believe.

I did take a look at Baltimore… Oakland only needs 2 more wins to tie their total from last year… Baltimore already has 2 more wins than last year. Their offense ranked better last year than this year, but this years’ pitching staff has a 0.80 ERA improvement over last year… This makes me think Baltimore’s GM deserves some credit… UNTIL… I checked out their transaction list… OMG, it’s like they threw spaghetti at the wall and took what stuck… They tried nearly everything and everybody… It’s not the typical GM strategy, but it worked this year and I’m not giving them any credit for what I deem as luck. I would like to read your response regarding Duquette on this…

jb226
2 years 11 months ago

I agree that you have to take mistakes and non-moves into account when evaluating a general manager, but it’s also important to keep them in proper perspective. I don’t think anybody expected Manny to be a big success, so his re-retiring after a dozen or so games isn’t a big mistake. Heck, I don’t think it was a mistake at all, it just didn’t pan out mostly because Manny quit (he was batting .302 at the time — it’s not like he forgot how to hit, he just had no power left). As far as Colon, the only way I can blame Beane for his PED use is if he knew about it and with no evidence of that I’m unwilling to do so.

I’m not trying to call Darvish a bust or anything like that. For all I know he’s going to be the greatest pitcher ever — but he isn’t right now. He’s only doing an average job of even being a replacement for Wilson, much less the ace-quality pitcher the Rangers hoped for. If he turns it around in 2013 I’ll give Daniels more credit then, but I’m trying to evaluate the moves based on what actually happened and not what might happen moving forward. I’m not even panning the deal itself — I just don’t think it moves Daniels to the top. The Nathan signing was nice though.

I actually give Duquette a little more credit than I did with my initial post, mostly because I forgot his trade of Guthrie for Hammels and Lindstrom. That was clearly a good deal, even if Hammels probably is playing above his level. Then again the credit I was giving him for extending Jones wasn’t an offseason move, so I guess it is a wash. But no, I don’t give him a lot of credit for his team’s improvement. He might be a top 3-5 choice as far as this poll goes, but it would be more because of lack of other really good choices. That’s not necessarily anything against the other GMs–I think Andrew Friedman is one of the best in the game for example–but I’m only basing it specifically on what they did last offseason. For me, that means Beane rises to the top of the pile.

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

I feel like this poll is pretty biased by the article DIRECTLY below it xD

diehardmets
2 years 11 months ago

Anyone who doesn’t vote for Beane is just plain wrong. He took the team with the lowest salary in the league, made 3 moves along a rebuilding plan, and then came out with one of the best teams in the AL.

2 years 11 months ago

Royals, Rays, Indians, and Blue Jays want a collective $77.2Million to make your statement true. The A’s dropped $11M in salary to get to the lowest in the league, but were 5th lowest in 2011.

Guest
2 years 11 months ago

OK – then who is the plain right answer??

Jason Johnston
2 years 11 months ago

Kenny Williams has made the best moves of the last two seasons getting rid of Ozzie Guillen and getting Youk, Meyers, Wise, and Fransico for next to nothing.

Michael Kenny Jr.
2 years 11 months ago

Except this is about offseason moves, of which Williams make practically none. I think he’s done a great job this year, but the only real offseason move he made was doing nothing instead of blowing up the team.

Beavis De Beppo
2 years 11 months ago

Where the heck is Walt Jocketty? Best record in baseball right now. Long-term deals for the best right side infield in MLB, Ryan Ludwick, Mat Latos, Alfredo Simon, Wilson Valdez….. I’d say Walter made a few good moves.

Conquerbeard
2 years 11 months ago

He had a good offseason, but it would be tough to be the AL’s best GM when your team is in the NL Central.

flickadave
2 years 11 months ago

Which AL team is Walt the GM of again?

Guest
2 years 11 months ago

Padres? Any mention?

OMOtM
2 years 11 months ago

While Billy seems to do it right year in and year out, I think last year Brian Cashman did a great job in getting Chavez and Ibanez for cheap. And adding Kuroda pretty mich cinched the spot they’re in now – #1 in the AL East.

He deserved at least a second place…

$1529282
2 years 11 months ago

Yeah, and that Pineda trade really locked them into their status as AL East leaders. He hasn’t allowed an earned run all season!

matnautico
2 years 11 months ago

Where’s Brad Pitt?

2 years 11 months ago

I think he’s running from/killing zombies, being sold into slavery, and seeking counseling… (World War Z, Twelve years a Slave, The Counselor. IMDB)

Chris Solberg
2 years 11 months ago

Rizzo?…anybody….Rizzo? Look at their team at the end of 2011 and what they started off with at the beginning of 2012. Starting rotation was completely revamped and the main source of their lead in NL East.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

rizzo is definitely the best AL GM. can’t believe we all made such a silly mistake

Joe Valenti
2 years 11 months ago

actually, to be fair, Jeff Lunhow is the best GM in the AL this year

$1529282
2 years 11 months ago

Yeah, Mike Rizzo has taken the American League by storm. Shocking that Ben left him off the list. He’s clearly biased.

2 years 11 months ago

I’m really struggling to see why it’s Beane over Duquette. I mean, sure, nobody expected the A’s to be where they are, but then even less than nobody expected the Orioles to be where they are. Duquette took over a team with two valuable major league assets, and turned it into a playoff contender without trading either of them, or any prospect in any top ten. Like, the Gio Gonzalez move looks great for Oakland and everything, but can you really argue that it’s a better trade than getting Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom for Jeremy Guthrie, considering Guthrie has been horrible all year and Hammel should have been an All-Star? And yeah, Cespedes has been huge, but Duquette has gotten nearly twice as much rWAR from Wei-Yin Chen at a fraction of the cost. And let’s not forget Miguel Gonzalez, who was signed out of the Mexican League, or Luis Ayala and Darren O’Day, who have been fantastic out of the bullpen.

I dunno, what Beane did is impressive and all, but Duquette has turned a joke into a playoff team without breaking the bank or giving up anything of value. And in the AL East, no less.

2 years 11 months ago

Beane made calculated transactions, though a gamble (that paid off) in Cespedes. Go take a look at Baltimore’s transaction list from free agency to the beginning of the season… It’s like Duquette took spaghetti (or macaroni) and threw it at the wall, and tossed away anything that didn’t stick. There are THAT many signs and releases. I’m not saying that’s what he did, just what it looks like.

2 years 11 months ago

It worked

Robb Logan
2 years 11 months ago

As well as Duquette did (and he did great) you also fail to mention two other moves of Beane. Bailey gone Reddick in, huge gain in that move especially seeing the Bailey injury. Also the trade of Cahill for Parker who has been very solid. They added Cowgill in that also as filler. Then prior to the suspension Colon’s cheating contributions still cannot be over looked. I love that Duquette stole Chen from everyone but the moves of Reddick and Parker alone (both cost controlled) alone are just as solid as the Hammel/Chen moves. Then adding in the Gio trade puts Beane over the top.

2 years 11 months ago

I dunno, I kind of feel like it’s easy to get Jarrod Parker and Josh Reddick and Tom Milone when you have Andrew Bailey and Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez to trade. Well, not easy, but you get what I mean. It’s a lot harder to find out that 2011 Jason Hammel will become 2012 Jason Hammel, then give up the team’s one semi-sure thing SP (and only realistically moveable trade chip) for him. It’s also a lot harder to convince any player to come play in Baltimore when they have literally any other option, which makes the Chen signing look like even more of a coup than it already does just by looking at the numbers (I mean, what did the Rangers pay for Darvish? and the O’s didn’t even have exclusive negotiating rights!). And then there was the whole not trading Adam Jones for Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado thing he did as well, and hiring Rick Peterson who seems to have turned Chris Tillman into a major league pitcher.

The way I’m looking at it is, to use a semi-flawed analogy, Beane went to a shopping mall to build his team. He found some great bargains, yes, but at the end of the day, he still had the cash to buy them. Duquette, meanwhile, dug around in the dumpsters, looking for every spare part someone else had thrown away that could potentially be useful. A lot of them weren’t, but the ones that were, he managed to build a contending team out of.

Billy Beane could have had Wei-Yin Chen and Wilson Betemit and Darren O’Day and Miguel Gonzalez and Luis Ayala, and he probably could have gotten Jason Hammel as well. But there’s no way Duquette could have gotten Jarrod Parker or Josh Reddick or Tom Milone or Derek Norris or AJ Cole without giving up Adam Jones or Matt Wieters or Manny Machado or Jonathan Schoop.

Beane had a fantastic offseason that, just about any other year, would have won him this poll. But this was the year that a guy who had been out of baseball for a decade turned the Baltimore Orioles into a playoff contender, somehow without mortgaging their future. I’ve been following this team closely every day since he took over and I still can’t figure out how he did it.

BradyAndersonsSideburns
2 years 11 months ago

Chris Antonetti’s mom voted 45 times

Jonathunder
2 years 11 months ago

I think we can all agree that it definitely wasn’t Chris Antonetti

Robb Logan
2 years 11 months ago

I have to go with Beane on this. His off season trades of Cahill, Gio and Bailey netted him a haul of players that made the A’s competitive. Also shocked everyone by signing Cespedes. Solid all around. While many laugh at Dayton Moore being on here he did pull one solid move in Broxton, The burly guy stepped in well for Soria and netted them some long term return from the Reds later down the line. While I am an Angels fan I still did not see the need for a huge bat in Albert but screamed all along for bullpen help. I like that Albert is here I am no fool but looking at last season and now this one, the Angels are in the thick of things if the bullpen is better. Was smart though to extend Kendrick and Aybar seeing the later moves made. Duquette is my 4th guy on the list. While many vote for Ben he was fleeced in the off season by Beane so he is the last guy I would vote for.