Baseball has experienced intense turnover in its front offices of late, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today notes in a column today, and there could be more to come. Nightengale cites Ruben Amaro Jr. of the Phillies, Jack Zduriencik of the Mariners, and Walt Jocketty of the Reds as candidates for dismissal. The frequency of change represents a “new state of the game,” argues Nightengale.
- The Mariners could end up bringing in White Sox president Kenny Williams to head its front office, Nighengale reports. But Williams may also be in the running to become the new president of the Blue Jays. Reds special assistant Kevin Towers also increasingly seems to be an option for Seattle, Nightengale adds on Twitter.
- Zduriencik says that he pays no heed to the rumor mill, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune writes. Though he’s aware that there is chatter that he could be vulnerable, the Mariners general manager explains that he can’t let that affect his work. “I’ve got eyes,” said the seven-year veteran GM. “I can see what’s going on here. I know what has not worked and what should be working and isn’t. For me to focus on any outside distractions (is non-productive).” Zduriencik stressed that he still believes in the talent base he’s compiled, explaining: “I think when you start to piece it together, there are things we need to do going forward, but I do think that there are some really solid pieces there.”
- Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs provides an overhauled, mid-season look at the game’s best prospects. He breaks down a series of different prospect classes. One of those is his list of the game’s premium pre-MLB players, which is made up of the 26 names who separated themselves from the pack. The usual suspects sit atop that list, but there are some quick-rising players as well, including shortstops Orlando Arcia (Brewers, #8), Franklin Barreto (Athletics, #14), and Trea Turner (Nationals, #15), outfielders Bradley Zimmer (Indians, #21) and Gleyber Torres (Cubs, #23), and Rays lefty Blake Snell, who shot all the way up to the 16th slot. McDaniel also lists the year’s newly-emerging prospects, the newly-professional crop of players added over the summer, and the impressive list of young players who no longer qualify as prospects.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America takes a closer look at one such swiftly-rising prospect, Nationals outfielder Victor Robles. The 18-year-old drew the attention of the organization because of his quick-twitch athleticism and high energy, and the club’s $225K bonus has paid out amply so far. It’s a lengthy piece, but well worth a read for any prospect hounds or Nats fans.
I will personally pick up Kenny Williams from his house, pack his bags, and drive him straight to Seattle or Toronto. #HEGONE
As a Sox fan, it seriously blows my mind that any team would want anyone from that front office.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Hahn as GM, but he seems to be doing a nice job. They’re rebuilding on the fly without completely tanking like some recent rebuilds and I think they have some nice pieces in place.
If Hahn can break the cycle of picking up players to DH who cannot do it, then maybe. In my opinion, the problem is Garcia, Eaton, and Davidson are not really panning out like promised. Garcia (yknow the guy trumpeted as ‘mini Cabrera’) should have about 15-20 homers now (at least), he has one more (11)than a certain DH who cannot DH. One has to wonder if his shoulder is still bugging him. Eaton, well still really has some brain cramps in the field, cannot bunt, and gets caught stealing a lot. Davidson, well he is still in the minors for a reason. Yeah yeah I know that not every move is golden but even still.
I was about to say there is likely a long list of folks that would be willing to take KW to the airport and pay for his ticket.
Side note on organizations. If the Tampa Bay Rays finish over .500, then they deserve to be named organization of the year, and Kevin Cash manager of the year. I saw them in April down there and they win more with less than can possibly be imagined.
It helps that they take guys like Logan Forsythe who was a bench player and turn him into a 4 WAR player, they take Kiermaier who was a 31st round pick whos put up 8.8 WAR the past 2 years in 227 games.
They take a Mariner cast-off like Erasmo Ramirez and get 116 IP of 3.57 ERA ball out of him.
Oh, and they got Xavier Cedeno from the Dodgers for cash considerations. He only has a 1.83 ERA in 34 IP.
They just take bad players and make them really good..
Bad players elsewhere maybe. They also develop well. Sousa looked really solid when I saw him in April.
If Seattle seriously picks up Kevin Towers to replace Jack Z, God help them.
Zduriencik has a terrible record. His trades have the best intentions but the results are the final score.
Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Jesus Montero, Cliff Lee & Justin Smoak all failed.
The drafting has been the worst.
Adding Trumbo hasn’t really sparked the line up, when Wellington Castillo becomes Barry Bonds in ARI.
Trading away young arms from the bullpen has back fired and left McClendon no options. Not even giving them time to work things out.
The things that are positive about Zduriencik are bringing in big FA names like Robinson Cano (so far) Nelson Cruz & extending future Hall of Fame pitcher Felix for 7 years. And the way he works out deals with zero word or rumour.
He can pull off a trade as good as anyone, but results have been weak. Drafting has killed him. It will be his down fall.
Only thing he had going for him were some solid drafts in Milwaukee…maybe he’s more of a player development guy than a gm
We need a good GM in Seattle. Enough is enough.
We don’t want Towers or Williams