It’s not always fair to judge baseball operations leaders for free agent signings. In many cases, the biggest contracts are negotiated to varying extents by ownership. The same can hold true of major extensions. It’s just tough to know from the outside.
There’s obviously involvement from above in trade scenarios as well. But when it comes to exchanging rights to some players for others, it stands to reason, the role of the general manager is all the more clear.
In any event, for what it’s worth, it seemed an opportune moment to take a look back at the trade track records of some of the general managers around the game. First up: Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen. (In chronological order and excluding minor deals. Full details at transaction link.)
- Acquired OF Starling Marte from Pirates for INF Liover Peguero and RHP Brennan Malone
- Acquired RHP Mike Leake and cash from Mariners for INF Jose Caballero
- Acquired RHP Corbin Martin, RHP J.B. Bukauskas, 1B Seth Beer, INF Joshua Rojas from Astros in exchange for RHP Zack Greinke and cash
- Acquired RHP Zac Gallen from Marlins for INF Jazz Chisholm
- Acquired RHP Luke Weaver, C Carson Kelly, minor league IF Andy Young, and a Competitive Balance Round B pick in the 2019 draft from the Cardinals for 1B Paul Goldschmidt
- Acquired INF Eduardo Escobar from Twins for RHP Jhoan Duran, OF Ernie De La Trinidad and OF Gabriel Maciel
- Acquired LHP Jake Diekman from Rangers for RHP Wei-Chieh Huang
- Acquired RHP Brad Ziegler from Marlins for RHP Tommy Eveld
- Acquired RHP Matt Andriese from Rays for C Michael Perez and RHP Brian Shaffer
- Acquired OF Jon Jay from Royals for LHP Gabe Speier and RHP Elvis Luciano
- Acquired OF Steven Souza and RHP Taylor Widener in 3-team trade that sent LHP Anthony Banda, RHP Sam McWilliams and LHP Colin Poche to Rays and INF/OF Brandon Drury to Yankees (Rays also received INF Nick Solak from Yankees)
- Acquired RHP Brad Boxberger from Rays for RHP Curtis Taylor
- Acquired RHP David Hernandez from Angels for RHP Luis Madero
- Acquired INF Adam Rosales from Athletics for RHP Jeferson Mejia
- Acquired OF J.D. Martinez from Tigers for INF Dawel Lugo, INF Sergio Alcantara, and INF Jose King
- Acquired INF/OF Ketel Marte and RHP Taijuan Walker from Mariners for INF Jean Segura, OF Mitch Haniger and LHP Zac Curtis
So … how would you grade Hazen’s overall work as a dealmaker? (Poll link for app users.)
i like this article idea. keep it up!
Agreed! Hazen has done an impressive job.
I think everyone is jumping to way too many conclusions so far.
The Marte/Segura/Haniger seems to be the ultimate win-win trade for both teams. But can you really credit a GM for a win-win deal? Would Arizona be better with Haniger and Segura than Marte? Tough to say.
The JD Martinez deal was good. But that was more of a case of the market just being dead for position players that year.
The Steven Souza deal was not good for Arizona.
The Goldschmidt deal looks like it MIGHT be good, but it’s too early to really tell.
It’s way too early to tell anything about the 2019 deals. They got a decent haul for Greinke in theory, but results are really what matters and there aren’t any yet.
So in my opinion the best thing Hazen has going for him is the previous D-Backs front offices that make his pretty good trade record look very impressive by comparison.
The Diamondbacks were never going to pay Goldschmidt what it took to keep him so the only value he represented to them was the value of the comp pick from the QO. And the Diamondbacks got the Cardinals’ competitive balance pick in that trade so that basically makes up for losing the QO pick.
Goldschmidt’s contract, like Molina’s, Fowler’s, Mikolas’, and Carpenter’s before him, will weigh heavily on STL in 2022-2024.
The Goldschmidt trade was a win by a country mile. They were not going to resign Goldy and instead got 2 potential core pieces. (And a comp round B pick and a potential utility infielder.) I’ll take Ketel Marte over overpaid Segura and ruptured testicle Mitch as well.
Hazen has been nothing short of a very good GM. He managed to recoup assets for guys and still put a compeitive team on the field. Whereas GM’s like Jeff Bridich and AJ Preller flop around in their mediocrity.
He deserves a ton of credit for guys like Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker seamlessly filling in as well. Walker essentially put up the season Goldy did for 1/10 of the cost.
Remind me please, what has Arizona won with Hazen?
The farm system did VERY well in 2019 considering it was almost depleted before Hazen was hired. Add that plus balancing out the payroll, and I would say the future is very bright.
Prospects are cool.
hiflew, other aspects getting missed are salary and team control. Hazen has done well to shed salary and cash in on players with limited control.
For the first time since 2002, they have three winning seasons in a row. That’s not nothing. They are STILL chasing the Dodgers for the NL West, but starting out from 20+ games behind and $150 million lighter in the payroll, that mountain was never going to be climber in 2+ seasons. They are in a better position to win and to sustain winning now than they have been at any point in franchise history. That’s mostly due to Hazen’s moves.
Really? Impressive? The fact he brought back Jon Jay for a second time this off season requires him being fired.
A bit dramatic reaction Maurice
I shudder when considering Hazen’s record to what Al Avila has done for (to) my Tigers. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……
Hopefully we can see one of these for every gm
I have my box of crying tissues standing by for the one about Rockies GM Jeff Bridich.
I had no idea his trade record was so stellar.
Agree. The goal of trades is not having a slam dunk every-time, but rather there are other goals than assessing the scale of this side versus the other. The goal is moving your franchise forward. Even the JD trade gave them more money and excitement and a playoff appearance. The Marte deal gave them the face of the franchise. The Goldy deal was the most meaningful with possibly three big long term contributors (and very valuable leader in the game calling role). The Grienke deal still needs time for a player or two to impact the club, but even if that doesn’t happen, the immediate payroll relief is very valuable, and those players will boost the competition level of the organization. This is an A on the trades alone, but I argue below that Hazen’s biggest contributions are not in trades.
I’d say im overall unimpressed by these deals, but the more recent ones i quite like. generally seems like Hazen’s on an upward trend.
He’s either won or broke even on every deal he’s made (not counting the marte deal bc it’s too soon to know)
im probably being too harsh a critic here, i just cant really go beyond a B- or B overall. Most of the big trades (ie Marte and Goldy) he didnt really swindel away a package worth well beyond what he gave up, and for me the Souza one was a glaring failure and would have been even if he was healthy. again, probably too harsh and his moves recently have certainly been much more undeniably amazing.
That’s just silly. Goldy is still the best franchise player, but they got All Star level talent for him, and Marte is the new face of the franchise.
Maybe he hasn’t straight up fleeced anyone with any of his deals, but I’d say the net value for what he’s received versus what he’s given up is substantial
Souza’s injuries and performance are disappointing, but there’s still a possibility that Widner performs on the big league team before he’s done. Fortunately, your view of failure doesn’t involve qualification because they didn’t give up anyone who has contributed to a big league roster. Seems like your opinions are more like feelings, not based in fact. This forum will probably hurt your feelings and continue hurting your psyche if you don’t start building your foundation on facts.
Yes jkinser20. That is a perfect observation! So many people are clearly irrational and unrealistic in their assessment of successful trades.
The only real loss in my opinion is Souza but you couldn’t have predicted his injury issues and it didn’t look bad at the time of the trade. He seems to be acutely capable of evaluating value.
Yes, exactly, the Souza deal is not a failure because no one can predict injuries in the prime of someone’s career. Plus, we can’t say they lost more than the money they gave him because none of those player have contributed anything to the big leagues.
yeah very solid trade record
Hazen has quietly put together some good trades over the years. Underrated GM.
The Goldschmidt trade is going to be an extremely good trade for Arizona. They got two legit building blocks with Kelly and Weaver in my opinion
Yes, and Carson Kelly is going to be a top 3 catcher in the game in a year or two.
“Going to be” is the phrase loved by most fans here. No one knows what anyone is “going to be.” People only think he might end up there. A lot of variables can happen that will change anything that is “going to be.”
Your comment would make sense if Carson didn’t already have elite months in the big leagues.
Andy Young also has big league talent, either a good everyday player or backup, either way more value than a throw in. Look at his power and walk rate, two things that translate well to the big leagues.
Very good work on a very tight budget
You know what this is called? Intimidation.
Jeff Luhnow’s track record in getting hired
on that topic, i wonder if we see ones for DD and Luhnow. both may be gone now but they’d be worth examining for sure.
You know what this is called? Intimidation.
It actually would be a neat rundown (I think one for most GMs who have a few years or more under their belt would be cool while we have no baseball) but… that other stuff… makes it a little awkward.
oh yeah, certainly wouldn’t put a poll on Luhnow’s at least
Hazen is a miracle worker! In fact, I’d say he’s the best gm in baseball next to Cashman, change my mind.
Cashman is overrated
I can agree with that (mostly because he is spoiled with tons of money), but even when his star players get inured, he can still put out a lineup that can beat most teams. Though sometimes he pisses off his players by not giving them playing time (Frazier). You know what, I actually think Hazen is a little better than Cashman now that I think about it, because he doesn’t have money to play with all day, he actually has to be strategic.
So I guess my first though should be: Hazen is the best gm in baseball, change my mind.
i think its more on the coaches than Cashman. that team can make anyone good, but i dont think most of the player Cashman gets are actually good on their own.
Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman never showed much promise before becoming Yankees, so yeah that’s just good coaching. But IDK if the coaches influences Cashman to make those moves because they saw the potential in both of those guys. But I see what you mean.
Mostly any team outside of maybe four or five would be screwed with how Cashman has handled that roster. You’re right that it’s because he has the money to play with. It would be incredibly hard to mess that up as the GM.
Billy Beane and Bob Melvin are the greatest GM/Manager combo in baseball. To do what they do with that payroll is exceptional. Change my mind.
Mo is the greatest GM in the history of the universe. And Jon Jay is the bestest Cardinal CF of the last decade.
Sarcasm is a beautiful thing, Kyle’s mom.
Trading Yoenis Cespedes in the middle of a playoff push?
Angels & NL West
Beane and Melvin are very good. The guys in Tampa are giving them a run for their money.
The most important aspects of his leadership are not even mentioned: complete change to analytics department, coaching and development shift, and being able to compete while inheriting a lot of bad contracts and prior decisions, while having a limited payroll. Hazen and his team has steered the ship from going off a water fall of losing, getting the farm system and big league club back to consistent competition. Absolute genius! If not an A, then no one gets an A.
Love the article idea! Is there anyway you could add a little bit about some of those prospects that you think looked good? I think that would give credit to the GM for finding gems and such.
Overall, Jeff Todd, I love this. I was giving out some ideas on another thread about some article ideas I liked and one was taking a deep dive on different gms. I love this!
When they write the dealin’ Dipoto article it may be the longest in MLBTR history.
You’d have to do in parts or it would break the app
Hazen is very solid
While it is barely half of it, looking at it from a purely bWAR perspective , as of right now, players acquired in these trades have been worth 23 wins above replacement for Arizona vs. 19.8 wins above replacement provided by players traded by Arizona. None of those players who Arizona traded away have tested free agency, with the exception of Zac Curtis, who was a minor league free agent.
So just that, right there, is rather impressive.
Then you take into account the fact that Hazen allowed Corbin and Pollock to walk, drafted Brennan Malone (#7 prospect by prospects1500) and Drew Jameson (#24 prospect by prospects1500)
THEN- you look at the financial aspect of a lot of those trades, chiefly Grienke (old and on an albatross) and Goldy (on a 1-year deal), and he was able to get value for them.
Yea, Hazen is quite impressive. I’d give him a B+ if I could. Before I give him an A, I need to see them win a playoff series, and I need to see how the prospects he gave up work out.
Peart of the game
What about trading Mike Leake away too?
I’d love to see more of they articles (especially for Dipoto). A quality set of trades from a GM (none stand out as outliers, good or bad). Souza and Taijuan Walker getting injured hurts the pattern (maybe Corbin Martin adds to this).
I still don’t like trading Jazz for a #4 starter, but am a big fan of the Goldschmidt deal.
Matt Andriese for Jeremy Beasley this offseason not included.
Zac Gallen is not a #4 starter, he is surely going to breakout this season (if we have a season).
Great idea for an article and I am excited to see more!
*On a side note, shouldn’t the Leake trade be listed as during the 2019 season?
Wasnt the Mike Leake deal before the deadline last year to help replace Greinke? Dont remember for sure but im pretty sure
Angels & NL West
Hazen has quietly become one of the best GMs in baseball. Don’ forget, he took over after the Dave Stewart/Tony LaRussa debacle.
I get Chisholm is a terrific prospect but why would Miami deal Gallen? Its not like the Marlins are overflowing with high end starting pitching
The GM can put together a team, but what helps is a good coaching staff to utilize the players in away to make a successful team. Arizona has a pretty good organization from ground up. The coaches have the players attention and trust. The GM is doing his job to reassure players they are going to be competitive for years to come. Granted the Sterling Marte trade has a bunch of question marks, but I think the D-Backs nation will be happy to have him. I am going to miss S.Marte in Pittsburgh, but I think he will flourish in Arizona. The coaching stuff is unbelievably good
You hit on a solid point. A good manager/coaching staff can make a poor GM look better than he is; a good player development staff can make a poor Scouting director look good. And of course the reverse is true in both instances.
Organizations win or lose, seldom individuals. And while in the old days, a GM might be in charge of that organization, that’s not necessarily the case now.
The D-Backs org ranks pretty high; as do the Brewers. In the “lower revenue” category, Hazen and Sterne are up there.
The Adrian Beltre
I think Starling Marte will be very good in Arizona, hitting well and playing a respectable CF between two Gold Glove winners.
Please analyze Anthopoulos next. The comment section will explode.
I think hes done good, but why trade goldy and greinke when right now those 2 guys would make them one of the better teams in the NL, if not a top team in the MLB
The pieces they got for Goldy and Zienke are one of the reasons why D-Backs are competitive. Having them, wouldn’t have given them a promising future
So are they competitive or do they have a promising future? Or both?
Right now, they are both. Top 5 farm system and a current MLB roster that will be a legit wild card threat once they start playing games again. They’d be more of a divisional threat if they were in any other division.
100% both. That’s the thing that I am most impressed by. A lot of us D-back fans wanted a complete tear-down thinking there was no way to simultaneously rebuild and compete. He claimed there was such a way. He proved himself correct. The team is poised to be competitive for years to come. If he continues to make smart moves like the ones outlined above, the D=backs WILL begin to annually compete with the dodgers at nearly half their budget.
but if they had both those players, on top of who they have now, they could take 1st in the nl west, and possibly be as feared as the yanks or whoever you think is the scariest team. the dbacks are good now, but they could be even better if they hadn’t given those 2 players away. they also couldve got more for greinke AND goldy
Really wish my Padres had gone with this guy over Preller when they had the chance. Que será será.
Brian Cashman should take classes from him.
I looked at the poll results and wondered what kind of idiotic thought process could possibly result in grading Hazen’s performance as a D or F…then I read the first few comments, especially those of hiflew and Maurice Lock…and I had my answer!
Did I offend you in some way? What’s with the personal attack? Just because I have an opinion different than yours is no reason to be calling people idiots.
giants number 1 fan
Leake was a mid-2019 pickup.
Angels & NL West
I’m pretty new to MLBTR and newer to the comments, but there are some really smart comments regarding Hazen, his coaching staff and the team. Glad to see he is so well respected throughout the game. He deserves it as does Lovullo.
I understand why it is not included from an MLBTR perspective, but from a Dbacks fan perspective it is also worth to mention that we got something for Andriese. Not sure who or what we got from the Angels but if it is able to speak, listen and throw or bat, then in itself we already won that trade in a spectacular way. #InHazenWeTrust #WinningCulture
From how bad our farm system was, to how good it is now within only 3 years, all while having winning seasons and a playoff berth… A+ for Mike the magician Hazen.