The Diamondbacks are still in the midst of finding their new GM. Jim has given us a brief profile of each candidate and their qualifications for the job. The team is looking at former assistant GMs (Peter Woodfork and Bryan Minniti), their former scouting director (Ray Montgomery), their farm director (Mike Bell), a former top ranking executive for two top ballclubs (Kim Ng), and a former GM (Ned Colletti). While each candidate has valid qualifications of becoming the GM and running the personnel department, I have reservations about some candidates. The good news for us is one of them has an extensive track record to look at and that’s Ned Colletti.
Today, blue bulldog reposted his article from October 2014 about MLB general managers and how they perform relative to payroll expectations. The expectation is higher salaries translates to more wins, although the article talking about a regression formula he linked, from the fivethirtyeight.com, which does cover sports and ranks teams from a statistical perspective. While the article mainly focuses on the Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane, the one standout is how teams have performed relative to payroll expectations.
That brings us back to blue bulldog’s article, where he lists the successes of the most prominent GMs during the 2014 season. While his article focuses more on Kevin Towers, you’ll notice on the table that Ned Colletti ranks in at 1.72 wins above payroll expectation. That’s about half a win more than Kevin Towers, who came in at 1.28. The Dodgers were a Top 5 payroll in baseball, the Diamondbacks are a bottom 5 payroll in baseball. Going from a payroll that on average will generate an expected 95 wins to 75 wins, the expectation is Colletti will deliver an average of 77 wins. While the payroll regression formula tends to favor smaller market teams inherently, who here wants 77-85? While that would be a solid benchmark in 2017, it’s not what we want from an expectation move. This screams Kevin Towers 2.0.
In the poll in Jim’s article, the runaway choice from this blog is former Yankees and Dodgers executive Kim Ng, who was rumored for the vacancy after 2010. In terms of my personal preference, I like Ray Montgomery for the job. He’s the guy that acquired a lot of the big name talent on this team through the draft and should have been given the job two years ago. I have a really bad feeling the Dbacks will go with a GM that’s “proven” considering how the Josh Byrnes and Dave Stewart eras ended with very many amateur mistakes (Dan Haren and Shelby Miller trades). That may prevent the team from giving a first-time GM with more qualifications than what Stewart had, which was being one of Tony La Russa’s buddies. We’ll see if the Dbacks swing for the fences or try to bunt for a hit with this hire.