Sunday, August 20, 2006

Theo Epstein And The Jim Duquette Effect

Let's talk about the Mets. Or fantasy baseball. Because the Red Sox are impossible to watch these days.

I think the Kazmir-Zambrano trade has left a lot of GMs pissing in their pants. For Duquette, it was a Grady Little-esque move. The guy was a serviceable GM till then, but once he made that trade, it cemented his reputation with the likes of Kevin Malone and Steve Phillips. And now, it seems like every GM in the league is afraid of losing good young talent for a mediocre established player.

But hey, sometimes, you gotta take the risks. And sometimes, you've gotta filter out the scrubs from the future stars. Look at what Stick Michael did as Yankees GM. He made a lot of trades for mediocre veterans like Melido Perez, Terry Mulholland, and Xavier Hernandez. Sure, those guys never really contributed much, but aside from J.T. Snow (who turned out to be a good fielder, but a below-average bat), would you recognize the other names they gave up? Domingo Jean? Bobby Munoz? Ryan Karp? Jerry Nielsen?

I remember when the Yanks traded for Cecil Fielder in '96. At the time, I was ticked that they gave up a young pitcher named Matt Drews. The guy was putting up great numbers in Columbus. And now, he's nothing. Everyone criticized the Yanks for trading Brandon Claussen for Aaron Boone in '03. Claussen's numbers this year? 3-8, 6.19. Looks like the Yanks still have had the better end of that deal.

To me, Epstein's performance this year takes him out of the upper echelon of GMs, takes him away from the likes of Beane, Kenny Williams, Schuerholz, and arguably Ned Coletti. He's above average, but no longer "great."

If Delcarmen, Hansen, and Lester turn into Mulder, Hudson, and Zito, then perhaps we can put Epstein back into that category. But if those three turn into Jeff Johnson, Scott Kamienecki, and Wade Taylor, then Epstein will have '04 to talk about, and not a whole lot more. When your big midseason acquisition is Jason Johnson, you can't really tell me you're playing to win this year. Epstein is trying to win in '06, '07, and '08. And only time will tell if his approach will be successful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No updates? Why?