Under pretty much all circumstances, relative to people involved in the game, we the public have a lesser amount of information. Sometimes, it’s close, like when it comes to specific player valuation — we have access to almost as much as the teams and executives do. But sometimes we’re bringing a straw to a knife fight. There’s perhaps nothing we understand less than the value of a manager. Analysts have tried to dig in deep, and within our heads we have ideas of which guys are better than others, but ultimately we’re always guessing on the impact. What are we supposed to do with charisma and leadership? The attempted evaluation of managers causes many people to just throw up their hands. Why even bother?
So, from the outside, we can barely say anything. We simply don’t know. And maybe teams don’t know much, either. Maybe they’re guessing almost as much as we are. But we can at least evaluate market behavior as an indirect reflection of a guy’s perceived value. And the market has responded strongly to Joe Maddon’s sudden and unanticipated free agency. The Cubs are going to hire Maddon, officially, maybe before I’m done writing this post. It’s pretty clear, then, how highly Maddon is thought of.