What Do You Think of Your Team’s Front Office?

It’s been two and a half years since the first time I ran this project. A lot can change in two and a half years. Two and a half years ago, some of the best position players in baseball were Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, and — no, let me try this again. Two and a half years ago, some of the best pitchers in baseball were Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Clayton Kershaw, and…okay, look, Ubaldo Jimenez had a sub-3 ERA. All right? Is that enough? Ubaldo Jimenez had a sub-3 ERA, and we didn’t yet know anything about the coming league-wide home-run spike. Two and a half years is a long time. Specifically, it’s about two and a half years.

This is a polling project, for which I need your participation. All of you are baseball fans, or else you’ve gotten woefully lost on the internet. The majority of you presumably cheer the most for one or two teams in particular. What I’m looking for: your basic, general opinion of a given team’s front office. I’d prefer you vote only in those polls corresponding to the teams you like. Just like with hopefully all of my polling projects, this should be easy. I mean, knowing the absolute correct answer is hard, if not impossible, but we all already know there are certain undiscoverable truths. It’s still satisfying to figure out perceptions.

Where this gets a little complicated is in how I’d like for you to think about this. I want the focus on the front office, in isolation. Which means, do your best to forget about ownership. Try, if at all possible, to separate the front office from outside influences. Not all front offices have worked with similar budgets, so, imagine each front office were given an average payroll with average resources. Do you think your team’s front office would do a good job of converting that into success? Do you wake up dreading the overnight headlines in case your team’s front office stayed up late making trades? I know I’m asking for the impossible here, but with matters like this, I think it’s almost always better to crowdsource. You’re the people who are most closely tuned in. I don’t know as much about every individual team as you, collectively, do.

When the results are in, I’ll post an analysis, probably later this week. Everybody has their front-office opinions, but it’s only through a project like this we can see how those opinions compare across the whole major-league landscape. I should say, if you’re a fan of the Braves, um, well, I don’t really know. I don’t care anymore about the old front office, so just select what you’re comfortable selecting, based on what you’ve read or previously observed. Or don’t vote. I can’t make you vote. I can’t make any of you vote. But I sure hope you will! Thank you in advance.

To proceed directly to a specific team poll, click on the team’s name below. The polls themselves — you can probably figure out the polls themselves.

Angels, Astros, Athletics, Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Rangers, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees

=====

Angels

Astros

Athletics

Blue Jays

Braves

Just, I don’t know, do the best you can. What have you heard? Are you feeling good, or are you dreading the future? Give it a shot. There’s no actual accountability here.

Brewers

Cardinals

Cubs

Diamondbacks

Dodgers

Giants

Indians

Mariners

Marlins

Mets

Nationals

Orioles

Padres

Phillies

Pirates

Rangers

Rays

Red Sox

Reds

Rockies

Royals

Tigers

Twins

White Sox

Yankees

We hoped you liked reading What Do You Think of Your Team’s Front Office? by Jeff Sullivan!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

newest oldest most voted
EonADS
Member
EonADS

I’m kind of surprised at the voting on the Reds poll. Sure, they’re not a great team, but the FO has pulled together some solid position player talent and made some good signings for prospects. The only real problem is that they only have a couple of good pitchers. They’re not amazing or anything, but “pretty bad”?

luke.shigeo
Member
luke.shigeo

I agree. Reds have had some awful luck with injuries that has really hindered their ability to compete. You can’t blame the FO for needing to have guys like Adleman and Arroyo fill in for injuries.

EonADS
Member
EonADS

I mean, the Homer Bailey signing was terrible, but how were they to know he’d hurt himself five+ times in three years? Yeah, Cueto was the better pitcher, but he was also the bigger risk on paper. Other than that one move, the Reds FO has been pretty solid.

Dominikk85
Member
Dominikk85

But you could blame them for selling low on chapman and not either trade or get a comp pick for cozart.

I dont think they did a terrible job but quite a few non great moves but also some good ones. I think they are middle of the pack.

Clearly the worst must be whoever runs the marlins now after steward is gone. I mean too cheap to bid for ohtani? They wouldn’t have gotten him anyway but to even think this is a good business move when ohtani has so much surplus value that you could trade him for 20m of salary relief AND 2 top100 prospects.

Robert
Member
Member
Robert

Better to take the bad PR that comes with not bidding than the bad PR that comes with a surprise win and the posting fee check bouncing.

Reflect
Member
Reflect

No but you can blame them for being mediocre for a decade and failing to start their current rebuild earlier. You can also blame them for sitting on guys like Phillips and Votto and Bruce instead of trading them years ago for better returns.

Dave T
Member
Member
Dave T

In the case of Votto, he has a no-trade clause and reportedly likes staying with the Reds. I don’t see that it’s fair to blame the front office for signing that deal, but they signed it in early 2012 with a pretty good team that went on to win 97 games in 2012 and 90 games in 2013. He’s also aging well so far, making the value on that contract look reasonable.

Reflect
Member
Reflect

And the no-trade clause was offered by… the front office. It still counts against them.

knechtbd
Member
knechtbd

I voted average. When it comes to selling assets, they don’t maximize value. They traded Chapman at his absolute lowest value. They traded Frazier during the offseason after a terrible 2nd half, when he would have been much more valuable at the trade deadline. They held onto Cozart until he got hurt and then they couldn’t deal him. However, when they trade their lower tier players (Alfredo Simon, Mat Latos, etc) they get amazing value. I just seem them as middle of the pack.

EonADS
Member
EonADS

Sounds about right. Like I said, not amazing, but “pretty bad” is a stretch.

johansantana17
Member
johansantana17

If there are two tiers of bad and you aren’t even willing to classify the Reds FO as the lesser tier of bad, who would you say is “very bad”? People shy away from negative extremes far too often in polls like these.

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

Right. There are very, very few terrible front offices right now who just stick their head in the sand and do dumb things all the time (Dave Stewart is the classic example). It sure seems like the Reds FO is below average today, even though 10-15 years ago they might have been above average.

That said, I do think a lot of their moves (wherever you draw the line from Jocketty to Williams) have not been nearly as bad as they’ve been portrayed. Upon further review, a surprising number of their trades have been a net positive, considering that my image of them is that they’re total suckers.

adlenon
Member
adlenon

Walt Jocketty hung around for the all-star game and that cost mightily. The Chapman trade looks bad, but let’s not forget that he also turned Simon into Suarez. As for the current team, they picked up Straily and turned him into Luis Castillo. This poll seems to reflect what has been done over the last 3 years of WJ reign, not adjusted for recency.

14689142745
Member
Member
14689142745

reds gave away cingrani for absolutely nothing

Dave T
Member
Member
Dave T

How can they be blamed for that? Cingrani was traded in the middle of 2016, and his last good season was 2013.

johansantana17
Member
johansantana17

I think the fact that they have failed to develop an above average farm system even though they haven’t been seriously contending for years is a pretty fair knock on the Reds FO

Vampire Weekend at Bernie's
Member

In what world would you say the Reds don’t have an above-average farm system (or at least a ton of talent younger than 27 years old)?

3B Nick Senzel
RHP Hunter Greene
RHP Luis Castillo
3B Eugenio Suarez
LHP Brandon Finnegan
OF Jesse Winker
RHP Rob Stephenson
OF Taylor Trammell
RHP Tyler Mahle
RHP Sal Romano
C Tyler Stephenson
2B Shed Long
SS Jose Peraza
2B Dilson Herrera
LHP Cody Reed
LHP Amir Garrett
RHP Michael Lorenzen
SS Jeter Downs
RHP Vladimir Gutierrez
RHP Tony Santillan
2B Alex Blandino
LHP Wandy Peralta
RHP Jimmy Herget
RHP Austin Brice
RHP Jose Lopez
RHP Ariel Hernandez
OF Jose Siri
RHP Tanner Rainey
RHP Rookie Davis
SS Alfredo Rodriguez
OF Stuart Fairchild
SS Jose Garcia
C Chris Okey
OF Phillip Ervin
RHP Keury Mella
RHP Zack Weiss
SS Miguel Hernandez
OF Andy Sugilio
RHP Jackson Stephens
RHP Jesus Reyes
OF T.J. Friedl
RHP Nick Hanson
1B/OF Nick Longhi
C Stuart Turner
RHP Wyatt Strahan
SS Calten Daal
OF Aristides Aquino
SS Blake Trahan
LHP Scott Moss
OF Michael Beltre
RHP Ryan Hendrix
RHP Nick Travieso
RHP Andrew Jordan
LHP Jacob Heatherly
UT Josh Van Meter
OF Miles Gordon
1B Gavin LaValley

Reflect
Member
Reflect

The fact that they are finally pulling in solid talent should bring attention to the fact that they failed to do that during the first 12 years of their rebuild.

Dave T
Member
Member
Dave T

Huh? There hasn’t been a 12 year rebuild. They won over 90 games and went to the playoffs in each of 2010, 2012, and 2013.