2019 MLB Season: The AL East’s best GM in 2019? Not him

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) General Manager Brian Cashman and Manager Aaron Boone #17 of the New York Yankees during batting practice before Game Four of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on October 9, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 4-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) General Manager Brian Cashman and Manager Aaron Boone #17 of the New York Yankees during batting practice before Game Four of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on October 9, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 4-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Nick Turchiaro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nick Turchiaro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

2019 MLB Season: The AL East’s best GM

Ross Atkins, Toronto Blue Jays

Give Atkins an A for effort. The Toronto general manager traded for, promoted or re-signed a breathtaking 45 faces sometime during the 2019 pre-season and season in an effort to transform the Blue Jays into contenders.

Obviously all that churn didn’t work. The Jays finished 67-95, 36 games out of first place, and Atkins’ efforts cost his team nearly five games in the standings.

Atkins’ true focus, of course, was introducing a substantial rookie crop into the mix. Whether that plan yields fruit will only be known in the future; the short-term impact measured an uninspired -2.0. Of course, the presence of Vlad Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Anthony Alford and Rowdy Tellez did lift spirits, if not lifting the team itself.

For the short term, almost everything Atkins did meet with frustration. Of the 20 players, he acquired via trade or purchase – all of them bit players – none produced a value greater than Reese McGuire’s +0.6. He signed or re-signed 11 players on the open market, but they rewarded him with a net -2.1 WAA.

Of the rookies, Bichette generated +1.5 and Biggio +1.3. If Guerrero is to become the star many predicted, that will have to happen in a future season; he batted a nice but hardly overwhelming .272 with 15 home runs.

The best argument for Atkins’ season is that it set the stage for improvement in the near future. Time will tell on that one.

Short-term acquisitions: -2.9

Short-term trade losses: +1.3

Short-term free agent signings: -2.1

Short-term free agent losses: +0.9

Short-term rookie production: -2.0

Short-term total: -4.8