2019 MLB season: Rating the NL West general managers

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 01: President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi looks on before a MLB game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 1, 2019 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 01: President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi looks on before a MLB game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 1, 2019 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

2019 MLB Season: The NL West’s best GM

Jeff Bridich, Colorado Rockies

Following back-to-back playoff appearances – a first in Rockies history – there certainly must have been hoping for Bridich’s Rockies entering the 2019 MLB season.  That hope was largely undermined by a series of decisions that went sour.

The first, obviously, was the judgment that it was time to let D.J. LeMahieu walk to free agency because Garrett Hampson was ready to replace him at second base. LeMahieu nearly won the American League batting title for the Yankees, while Hampson batted .206 through the season’s first three months and was largely out of a job from that point on. The difference between the two was 5.1 games.

The collapse – or was it a return to mile-high reality – of the Colorado pitching staff also hurt. Following a surprisingly good 2018 when the staff compiled a representative 4.33 ERA, the Rockies this season fell back their accustomed spot at the bottom of the National League stat sheet with a 5.56 ERA. Bridich called on three rookies plus seven other new faces to buttress the staff, but their compact impact amounted to -1.5 WAA.  That wasn’t the major pitching problem – Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela both regressed – but it hurt.

As a group, Bridich’s rookie class was MLB’s third-worst, ahead of only the Royals and Tigers. There were nine of them, none producing a greater impact than outfielder Sam Hilliard, a late-August call-up, who hit +0.3.

Bridich’s most productive decision – an easy one – was his decision to re-sign star third baseman Nolan Arenado to an eight-year, $260 million deal. To no one’s surprise, the game’s best third baseman produced a 3.7 WAA season.

But among the 19 other players Bridich brought in at some point during the 2019 MLB season, none contributed as much as one-half game of positive impact.

Short-term acquisitions: -0.2

Short-term trade losses: -2.6

Short-term free agent signings: +1.3

Short-term free agent losses: -2.3

Short-term rookie production: -5.5

Short-term total: -9.3