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 Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

2019 MLB Season: The NL West’s best GM

A.J. Preller, San Diego Padres

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Preller made one of the two big moves of the off-season, the signing of free-agent infielder Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal. Machado returned a +1.0 WAA based on a .256 average and 32 home runs.

Substantially more impactful was the presence of rookie Fernando Tatis, who – prior to his August injury – batted .317 with only three fewer home runs than Machado, and who generated a +3.1 WAA. Rookie pitcher Chris Paddack also out-generated Machado in WAA.

The MLB salary scale is sufficiently skewed toward an experience that although Tatis and Paddack combined to generate 3.7 more WAA than Machado, Machado out-earned both of them by close to $11 million this past year.

Obviously Preller doesn’t control the game’s salary scale. But neither his 2019 MLB season on-the-job performance nor his career track record works to the advantage of his reputation. In five seasons as San Diego’s GM, Preller has only once generated a positive short-term impact, and that came during his first season. On his personal scale, 2019 was a middling season, his -4.2 rating the third-best, or third worst, depending on one’s perspective.

Next. Concerns Yankees face heading into ALCS. dark

Short-term acquisitions: -1.1

Short-term trade losses: +0.8

Short-term free agent signings: -0.5

Short-term free agent losses: +0.3

Short-term rookie production: -3.7

Short-term total: -4.2