MLB: Ranking the decade’s best general managers

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 11: New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman speaks at a press conference introducing Giancarlo Stanton during the 2017 Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin on Monday, December 11, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 11: New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman speaks at a press conference introducing Giancarlo Stanton during the 2017 Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin on Monday, December 11, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

MLB: Ranking the decade’s best general managers

6. Jeff Luhnow, +83.5 games (Houston Astros, 2012-19)

The sign-stealing scandal may in time force a rethinking of Luhnow’s front-office genius. But until that moment arrives, his record is obviously one of the decade’s best.

One of the ironies of that investigation is that Luhnow’s career in Houston was more or less born in the scandal. Shortly after his hiring away from St. Louis, reports surfaced that Cardinal personnel were under investigation for allegedly attempting to take advantage of Luhnow’s move by hacking into the team’s databases.

Luhnow immediately engaged a rebuild of the downtrodden team he inherited. Since that rebuild took full effect in 2015, his imprint o0n the Astros’ rise has been obvious. His signings, trades and farm system have annually created double-digit improvement in Houston’s status and brought the team a World Series win in 2017.

Most of that improvement has occurred via the building of a stable core of talent under team control, which has in turn allowed Luhnow to largely avoid the risky process of continually chasing free agents.

This is clearly in his long-term and short-term valuations. The sum of his short-term moves – those made since the conclusion of the previous season – is an undistinguished -4.2 games. But the sum of his long-term impact – the value of moves made prior to the conclusion of the previous season – is +87.7 games.

He is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at the University of Pennsylvania.