MLB: Rating the front offices of the AL East

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks on the phone prior to a Grapefruit League spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 12, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Many professional and college sports are canceling or postponing their games due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks on the phone prior to a Grapefruit League spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 12, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Many professional and college sports are canceling or postponing their games due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Baltimore Orioles: Find New Life in the International Market
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Orioles

Mike Elias, senior vice president and general manager

+2.7 games

Elias just completed his second season in charge of Orioles operations. Although the team faded badly down the stretch, it was – from a talent-building standpoint – a successful season.

In his ongoing effort to reshape the Orioles into an AL East contender, Elias made 30 personnel moves since the conclusion of the 2019 season that impacted the team’s 2020 fortunes. Fourteen of those 30 created positive short-term impact, while seven others were neutral impact moves.

The most important thing a relatively new GM often does is take out the garbage, and that was Elias’ most impactful chore in 2020. Elias projected pitcher Dylan Bundy to have little role in Baltimore’s plans, at least by comparison with the value he could bring in a trade, so he shipped Bundy to the Los Angeles Angels for four minor leaguers.

None of the four players Elias obtained saw MLB service in 2020, but the loss of Bundy did cost Baltimore’s profile 1.2 WAA in the short-term. He was 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA for his new team.

The rookies Elias promoted this season were promising. There were eight of them, led by Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays, and  Dean Kremer, and they netted a collective 1.5 WAA. Rookies almost always hurt a team’s rating, so netting +1.5 from them is a positive sign.

The annual short-term performance rating of Elias’s front office since he became general manager in 2019:

Season   Games

2019:     -7.0

2020:     +2.7