2020 MLB GM Ratings: The National League East

COLLEGE PARK, MD - JANUARY 18: Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo holds the World Series trophy during the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Purdue Boilermakers at Xfinity Center on January 18, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MD - JANUARY 18: Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo holds the World Series trophy during the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Purdue Boilermakers at Xfinity Center on January 18, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 6
Next
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

MLB GM Ratings: Mike Rizzo, GM and president of baseball operations; -1.6 games.

It was probably always asking too much of the Nats to repeat their World Series-winning 2019 season. And if that task wasn’t already hard enough, it got tougher when star third baseman Anthony Rendon left via free agency and ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg went down to an injury.

When Rendon left for the Angels money, he took 1.4 WAA with him. Strasburg was a +4.5 WAA player in 2019; his injury-plagued 2020 netted -0.3 WAA. So those two personnel losses alone explain six games worth of Washington’s decline in 2020.

Rizzo made a fairly conservative 28 personnel moves affecting the 2020 team’s performance, and they not as a group work out well. Only nine produced positive short-term value. Two others were neutral, leaving seven that impacted the team negatively.

Aside from the departure of Rendon, the most consequential was Rizzo’s January decision to sign free agent Eric Thames to a one-year, $3 million deal. Thames returned -0.9 WAA on a .203 average in 140 plate appearances.

Rizzo’s most positive move wasn’t all that helpful. He called up rookie outfielder Andrew Stevenson for 47 plate appearances and Stevenson generated a .366 average with two homers and 12 RBIs, producing a +0.8 WAA.

Here is the annual short-term performance rating of the Nationals general manager since 2016:

  • 2016:     +6.6
  • 2017:     +1.7
  • 2018:     – 0.6
  • 2019:     +3.1
  • 2020:     -1.6