Ross Atkins, Toronto Blue Jays
Impact: +2.4 games
Division ranking: third
MLB ranking: seventh
Atkins’ season was replete with personnel triumphs that, unfortunately, he kept offsetting with clunkers. He made eight personnel decisions impacting the Jays’ major league roster by at least 1.2 games, but the problem was that those eight split right down the middle: four positive and four negative.
Atkins did end the season with a positive impact on Toronto’s effort to keep pace with the Yankees. Of his moves affecting 44 members of a major league roster, 22 worked out to Toronto’s benefit against only 15 that turned out negatively.
Here are the most impactful personnel decisions made by Atkins this post-season.
December 1: Lost infielder Marcus Semien to free agency when Semien signed with Texas and produced a 3.4 WAA for his new team.
March 14: Signed free agent Yusei Kikuchi. He generated -2.0 WAA for the Blue Jays.
March 24: Traded Randall Grichuk to Colorado for Raimel Tapia and a minor leaguer. The trade was doubly painful for Toronto; Grichuk produced +1.5 WAA for the Rockies; Tapia generated -1.2 WAA for the Jays.
March 16: Acquired third baseman Matt Chapman from the Athletics for four players. Chapman produced +1.5 WAA for Toronto.
December 1: Signed pitcher Kevin Gausman as a free agent. Gausman produced +1.5 WAA for the Jays.
August 2: Acquired pitcher Mitch White from the Dodgers. White hurt Toronto to the tune of -1.5 WAA.
With a net impact of +4.5 games, Atkins ranked second among all MLB front office execs in impact at the trade table. He ranked eighth for farm system impact but his free agent decisions proved to be so hit-and-miss that he ranked only 21st in that category.