Grading AL Central front offices at midpoint of the 2024 MLB season

Chicago White Sox v Arizona Diamondbacks
Chicago White Sox v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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This week marks the halfway point of the 2024 season. That makes this an excellent time to deliver mid-term grades for the work done by each team’s front office since the conclusion of the 2023 postseason.

The fourth installment in this series focuses on the AL Central.

The standard of measurement in Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by each team’s front office gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved – or worsened – the team’s status this season.

Our grading scale is straight-forward. Front offices that have improved their team by…:

 +3.0 games or higher = A

+1.0 to +2.9 games = B

-0.9 to +0.9 games = C

 -1.0 to -2.5 games = D

-2.6 games or worse = F

A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:

1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.

2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.

3. By the impact of players it signs at free agency or extends.

4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.

5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.

From best to worst, here’s how AL Central front offices stack up by those five yardsticks.

Minnesota Twins: Derek Falvey, president; Thad Levine, senior vice president and general manager. Grade: B.

The winter pluses in Minnesota generally dealt more with players the Twins traded away than those they got. 

In February they swung a trade with Miami that netted pitcher Steve Okert at a cost of utility player Nick Gordon. Okert’s been a statistical cipher; a 2-0 record and 3.52 ERA in 27 appearances. That has been worth exactly 0.0 WAA to the Twins.

The big advantage has been unloading Gordon, who, with a .226 average in 192 plate appearances, has been a -1.9 WAA liability in Miami.

Since the end of the 2023 postseason, the Twins front office has made personnel moves impacting 23 places on the major league roster, those moves breaking 11-8 with four neutral in favor of the Twins.

But almost all the additions have been at the margins. One of the most significant was Anthony DeSclafani, obtained in a January five-player deal with Seattle. But he has not pitched all season due to an elbow strain.

Score: +1.0. Grade: B.