Mid-term front office grades: Astros, Rangers, and the AL West mess

Jun 20, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Houston Astros pitcher Spencer Arrighetti (41) delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Spencer Arrighetti (41) delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
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Los Angeles Angels: Perry Minasian, general manager. Grade: F

We have a Snafu situation in Anaheim, where the Angels look as hopeless as ever. If there’s one GM on the hot seat this season, it has to be Perry Minasian.

Since the end of the 2023 postseason, the Angels have made 25 personnel moves impacting the major league roster. That minimal activity is a good thing, because most every move the Minasian front office makes these days turns to mush.

The departure of Shohei Ohtani (+3.4) to the Dodgers via free agency obviously was the big dagger to Angel hopes. But it was hardly the only one. Only five of those 25 moves yielded positive results, the promotion of rookie Jose Soriano (3.48 ERA in 12 starts, +0.7 WAA) being the closest thing to a positively impactful move.

The Ohtani loss was only one of 16 moves impacting the Angels negatively, others including the signings of free agents Aaron  Hicks (-0.9), Adam Cimber (-0.7), Cole Tucker (-0.7) and the waiver claim of Niko Goodrum (-0.5).

The cumulative impact of Minasian’s 14 free agent signings/re-signings this past winter amounts to -4.7 WAA. No other team has a free agent signing score worse than -2.1. Hicks and Goodrum have both since been jettisoned into the baseball ether.

Add it up and what you have – at least on a midterm basis -- is the worst performance by any of the 30 major league front offices so far this year.

 Score: -8.1. Grade: F.

These are the five most significant moves made by AL West teams in 2024. Values are based on Wins Above Average impact on the AL West team.

1.       Los Angeles Angels lose Shohei Ohtani to free agency. -3.4

2.       Houston Astros release catcher Martin Maldonado. +2.3

3.       Texas Rangers lose Jordan Montgomery to free agency. +1.3

4.       Oakland Athletics sign free agent pitcher Ross Stripling. -1.3

5.       Seattle Mariners acquire Mitch Haniger in a trade with San Francisco. -1.3

6.       Houston Astros promote pitcher Spencer Arrighetti, -1.3.

A mid-term assessment of front office work: The NL West (calltothepen.com)