keyboard_arrow_uptop
IN THIS ISSUE

American League

National League

ANAHEIM ANGELS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Claimed OF-S Todd Cunningham off waivers from the Braves; designated LHP Jo-Jo Reyes for assignment. [10/9]

Billy Eppler's first acquisition might not stick around for long. The Angels are reportedly intent on waiving Cunningham and trying to sneak him through to the minors. If that works, what will Eppler have for his effort? A plausible reserve outfielder. Cunningham has spent the last few seasons trying to convince the Braves to give him a look without avail. The brief one they provided him this season went for naught, as he struggled offensively in 93 plate appearances. Cunningham's game is heavy on singles, walks, and defense—the triune of up-and-down outfielders across the land. Some of those get a shot and stick in the majors; most do not and instead fill out Triple-A rosters until they call it quits. Cunningham turns 27 in March, so his fate will be decided soon, if it hasn't been decided already.

SEATTLE MARINERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Fired Lloyd McClendon. [10/8]

By now you've heard all the explanations behind McClendon's dismissal. That his philosophies don't overlap with new general manager Jerry Dipoto's (because an ideological syzygy formed by the owner, GM, and manager is vital to success); that he just wasn't good enough tactically (although this season can't be blamed on him any more than last year's can be credited to him); and that every new GM likes to bring in his own guy. Rather than rehash those points here, let's do something different and focus on the validity of that last comment—just how often do new GMs fire their inherited managers?

To test that belief, we looked at every GM change made since 2011, including those done during and after this season. We even included the moves where the title is the only real change—for instance, David Forst's promotion in Oakland—giving us 25 data points to examine. From there, we asked a simple question: did the new GM change managers before he began his first full season at the helm?

There were six cases (less than a quarter of the total) where "yes" was the answer. Those were:

To be clear: we're not saying the GM is always behind the change—in Cherington's case, Francona was fired before he took over; in Silverman's, Maddon departed by his own choice. What we are saying is that teams don't change managers immediately following a GM swap nearly as often as you'd think. Perhaps the data tells a different story if we went back 10 seasons, or if we concerned ourselves with the average span between managerial changes for new and established GM. But given the parameters we focused on, it seems more socially acceptable these days to keep your old manager heading into the next season than it does to find a new one.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart
Return to Top

Claimed RHP Junior Guerra off waivers from the White Sox; designated C-R Nevin Ashley for assignment. [10/7]

In the past 12 months, Guerra has signed his first contract with a MLB organization since 2008, made his Triple-A and MLB debuts as a 30-year-old, and been claimed off waivers by another club. Hey, it's not the lavish life, but it's a neat story about someone who held onto his dream much longer than any of us would have recommended. As for on the field, Guerra sat in the mid-to-upper-90s during his time as a big-league reliever, and showed a number of secondaries that fluctuated in their quality: a slider that serves as his out pitch, a curveball, and a changeup. In theory, the Brewers could use Guerra—who is listed at 6-foot but has a thick frame—as rotation depth. It seems more likely, however, that they'll leverage his fastball-slider combination by using him in middle relief, or at least as bullpen depth.

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
BillJohnson
10/12
Worth it for the metaphorical, and correct, use of "syzygy".
Richie
10/12
Of course you need to look at "the average span between managerial changes for new and established GM."
troybruno
10/12
wait, why on Earth would you include promotions / title changes? these would not be remotely relevant to the hypothesis.

I mean, I realize you are trying to boost your n here, but I am 100% convinced that if most readers were given your 25 examples and 4:1 odds ex-ante they would have destroyed the house. Meaning that your analysis is silly.