If I Were General Manager

The first signs of the baseball off-season are the General Manager meetings that are held soon after the completion of the World Series. Not being a baseball insider, I am not exactly sure what goes on at these meetings. As a fan, I envision the 30 general managers sitting around by the pool talking about how tough their jobs are and oh by the way, do you want to trade some players? I’m sure this is an over-simplified generalization and probably inaccurate but the only thing that seems to come out of these meetings are a few minor trades and a lot of talk about how much money Alex Rodriguez is going to cost to sign. Well, all of this talk about trades and personnel moves made me stop and think. What would I do if I were general manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The first step of course would be to review what my clubs strengths and weaknesses were. Obviously, the strongest part of my team are the first three starting pitchers. Between Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, I have two of the premier power pitchers in the game. After that I have Brian Anderson and maybe Todd Stottlemyre depending on his injuries. There appears to be a couple of holes there that have to be filled. I seem to be fully loaded with first basemen so maybe I can trade a young first baseman for a fourth or fifth starter.

Right field has been a problem for this team since it inception. I would have to go into these meetings trying to find a corner outfielder with a decent arm that can drive in 100 runs and hit 20-30 home runs. Obviously every other general manager in the major leagues is looking for one of these too so pickings will be slim. Given that payroll is an issue, I am thinking perhaps I can find someone who has a prospect in triple-A that would be willing to trade for a couple of minor leaguers. The last thing I want to do here is bring in another aging veteran. It is time to infuse some young blood into this team and maybe I look to begin in right field. The other option I have of course is to look for a shortstop and move Tony Womack back to right field. Tony did a decent job at short last season but I think long term his best bet would be in the outfield.

I need a lead-off hitter. Although Tony Womack has the speed to bat first, his on-base percentage is horrible. He would be better off batting second and try to bunt for my lead-off hitter. Perhaps I look to Roger Cedeno to play right field for the Diamondbacks and bat first, I’m just not sure about him yet.

The permutations of deals are overwhelming. This job looks harder than I thought. You will notice that the last thing I would do would be to get into the bidding war for Alex Rodriguez, Mike Mussina, Mike Hampton or Manny Ramirez. There is no reason to mortgage the farm for one player. Maybe I’ll just go hang out at the pool and check out the babes. Isn’t that really why all of the general managers are in Florida anyway?

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