Sep
02

Oppenheimer a candidate for Diamondbacks GM opening

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Via Ken Rosenthal, Yankees director of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer is one of at least six candidates that the Diamondbacks plan to speak with about their vacant general manager position. Formal interview requests have not yet been made, however.

Oppenheimer was mentioned as a candidate for the job as soon as ex-GM Josh Byrnes was fired, and he is routinely considered one of the best GM prospects in the game. Along with director of pro scouting Billy Eppler, who was considered for the Padres GM job last year, the Yankees have a pair of future GM’s in their front office, and really it’s only a matter of time before both guys move on to bigger and better things.

Categories : Asides, Front Office

37 Comments»

  1. Good luck, Opp. I hope you’ve trained a replacement for when you leave who can do what you do as good as you do it.

    • Thomas says:

      I’ve heard Cashman would hire you, but is afraid you grow too powerful for even he to control and you would eventually usurp his command.

  2. drill me deep says:

    we could simply offer Cashman for Opp. hope Cash have trained Opp how to take advantage of Steinbrenner’s unlimited funds.

  3. MattG says:

    Bigger, yes. Better? Arizona Diamondbacks?

    Hah!

  4. MikeD says:

    I think we really have at least three prospects for future GM positions in the Yankee front office. Kevin Tower will eventually most beyond his consulting role to Cash.

  5. bonestock94 says:

    Who steps in for him if he’s gone? Towers?

    • MikeD says:

      Probably unlikely. Towers has already served as a GM of a MLB team for fourteen years, helping the Padres to four division titles. He supposedly took the Yankee position because he wants to round out his experiences by working for a big-market team. (He certainly knows the ins and outs from the small market side.) He’s no longer part of the “boy GMs” that began taking over baseball in the past decade, but he’s also still only in his 40s, which means he’s in what should be his peak years and could be a GM for another twenty years plus if he wishes.

      Even though the Yankees are the big fish in the pond, I don’t see him wanting to step back to become just the head of player development, unless running the Yankees system for a couple years is exactly what he wants before taking over as GM for a big-market team. Yet if you’re the Yankees, would you want a guy who might only be committed for a year or two?

      Last scenario. If Towers thinks Cash is planning to leave after his current contract expires, then Towers just might stick around.

      It’s funny. There was this big movement of really young GMs taking over baseball starting in the 90s. The general thought it was a major change as the old way was being kicked aside. That may be true, but it’s not as if we’re going to keep seeing 30-year-olds take over as GMs. None of these guys may plan on leaving the game until they’re in their 60s and 70s. Cash may be planning to hold his job for another quarter century! Serving under George was the hard part. The rest will appear easy.

      • vin says:

        You said what I was thinking, except you took the time to type it and did a better job explaining it.

        I really like your last point though regarding the influx of young GMs into the game. The Andrew Friedman and Jon Daniels of the world will probably become a part of the old guard in 25-30 years. It’s foolish to think these guys will step down anytime soon. The guys they replaced (generally speaking) hung around for years and years.

        Seems to me that there will probably be fewer GM openings in the next decade or so, compared to the past decade. Opp and Eppler better get theirs while there’s an opportunity. Not that I want to see them leave.

      • A.D. says:

        Cash may be planning to hold his job for another quarter century!

        A lot of times what one sees is a person retire sooner than that cause they’ve made enough money, or ascend to some type of board/president/adviser spot which has a lot less pressure then being a GM

        • drill me deep says:

          cash has done pretty good job with the farms or at least should be credited with putting the right personnel in that position (Newman, Opp) to do a good job.

          But there are plenty cats who can do an adequate job that Cash has been doing for the past decade or so.

          I personally would take Theo or Friedman over Cash. The Yankees finanicial might remain as the only indispensable part of this winning tradition. without our 220 mils payroll, cash would have simply been a mediocre GM.

          • I wouldn’t take Theo. He loves his farm system too much. Cashman isn’t afraid to trade a prospect for someone who’s already at the prospect’s ceiling (do you think Theo would have ever traded Ajax for Granderson?). Yes, he’s held onto Buchholz. Yes, he held onto Bard. But look at his recent deals… you practically have to pry prospects out of his fingers. That’s just not a good way of building a team. Not every prospect is going to work out, sometimes traded for an established major leaguer is the way to go.

            • Steve H says:

              He also hung onto Bowden. And paid Dice-K $100+ million.

              • Rick in Boston says:

                And how much is he paying his former SS’s right now?

                • Matt Montero says:

                  Beckett- 15.75 for 4 year

                  Dicek- 8mil this year, 10 mil next two years

                  David Ortiz- 12.5mil since 07, same option next year (not bad but he only ofers 25+hrs, thats it, nothing else, not a fan of that)

                  Julio Lugo- Nope he’s not on the team, but you know what is on the Sawks? His 9mil left on his contract!

                  Thats two vastly overpaid, highly underperforming players filling your rotaton

                  • Matt Montero says:

                    Oops forgot one… Lackey! So the rotation looks like this!

                    Beckett- 15.75 for 4 year

                    Dicek- 8mil this year, 10 mil next two years

                    Lackey- 18mil this year, 15.25 til 2014

                    All three guys with a 4+ era, Beckett with over 6…
                    Nearly a quarter of their salary stuck in that and none of them are performing…

                    I’m not saying anyone is perfect but It’s usually a bad idea to give a guy who turned 30 a four year, big bucks contract when he’s only pitched 200 innings three times in his career and half of the four years he has been with the sox, he had an era over 4

          • Steve H says:

            Theo isn’t exactly scraping by with his finances.

            • drill me deep says:

              No, Theo operates within the confines of second largest payroll in baseball and has been for a few years. But it’s worth noting , if Theo is able put up a competitive or even superior team than the yankees operating with 40-50 millions less than the yankee ever since he has assumed the reign of the sox. It stands a reason to believe he could do no worse, perhaps even marginally better than Cashman when given the largest budget in baseball to work with.
              See Andrew Friedman for the same reason.

              • Steve H says:

                It would also stand to reason that the Knicks would have several NBA titles in the past few years because they have spent so much more money than anyone else. Oh, and the Redskins would have a ton of Super Bowls too.

                • drill me deep says:

                  the comparison here is theo and cashman and relatively great success that both team has maintained while Cashman operates with roughly 40-50 millions higher budget than theo.

                  Hence the one can deduce Theo could do no worse .

                  we are talking about the Mets here and omar minaya.
                  The argument is not money is the only factor in winning . But rather, can theo be a better GM for the yankees than cashman.

                  • Rick in Boston says:

                    Ever take a look at Theo’s shortstops since he took over? Or his decisions to not only sign Lackey but re-up Beckett? Theo’s good, but he’s no better than Cashman. Part of Cashman’s high marks are how he deals with the Steinbrenner family. John Henry & co. are more worried about how they look in the press than winning; the Steinbrenners don’t care who they piss off as long as another pennant gets raised at Yankee Stadium.

                    My bet – Theo couldn’t survive 10 minutes working in NY.

                    • vin says:

                      I partly agree. In that where Cashman excels is in his ability to keep himself out of the spotlight, while handling all adversity and keeping the entire organization in a positive light.

                      The Steinbrenners, the NY media, and the general opinion of the Yankees as being the “Evil Empire” could all turn the organization into a circus. Look at the Mets. Imagine if they were the biggest sports team in the world? Imagine if more people cared about them?

                      Handling this high pressure job is something that not only Cashman has done well, but also Torre and Girardi. Remember Girardi in his first year? He had a rough time with the media because of his desire to keep every move close to his vest. He opened up considerably last year and he seems to be thriving in the media’s spotlight.

                    • drill me deep says:

                      no,I know the sox went through a few of them. and Scurtaro is having a comparable statistical year with Jeter. Ever take a look theo’s history @ DH or CAshman’s history with starting pitcher this side of CC?

                      The point is we can all pick one facet or a decision both of them made that hasn’t been ideal. The record stands that Theo has won 2 championships and remain largely competitive on a yearly basis since he took over the red sox while operating with considerably less money than Cashman did.

                      As to Theo’s ability to handle NY? I think he will do just fine with hank and Hal at helm. Things has calmed down considerably since George of 2007, may he rest in peace.

                      The argument will remain largely speculative as i don’t see either of them vacating their positions.

                      But it would be interesting if both them did swap their current post.

                    • bexarama says:

                      Scurtaro is having a comparable statistical year with Jeter
                      That says way more about how meh Jeter’s been than anything about the awesomeness of Marco Scutaro

          • MikeD says:

            Not sure you’re really a Yankee fan, but no matter since your point does get made from time to time.

            There’s really no way of knowing what kind of GM Cash would be working for a smaller team, but there’s zero reason to assume he wouldn’t do a fine job. He’s held one of the toughest posts in the game and has done well, and running any business that’s expect to always succeed is more difficult than running a business that’s not.

            Having access to money guarantees nothing and, of course, the pressures of GMing the Yankees exceeds any team by quite a margin. The Yankees showed from 1978 to 1996 that just buying players will not lead to championships. I divide Cash’s regime almost into three segments: ’98-01, ’02-05 and ’06-today.

            ’98-01: He gets an “B+”: He was obviously part of the dynasty run at the start of his GM career, and was part of the front office that helped build it even before he assumed the GM position, yet in many ways he was the Sheppard for a team already built. He did a good job keeping it running, but I can’t give him full credit since he inherited an already great team.

            ’02-’05: These are the lost years and Cashman gets an incomplete. This was George Steinbrenner’s last gasp. He reverted to his worst 1980s ways after the Yankees lost the ’01 World Series. GS went after the big-name free agents, ignored the farm system, and pretty much threw out the concept of having a long-term plan. The Tampa operation was running the team, marginalizing the NY Cashman faction. As most of us know, Cashman was planning to leave, but pulled one last attempted power play that, thankfully, paid off. GS gave him full control of baseball operations, probably for the first time ever.

            Cashman put the right people in charge to work with him, and rebuilt the Yankee farm system with a high-risk, high-reward strategy that now forms the foundation of the Yankees. These players either can help the team or be used as trade bait. He was smart enough to pass on Santana, knowing there was a better and stronger $20-million-a-year lefty coming on the market the following season. He not only got a more durable pitcher (imagine if we had the sore-armed Santana heading into last year’s play-offs instead of the innings eater in CC), but he got to keep Phil Hughes in the process. When the Steinbrenners has closed the books on spending money, he was able to convince them to reopen it for Tex, basically out maneuvering Tex away from the Red Sox. He traded Wilson Betimet for Nick Swisher, changed the culture of the Yankee club house, while also implementing a strategy that stretched the Yankee bullpen down to AAA. For three straight years we’ve had one of the best bullpens in the game, built with a lot of no-name arms. Yankee fans pick on players like Gaudin, Mosely and Mitre, but they are there for a reason. Pitchers break down as the season progresses, so Cashman and Company have ensured MLB-ready arms can step in. Other GMs don’t even have to add this into their strategy because they’re out of the race come August and September. Running the Yankees requires thinking a bit more multi-dimensionally then being the GM of other teams. Cashman may have more notches on his belt to date (World Series) from the first phase, but he’s done his best work over the five seasons. He gets an A.

            Cashman how more power and influence than at any point in his tenure because unlike George, Hal lets Cashman run the baseball operations, and that’s a good thing. A well-run Yankee organization is probably the most frightening thing for the rest of MLB, and I have to say, since I’ve been watching the Yankees, this is the most well-run front office.

            Theo? In many ways he’s had less control of the Sox than Cashman has had of the Yankees. The way the Sox set up their front office no one person has control. Theo is the face, but he’s not making all the decisions, and frankly he had little to do with the ’04 team. I wouldn’t trade Cashman for him. Considering Cashman has survived and thrived since ’98, a length of time no GM has had since the Steinbrenners took control, he is certainly more battle-tested than Theo.

            No way of knowing if other GMs could run the Yankees as well as Cashman. As said, for his most recent period, he gets a well-deserved “A.”

  6. Kevin M. says:

    Eppler’s not smart enough to know that starting pitchers are more valuable than relievers so I think if he left it would be addition by subtraction.

    • drill me deep says:

      The upper minor is fairly mediocre this season, with guys like Dubront, Kalish headlining the next crop, I think theo has made , by and large, the correct decision in holding on to what he valued. I have no idea if theo would have traded Ajax for Granderson. There are so many variables to say he would or would not in this equation, it’s hard to come any solid conclusion one way or another. The last big trade of Vmart for Masterson has so far worked in favor of the red sox. his off season move of Beltre, Scutaro and Cameron has worked out well enough when acct for cumulative performance.
      The signing of Lackey is a risk, but still much less of risk than Burnett IMO.
      Under Theo, sox has produce, Youkiss, Pedro, Bucholtz ,lester ,bard, and Papelbon. that is quite a large haul that would put cashman to shame. he also manage to turn couple zeros into Wagner into 1st round picks that further enrich their system.

      so overall, i will take theo over cashman anyday, keep in mind that he will have even a bigger budget to work with in NY. part of in reluctance to trade prospects in this season could also be the result of tightening purse strings from the ownership.

      • vin says:

        Can’t give him credit for Youkilis and Pedro. Theo started the job on Nov. 25, 2002. Those guys were there first. And I assume you mean the prospects used to acquire Pedro, since he was developed by the Dodgers.

        It’s really hard to say one GM is better than another, especially when discussing two good GMs. If you said Theo was better than Dayton Moore or Kenny Williams, then I’d go out on the limb and agree.

        I don’t have any inside information, but I assume player personnel is just one aspect of being a GM. By all accounts, right now the Yankees seem to be a well-run ship and Cashman is in charge. You don’t really hear about players ripping the organization on their way out, the farm teams all seem to be well run, the public relations department is second to none. I really think there’s more to being a GM than making trades, signing FA’s, and drafting players.

        I really think its partly a myth that large budget = more wins. There have been plenty of middle market teams that have had success over the past decade. Success being defined as being in the playoff hunt. If Theo had an extra 20% to work with, I doubt he would win 20% more games. It just doesn’t work like that.

      • bexarama says:

        Youkiss

        worst typo ever

      • Matt Montero says:

        How can really credit Theo soley for the prospects turning into good players? For the Yanks, doesnt Damon Opp do it? SUre the GM has his say, but he relies on Damon if I understand correctly. Through the minors, the instructors work on their mechanics with the coaches and other guys helping out. He probly does stuff with calling guys up to the next level, not sure about that. Yea you gotta give credit or not trading away the right guys, but is that a good eye for talent or luck? Probably both. Theres just too many variables to rate how good GMs are theres other guys, luck, their own players hustle and ability, management etc

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Under Theo, sox has produce, Youkiss, Pedro, Bucholtz ,lester ,bard, and Papelbon. that is quite a large haul that would put cashman to shame

        You might want to look up exactly when some of those guys were drafted. Hint: before Theo took over.

        • Steve (different one) says:

          When you take Youkilis and Lester out, since they pre-dated Theo, you still have a very solid group, but it’s not exactly putting Cano, Robertson, Joba, Hughes, Gardner, etc “to shame”. Plus, the Yankee farm system is currently better than the Sox system. Montero is a better prospect than anyone in Boston’s system.

          Youkilis and Lester are definitely great talents, and I agree that if they *were* in the argument, it would be pretty impressive. But they aren’t.

  7. drill me deep says:

    bexarama says:
    September 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm
    Scurtaro is having a comparable statistical year with Jeter
    That says way more about how meh Jeter’s been than anything about the awesomeness of Marco Scutaro
    —————-
    ? right both are having very pedestrian season, but not terrible.
    but slight distortion of reality here, who is claiming any ‘awesomeness’ of Scutaro?

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