Last week, I put a survey in the field that asked you to rate how confident you are in your team's front office on a scale of one to five, with five being the most confident. Over 1900 of you responded. Thank you for taking the time, and thank youto the SBNation site managers who helped promote it.
For this edition of the GM Confidence Ratings, we're going to break up the results into six posts, tackling one division at a time. We'll start with the AL East, and move on from there. I'll also include the previous rating for each club, which we collected in early August of 2015. The mean for this poll was exceptionally high, with the average team rating at 3.8, and the average team rating for the AL East was 3.7. Of all the divisions, the AL East had the smallest range of ratings, with all five fairly well clumped, and had the lowest rating for a club that finished at the top of their division rankings.
Ok, so without further ado, here are the results, from most confident to least:
New York Yankees - Brian Cashman
Current Rating: 4.1
Previous Rating: 3.9
Your comment: "Even with bloated payroll and bad contracts, Cashman continuously and creatively manages to field a competitive team whilst laying the groundwork for long-term future success with his renewed focus on player development. I think the dividends will be evident in the near future!" - @AmeenKhdair
My comment: Cashman is still hampered by the mistakes of the past, some of which were forced on him by ownership, but has been able to supplement the veteran core of his club with promising young players and has rebuilt the Yankees' farm system to the point where it should bear fruit for the next few years.
Tampa Bay Rays - Matt Silverman
Current Rating: 3.9
Previous Rating: 3.9
Your comment: "Rebuilt a farm system and continued to field a competitive team in an environment where the Rays don't have a lot of leverage in the trade market it seems given their consistent position of an inflexible low payroll." -@aaronkindt47
My comment: His club's reliance on players other clubs overlook or who have disappointed elsewhere is always going to leave Silverman vulnerable to truly awful performances, but he's done a good job building a strong rotation on the cheap and still has a strong farm system to draw from.
Boston Red Sox - Dave Dombrowski/Mike Hazen
Current Rating: 3.8
Previous Rating: 2.4 (Ben Cherington)
Your comment: "I'm confident that Dombrowski will make the moves necesarry to make the Red Sox better immediately. He proved this in his acquisitions of Price and Kimbrel in the offseason. I am nervous that he will implode the great farm system that we have. Although Cherington was inept as a GM, the one thing he did well was develop our farm. I also believe that DD will make a trade before the deadline for a true number two starter or maybe even a blockbuster for a Sale or Gray." - @JustInThe90s
My comment: Dombrowski's willingness to go for the jugular is a great match for the Red Sox, who have struggled in recent years to turn talent into performance. Hazen is more of an unknown, and the decision to demote Blake Swihart was super weird.
Baltimore Orioles - Dan Duquette
Current Rating: 3.4
Previous Rating: 3.6
Your comment: "Duquette has clearly found a market inefficiency in signing other team's castoffs with upside on the cheap. When they pan out (2012, 2014) it works out great. When they play terrible (all corner OFs in 2015) it's a hot mess. It also means his biggest strength only pays dividends short term, while his biggest weaknesses have long-term impact. He overvalues dumpster diving to the point that he has bled the farm system dry in the hopes of picking up an extra win or two in the current season, and he has a penchant for signing unwanted "bargain" guys late in the FA period who are only bargains because they have Qualifying Offers attached, so he's giving up draft picks for low ceiling players. I think he's great at getting the most out of a 40-man roster (a lot of that credit probably belongs to Buck Showalter), but I don't have much confidence in his ability to get the O's over the hump or to set the team up for sustained success." - CStoneNo37
My comments: The O's have started hot, but I can't imagine that they're going to be able to bash their opponents into submission all season, or even keep up with their suspect starting rotation. Duquette's better than I probably give him credit for, squeezing much more value out of his roster than he should have any right to (like the commenter above, I also think Buck Showalter has a lot to do with that), but I don't know if he can keep this going much longer.
Toronto Blue Jays - Mark Shapiro/Ross Atkins
Current Rating: 3.2
Previous Rating: 4.5 (Alex Anthoupolos)
Your comment: "One, it's too early in their tenure to say confident or unconfident with any certainty. Two, what Shapiro/Atkins are able to get done is going to depend on ownership support, and Rogers is not exactly forthcoming with fans on that front - so it's difficult to assess just what they're capable of." - Anonymous
My comment: Shapiro's tenure in Cleveland could, if you were being generous, be described as a mixed bag. His club finished above .500 six times in fifteen years and made the postseason twice. He's strict on budgets, which seems likely to hamper the Blue Jays as they try to do something productive in this competitive window.