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 started with the AL East this morning, and we're moving on to the NL East this afternoon. 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, which was also the mean for the NL East as a division.
To ruin the surprise, the Marlins finished dead last in all of baseball, which is about what you'd suspect. At least 25 percent of respondents rated their GMs as a four or a five for every other team but this one, where two lonely fans(who didn't bother leaving comments to justify their votes), or 10 percent of the total, rated Mike Hill as a five. I assume one of those votes was Mike Hill's mom, and the other was probably Jeffrey Loria. Amazingly, despite finishing dead last for the second time in a row, the Marlins still managed to double their score. It's amazing what you can do when you start with scorched earth.
Ok, so without further ado, here are the results, from most confident to least:
Philadelphia Phillies - Matt Klentak
Current Rating: 4.42
Previous Rating: 1.9 (Ruben Amaro Jr.)
Your comment: "While there may not be much to grade Klentak on just yet, I'm confident based on his position. A healthy farm system, a lot of money off the books, #1 overall pick in the draft, the most $$$ to spend on July 2 kids, and he seems to be smart enough to take advantage of those things and stick with his plan. Loved the Giles trade. The Phils are moving in the right direction for the first time in at least five years. And they're not afraid of math or computers anymore!" - @boogiewitstu
My comment: Klentak, and his patron Andy MacPhail, have made great strides in remaking the Phillies. They boast a bunch of young talent who is already contributing at the Major League level, and there's a lot more help on the near horizon. This supposedly rebuilding club may not even lose 95 games.
New York Mets - Sandy Alderson
Current Rating: 4.36
Previous Rating: 3.6
Your comment: "He's very savvy in past trades, swindling the Jays for Syndergaard, d'Arnaud and Becerra as well, for a vet like Dickey (granted Cy Young Winner that year). My problems aren't so much his supposed shortcomings as a GM but rather his ability to work with a small payroll that the owners have given him (which seems ridiculous given they're in New York)." - @ExcessMarksTheSpot
My comment: Virtually every comment we received was similar to the one above: A ton of confidence in Alderson, a ton of doubt about whether the Wilpons will let him succeed. I tend to agree with that, but have to imagine that the financial troubles have to alleviate with additional success and time.
Washington Nationals - Mike Rizzo
Current Rating: 4.2
Previous Rating: 3.9
Your comment: "Though the most recent offseason is concerning, Rizzo has shown an ability to build a strong farm system, make smart trades, and occasionally sign top guys from Boras." - Anonymous
My comment: I'm less sure that Rizzo really knows what he's doing than you guys are. He did go to the mattresses for Matt Williams, after all. And I don't think he's done enough to build up the minor league system. The Nats are probably headed for a collapse in two years.
Atlanta Braves - John Coppolella
Current Rating: 4.0
Previous Rating: 4.2 (John Hart)
Your comment: "Most of the moves that the Braves have made have brought back significant returns and speak clearly to the organization's approach to a rebuild. The Simmons trade still really stings (glad I never buy jerseys) and the lack of position players with power potential is still lacking. However, the wealth of pitching prospects could easily land a marquee bat. In Coppolella I trust." - @shawnstar1987
My comment: Coppolella seems to have embraced where his club is at in the success cycle and is adding long-term assets. That's going to be painful for now, but the Braves will be better in the long haul if a couple of their starter prospects pan out.
Miami Marlins - Mike Hill
Current Rating: 2.1
Previous Rating: 1.0 (Mike Berger)
Your comment: "I really like the Don Mattingly hire, and the fact that they're locking up young players is hopeful, but the team wildy underperforms year in and year out, with the farm being arguably the weakest in the entire league. The major league team Miami has right now is boom or bust, and right now, it's looking like a huge bust. Even with bona fide stars like Jose Fernandez, Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich, and Giancarlo Stanton, the direction of the front office and the real decision maker--Jeffrey Loria-- make me way of the team's present and future." - @allan_nav
My comment: Actually, I've had plenty to say about the Marlins and their front office over the years. Instead, I'm going to turn this over to @Jakeyjake01, because I love giving Marlins fans a forum to vent:
"I believe the front office treats the roster like the owners art pieces. He buys and sells when they are at the highest points and that does not create any kind of chemistry or fan base. It takes more than 1 season to find out what works and who works. Especially if you are going to trust young kids who have yet to reach their prime. It is a different situation than Tampa or Oakland, in those places fans understand there will come a time when the team has to trade a player because money is tight. But in Miami one year we go from 120 million payroll to 45 and fans get mad because they don't see a build up. Then they try to put a band aide on it and it just angers fans more. The fire sale was invented in Miami and it is hard to build a steady fan base if you tick off the parents who want their kids to be Marlins fans but every year they have to pick a new favorite player and so the parents who maybe fans of another team just teach the kid about their team instead of Miami. All of that starts with the front office and setting a trend or tone and sticking to it, not putting a band aid on it."
Mmm...that's the good stuff.