The Dayton Moore All-Stars

USA TODAY Sports

The best of a bad lot says a great deal about the current Royals general manager.

In his 1997 book, The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers, Bill James created career All-Star teams for several prominent managers. The idea was to give a snapshot of the best seasons that managed had by position. He didn't do Joe Torre because Torre had just started with the Yankees at that point, but were he to return to it today, it might look something like this:

Pos

Player

Year

G

R

HR

RBI

BB

AVG/OBP/SLG

WAR

C

Jorge Posada,

2003

142

83

30

101

93

.281/.405/.518

5.9

1B

Tino Martinez

1997

158

96

44

96

75

.296/.371/.577

5.1

2B

Robinson Cano

2007

160

93

19

97

38

.306/.353/.488

6.7

3B

Alex Rodriguez

2007

158

143

54

156

95

.314/.422/.645

9.4

SS

Derek Jeter

1999

158

134

24

102

91

.349/.438/.552

8.0

LF

Bernie Williams

1998

128

101

26

97

74

.339/.422/.575

5.2

CF

Dale Murphy

1983

162

131

36

121

90

.302/.393/.540

7.1

RF

Paul O'Neill

1998

152

95

24

116

57

.317/.372/.510

5.8

DH

Jason Giambi

2002

155

120

41

122

109

.314/.435/.598

7.1

I put Bernie Williams in left field because both he and Murphy should be mentioned if you're going to provide a representative picture of Torre and besides, Torre rarely had great left fielders, Hideki Matsui being the closest to making the list. Here are the pitchers.

Pitcher

Year

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

WAR

SP Andy Pettitte

1997

18-7

0

240.1

233

65

166

2.88

8.4

SP David Cone

1997

12-6

0

195.0

155

86

222

2.82

6.8

SP Mike Mussina

2001

17-11

0

228.2

202

42

214

3.15

7.1

SP Bob Tewksbury

1992

16-5

0

233.0

217

20

91

2.16

6.5

SP Craig Swan

1978

9-6

0

207.1

164

58

125

2.43

5.6

RP Mariano Rivera

1996

8-3

5

107.2

73

34

130

2.09

5.0

These are a lot of fun to do. I did several of them for Baseball Prospectus back in the day, including the example above, and should probably do a few more, because it's been 16 years since James did his version and we now have managers like Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa whose entire careers are now in the books, as well as still-active managers with a lengthy record to choose from, for example Jim Leyland, Terry Francona, and Buck Showalter.

It occurred to me, though, that James' All-Star teams could be applied to general managers as well. There are no stats that rate general managers easily. We can compile their trades and look at WAR in and WAR out as a shorthand for winning and losing trades, but that's time-consuming and not always terribly instructive given the many considerations that go into making a deal. It seems to me, though, that maybe it's useful to see just how many standout seasons a GM acquired for his team. I can think of no better place to start than with the general manager of the Kansas City Royals, Dayton Moore.

Pos

Player

Year

G

R

HR

RBI

BB

AVG/OBP/SLG

WAR

C

Salvador Perez

2012

76

38

11

39

12

.301/.328/.471

3.0

1B

Billy Butler

2010

158

77

15

78

69

.318/.388/.469

3.2

2B

Mark Grudzielanek

2007

116

70

6

51

23

.302/.346/.426

3.2

3B

Mike Moustakas

2012

149

69

20

73

39

.242/.296/.412

3.2

SS

Mike Aviles

2008

102

68

10

51

18

.325/.354/.480

4.7

LF

Alex Gordon

2011

151

101

23

87

67

.303/.376/.502

7.3

CF

Melky Cabrera

2011

155

102

18

87

35

.305/.339/.470

4.5

RF

Jeff Francoeur

2011

153

77

20

87

37

.285/.329/.476

3.2

DH

Billy Butler

2012

161

72

29

107

54

.313/.373/.510

3.2

It feels like a cheat to list Billy Butler twice; Eric Hosmer's post-George Brett surge will probably net him that spot by the end of the year. Still, first base is not going to be the position that rescues the Moore All-Stars from mediocrity. Note the almost complete lack of walks on this table. This is actually a problem that spans the entire history of the Royals franchise. Just six Royals have taken 100 walks in a season, the last being former hitting coach Kevin Seitzer in 1989. No player Royals has taken as many as 80 walks since 1998. This is a shortcoming for which no general manager can escape culpability: You may be required to build your team on the cheap, but no one says you have to build it with self-defeating players.

Pitcher

Year

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

WAR

SP Zack Greinke

2009

16-8

0

229.1

195

51

242

2.16

10.4

SP Gil Meche

2008

13-10

0

210.1

204

73

183

3.47

5.0

SP Bruce Chen

2010

12-7

1

140.1

136

57

98

4.17

2.9

SP Bruce Bannister

2007

12-9

0

165.0

156

44

77

3.87

2.8

SP Kyle Davies

2008

9-7

0

113.0

121

43

71

4.06

2.2

RP Joakim Soria

2010

1-2

42

65.2

53

16

71

1.78

3.7

I thought it would also be interesting to see what the worst seasons a general manager tolerated for an extended period of time were. That's a bit complicated to do in Moore's case because (a) a lot of his best guys are also his worst, though not at the same time, (b) he's packed a whole lot of awful into right field with guys like Jose Guillen, Jeff Francouer, and Mark Teahen that I don't even know how to break all of it out, and (c) Wade Davis is presently rewriting the record books insofar as Moore-era pitching wickedness goes; at 4-9 with a 5.92 ERA he's a full two wins below replacement, so I think we had better wait.

The right field thing is especially wacky. Moore took over as Royals GM at the end of May, 2006. Royals aggregate production in right field since then:

Year

Primary

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

AL RF OPS

2007

Mark Teahen

.296

.361

.421

783

824

2008

Mark Teahen

.271

.324

.432

756

810

2009

Jose Guillen

.257

.326

.353

678

804

2010

David DeJesus

.298

.356

.414

770

791

2011

Jeff Francoeur

.285

.331

.467

798

768

2012

Jeff Francoeur

.241

.290

.377

667

753

2013

Jeff Francoeur

.274

.310

.413

724

738

Right field is the position where baseball expects you to stash your burly sluggers, your cleanup hitters. In seven years of trying, Moore's Royals have gotten to average or above once. They may yet get there this year because David Lough has played well since pushing Jeff Francoeur all the way to San Francisco, but it's still not going to be a big, "This is an asset we can point to going forward" kind of win for the team. It's going to be more like, "Hey, we battled one of the easier positions to fill to a draw. Someone order pizza."

For more on the Royals, visit Royals Review! It's good for you!

This is kind of a low-intensity exercise. We're not saying the general manager had to put together a great team in a single season, but just that we can find the elements of one scattered about his résumé -- maybe he couldn't get it all together in a single season, but by exhibiting taste, intelligence, and discernment, we can see that over a span of years he was able to identify good players at each position. You can't really do that with Dayton Moore.

So when Ken Rosenthal says --

-- and you know Moore is evaluating the players coming back, it doesn't fill you with confidence that he's going to pick the right guys, does it?

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