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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red Sox could bring on Omar Minaya to baseball ops staff

Well, we know where he learned obp from…ops, I’m not quite sure.

With the Red Sox considering changes in baseball operations, including in international scouting, is it possible Omar Minaya could be added to the staff? According to a source, the Sox may be interested in Minaya for a position in the organization.

...Minaya was appointed GM of the Mets on Sept. 30, 2004, a position he held until the end of the 2010 season, when he was let go with two years remaining on his contract.  He was not with a team in 2011, and still has one year remaining on his Mets contract, which would not affect the Sox’ ability to hire him. If he were to join the Sox, the money owed him by the Mets would be reduced by the amount of his Sox salary for 2012.

“He’s a versatile experienced baseball man,” said one major league executive. “He can scout and knows Latin America. He’s a good evaluator with good people skills and a creative mind. He’s not afraid to think outside the box. He’s aggressive. He likes players.”

Repoz Posted: November 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, expos, history, mets, red sox

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   1. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: November 17, 2011 at 12:22 PM (#3995489)
Whether they pay him 1 dollar or whatever the Mets owe him, he'll still make the same amount, right? If yes, he should negotiate for next year. "You pay me 1 dollar this year, and next year you pay me (something more than what he might get under normal circumstances)."

Screw the Mets!
   2. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: November 17, 2011 at 12:30 PM (#3995490)
He likes players.


Uhm... ok.
   3. bobm Posted: November 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM (#3995494)
Maybe Minaya can advise the Red Sox on how to revamp their medical staff and injury treatment regimens. :)
   4. OCD SS Posted: November 17, 2011 at 01:11 PM (#3995497)
I guess we can look forward to the Red Sox picking up former Mets players to fill minor roles now, instead of getting former players from KC, right?
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3995500)
The Red Sox international scouting and development system under Theo has been pretty terrible. If Minaya - who came up through international scouting, and has a lot of successful signings on his record - can make an impact there, he would be a great addition to the front office.
   6. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 17, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3995511)
The Red Sox international scouting and development system under Theo has been pretty terrible. ...

This seems like a case of when things are going well, everything looks great, and when things go poorly (e.g., Sept. 2011), everything looks terrible.

From Matsuzaka to Iglesias, it seems like only months ago that Shipley was being lauded for running one of the best int'l departments in baseball. Now all of a sudden, in addition to the major changes with the GM, manager, medical staff, front office, etc., the Sox apparently have decided they need major changes internationally.

I'm not defending the Sox' record internationally. My point is simply that either the media was feeding us a lot of nonsense for the past few years vis-a-vis the Sox being a model franchise or the Sox are overreacting to a bad month.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3995513)
From Matsuzaka to Iglesias, it seems like only months ago that Shipley was being lauded for running one of the best int'l departments in baseball.
By whom? I've been saying the Red Sox international system has been a mess for years. Over nine years, they've developed very, very little Latin American talent, their big signings have mostly busted.

The problems with the Red Sox international scouting and development don't really have anything to do with Matsuzaka or Iglesias. Those are MLB or close-to-MLB talents that the Sox paid the most money for. The problem the Sox have had is in the traditional international arena, paying $50k and $500k for kids out of Venezuela or the DR and developing them into impact talents.
Either the media was feeding us a lot of nonsense for the past few years vis-a-vis the Sox being a model franchise or the Sox are overreacting to a bad month.
Do you have any evidence of this? If the media was telling you that the Sox were great internationally because of Matsuzaka, the media was feeding you a line you should never have bought in the first place - $100M signings are done by the whole baseball ops department, not by the international division. And I can't remember a single article, anywhere, which talked about the successes of the Red Sox academies in the DR or the Red Sox scouting in Venezuela or elsewhere in Latin America.

I've seen some little notes about the Red Sox being leaders in East Asian scouting, but that's a relatively minor part of the international game. There are many more ballplayers in Latin America, and the Sox have gotten very little out of their LA scouting and development.
   8. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 17, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3995518)
By whom? I've been saying the Red Sox international system has been a mess for years.

I wasn't talking about you. I simply used your comment as a jumping-off point.

Do you have any evidence of this? ... And I can't remember a single article, anywhere, ...

I've read plenty of such articles, and I've also seen Shipley's name mentioned in the offseason rumor mill for better jobs elsewhere. Until the last couple of days, I hadn't gotten the impression that Shipley's stock had fallen, which would be the logical result of running a dept. that was seen as underperforming.

The international aspect aside, if there were so many deficiencies in the Sox' operations, why did we not start hearing anything about it until late September? It's not like the Sox have just two beat writers, like the Astros. As people said after the controversial Hohler piece, how or why did all of this stay under wraps for so long? Maybe the tide turned and I missed it, but as of late August, I was under the impression that the Sox were still seen as having a model bb ops dept. Now, one bad month later, few areas of their bb ops have been left untouched. As bad as Sept. was for the Sox, it seems like an odd turn of events.
   9. Darren Posted: November 17, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3995522)
Good point, MC. That would seem to be a good fit for his skills.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3995523)
if there were so many deficiencies in the Sox' operations, why did we not start hearing anything about them until late September?
What deficiencies? The medical staff was a subject of discussion for years. International scouting hasn't been a subject of discussion because player development as a whole has been exceptional in the Epstein years - entirely from drafted talent. The Sox draft record has been so good that no one in the media has really bothered to consider that their record internationally is weak.

I don't think there are hardly any "deficiencies" in the Sox' operations. I think that Terry Francona, as players' managers are wont to do, hit his expiration date with the club. He was not a deficient manager previously, but this is what happens to managers.
Now, one bad month later, few areas of their bb ops have been left untouched.
Except that the entire baseball ops team that was working for Theo Epstein is now working for his assistant, Ben Cherington. They're bringing in an advisor to help with one subset of baseball operations which had been underperforming. That seems like the sort of thing a good, competent baseball ops department does.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3995528)
These are the changes in the Red Sox baseball operations:

Theo Epstein left, against the wishes of ownership, replaced by his long-time assistant with everyone in baseball ops taking chained promotions to fill the department. I see no suggestion of "deficiencies" there. If Epstein's baseball operations department was seen as a significant problem, they wouldn't be keeping all of the same people on to run things.

Terry Francona left - as I've said, he was a good manager who hit his expiration date. These things happen. The Sox are looking at mostly Francona clones - players managers who will be solid company men, pretty good with numbers and good with the media.

They've overhauled the medical staff, which has been a subject of major criticism for the last two years. The major cause of the team's underperformance in both 2010 and 2011 was injuries. The team is staying affiliated with MGH, but Gill is out and the structure of the team's medical department will be entirely reconsidered.

They're bringing in Omar Minaya as an advisor, hopefully to oversee international scounting and development, where the club has been weak.

I don't see any major changes to most of baseball operations, I don't see any new "deficiencies" being identified, just existing deficiencies being addressed. I wish they'd gotten to the medical staff thing a year ago, when it would have been equally justified. I wish they'd brought in someone to advise international scouting and development five years ago. I'm sad Theo's gone, but I'm confident his replacements will have similar philosophies, methods, and results.
   12. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3995531)
10 — I don't want to go in circles, so I'll probably bow out here. As I said in #6 and #8, it seemed like all was well with the Sox until late August, and now, one bad month later, the GM is gone, the manager is gone, the strength guy was fired, an asst. trainer was fired, the medical dept. is being overhauled, the int'l dept. is apparently in the midst of being overhauled, etc. Maybe all of this would have happened anyway and it just seems more conspicuous because of the collapse, but as of August, I didn't get the impression that the Sox were hurtling toward such major offseason upheaval.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3995532)
And I can't remember a single article, anywhere, which talked about the successes of the Red Sox academies in the DR or the Red Sox scouting in Venezuela or elsewhere in Latin America.
...
I've read plenty of such articles
I follow the Sox very closely. I'm sure there must have been a puff piece here on there, but I honestly can't remember a single one, and a quick google turned up nothing. Cite?
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:17 PM (#3995533)
As I said in #6 and #8, it seemed like all was well with the Sox until late August, and now, one bad month later, the GM is gone, the manager is gone, the strength guy was fired, an asst. trainer was fired, the medical dept. is being overhauled, the int'l dept. is apparently in the midst of being overhauled, etc.
If you take out the GM, where the club is really not doing much overhauling at all, that's a very minor list.

You have an overhaul of the training and medical staffs, which is obviously were deficiencies in the Sox organization. You have a new advisor coming in to help with international scouting - not necessarily an overhaul, just a new advisor. You have a new manager, which is a pretty normal development after two disappointing seasons, and the candidates all look a lot like new versions of the guy who left.

And that's it. If you make a big deal out of Epstein being replaced by all the people who worked with Epstein, then it looks like a big overhaul. I think that's the wrong reading, and then all you've got is training and medical, and a new advisor in international scouting and development. They aren't doing major offseason upheaval.
   15. Darren Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#3995535)
From Matsuzaka to Iglesias, it seems like only months ago that Shipley was being lauded for running one of the best int'l departments in baseball.


All of MC's other (very good) points aside, when Matsuzaka and Iglesias are your successes, you're not doing a very good job.
   16. Darren Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:24 PM (#3995538)
Also, too, the Red Sox missed the playoffs in 2010 with a big huge payroll. It's not like 2011's collapse was their only recent failing.
   17. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3995542)
I follow the Sox very closely. I'm sure there must have been a puff piece here on there, but I honestly can't remember a single one, and a quick google turned up nothing. Cite?

Sorry, no. I wasn't trolling above — i.e., I wouldn't have said I've read articles if I hadn't. Moreover, I've seen Shipley's name mentioned on a constant basis as a vital member of the Sox staff and as a rumored candidate for better jobs elsewhere, both of which would seem illogical if the consensus is that he's been running a below-average int'l dept.

(Either way, I'm going offline for a while, so perhaps we should agree to disagree.)

All of MC's other (very good) points aside, when Matsuzaka and Iglesias are your successes, you're not doing a very good job.

I explicitly said in #6 that I wasn't defending the Sox' int'l track record.

They aren't doing major offseason upheaval.

When a GM and manager who won two World Series in seven years — the team's first two WS wins since forever — both leave unexpectedly, amid borderline shocking amounts of acrimony and infighting, I count that as major upheaval. But again, we should probably agree to disagree.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:29 PM (#3995544)
Also, too, the Red Sox missed the playoffs in 2010 with a big huge payroll. It's not like 2011's collapse was their only recent failing.
It's true. I think there would have been a real case for much more significant changes than have been undertaken - baseball operations looks like the same place with the same people, even after two years underperforming with a huge payroll. I'm still confident in the team the Sox have in place, but I could understand why a Red Sox fan might want there to actually be an overhaul.
   19. Darren Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3995549)
Sorry, no. I wasn't trolling above — i.e., I wouldn't have said I've read articles if I hadn't. Moreover, I've seen Shipley's name mentioned on a constant basis as a vital member of the Sox staff and as a rumored candidate for better jobs elsewhere, both of which would seem illogical if the consensus is that he's been running a below-average int'l dept.


I have no doubt there have been articles that discuss Shipley quite positively. But I think that was a result of the Sox success. The team was doing well, winning 90-something games every year, so of course the international scouting guy was great (and so was the manager, the GM, the assistants, the medical staff, etc). If the recent poor showings on the field made the team (and the media) reconsider these assumptions, that's a good thing.

As for MC, he has definitely been talking about the international scouting problem for a long time.
   20. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3995554)
I have no doubt there have been articles that discuss Shipley quite positively. But I think that was a result of the Sox success. The team was doing well, winning 90-something games every year, so of course the international scouting guy was great (and so was the manager, the GM, the assistants, the medical staff, etc). If the recent poor showings on the field made the team (and the media) reconsider these assumptions, that's a good thing.

Ha ha. I guess this completes the circle. This was exactly my point in my very first comment above — "This seems like a case of when things are going well, everything looks great, and when things go poorly (e.g., Sept. 2011), everything looks terrible" — a comment with which MCoA apparently disagreed.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#3995562)
If you're back in the thread, I'll respond...
"This seems like a case of when things are going well, everything looks great, and when things go poorly (e.g., Sept. 2011), everything looks terrible" — a comment with which MCoA apparently disagreed.
Is this about the media or the Red Sox? Surely the media have overstated both the excellence of the Sox organization before 2010 and the crapulence of the organization after 2011. I have made few claims about the media representation of things one way or the other. (Though I really don't think I've ever seen a tremendously positive discussion of the Red Sox Latin American program - I don't think you're lying, but I do think you may be mis-remembering.)

What I disagreed with was your claim that the "Sox are overreacting to a bad month" - a claim not about the media, but about the Red Sox organization. As I've laid out repetitively, I think that's a misreading of the changes in the Red Sox organization since October.

EDIT: I think it's both the case that the Sox are a very strong organization and that they needed to fix some problems in the organization, problems which were integral to their disappointing seasons in 2010 and 2011. I don't think either that the praise of the organization was bullshit or that the Sox are overreacting. If someone said the Red Sox were without flaw or without peer, that was bullshit. But you can be very good and have a bad year, and you can be very good but have flaws you want to fix.
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 17, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3995566)
I think the only questionable thing the Sox have done that can be considered a function of one bad month is to let Tito go. If they had won 95 games would he still be here? Would he deserve to be here?

The changes on the medical staff have been somewhat expected for a long time now and Theo seems to have left voluntarily.
   23. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 17, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3995568)
21 — I thought my last sentence in my first comment (#6) was very clear, but perhaps not. Until September, other than occasional stories about the Sox' medical dept., I can't recall any stories about internal strife, Francona losing the team, Theo wanting to leave before his contract was up, unhappiness with the team's int'l ops, etc. It was only after the collapse that all of this started coming out. It seems like the Sox media contingent either missed a lot of stories or sat on them.
   24. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: November 17, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3995569)
Though I really don't think I've ever seen a tremendously positive discussion of the Red Sox Latin American program


The best way to find such a discussion is to put "gammons" and "red sox latin american program" in a google search. The most relevant link comes back to this .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)! Theo is mentioned, Minaya is too. Our man Matt has this:

5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 11, 2010 at 12:14 PM (#3433970)

The Red Sox as trendsetters in Latin America is, well, at least a very premature claim.

The Red Sox Latin American program has not produced a single legit prospect under Theo Epstein. Their best are Stolmy Pimentel, Felix Doubront, and Yamaico Navarro. I'd be surprised if any of the three ever became a major league regular (maybe Navarro, if his glove is legit). Their bonus babies have all been busts so far - Almanzar, Tejeda, Beltre - though each of those guys is at least young enough he could turn it around. They haven't found any surprising stars yet at lower cost levels.

The Red Sox under Epstein have re-shuffled their Latin American programs twice already. I assume this new "trendsetting" project is part of the new team in the DR, and I hope it works out. But I'm not exactly expecting much at this point.
   25. The Essex Snead Posted: November 17, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#3995576)
Also, too, the Red Sox missed the playoffs in 2010 with a big huge payroll because two of their best hitters, their starting CF, and one of their starters were on the DL for extended periods of time.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 17, 2011 at 04:32 PM (#3995599)
21 — I thought my last sentence in my first comment (#6) was very clear, but perhaps not. Until September, other than occasional stories about the Sox' medical dept., I can't recall any stories about internal strife, Francona losing the team, Theo wanting to leave before his contract was up, unhappiness with the team's int'l ops, etc. It was only after the collapse that all of this started coming out. It seems like the Sox media contingent either missed a lot of stories or sat on them.
If all this is about is the media, I don't really have much of an opinion one way or the other.

What I disagreed with was the claim that "few areas of their bb ops have been left untouched" and there has been "major offseason upheaval", suggesting major overhauls in the way the club is run. You talk about there being "so many deficiencies" in the Sox organization, and as an alternative that "the Sox are overreacting". There have been changes, so you're not technically wrong, but baseball ops is the same thing it always was, just with Theo's assistant now at the head of the table. There were some deficiencies which are being addressed, in what look to me like reasonable and measured ways.
   27. billyshears Posted: November 17, 2011 at 05:02 PM (#3995631)
If Minaya - who came up through international scouting, and has a lot of successful signings on his record - can make an impact there, he would be a great addition to the front office.


During Minaya's tenure, the Mets had basically no success in developing Latin American players. The only year they made a significant investment they signed Fernando Martinez and Deolis Guerrera, neither of who has had major league success or is currently regarded as a top prospect. In other years, they signed clear second tier prospects like Francisco Pena, Wilmer Flores, Jefry Marte, Juan Urbina and Cesar Puello. Some of those players have had a modicum of minor league success, but again, none are regarded as top prospects. There have been no lower tier signings who have broken out to be much more than expected, unless Reuben Tejada excites you. Of course, these poor results may be partly due to ownership's unwillingness to invest, but for an executive such as Minaya who has built a reputation on scouting of Latin America, you would expect much better.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 17, 2011 at 05:21 PM (#3995642)
If Minaya - who came up through international scouting, and has a lot of successful signings on his record - can make an impact there, he would be a great addition to the front office.

My memory is pretty hazy, and I don't really keep close track of the Mets, but as #27 indicated, it's not clear that Minaya had that much success with international player development while with the Mets. Montreal might be a different story, but how much was due to Minaya if he wasn't able to replicate it elsewhere? Still, it probably doesn't hurt Boston to have another prominent name in the front office.
   29. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 17, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3995665)
Moments apart on Twitter just now:

RT @alexspeier Sources: #RedSox expected to replace Craig Shipley as director of international scouting bit.ly/sKBknT

RT @GreshandZo: We're hearing from very reliable sources info in the Bob Hohler article on #RedSox was leaked by Theo Epstein
   30. Swedish Chef Posted: November 17, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#3995680)
We're hearing from very reliable sources info in the Bob Hohler article on #RedSox was leaked by Theo Epstein

Leaking that tidbit is very meta.
   31. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: November 18, 2011 at 12:39 AM (#3996129)
"During Minaya's tenure, the Mets had basically no success in developing Latin American players."

Good. This makes it easier for me to snark somewhere, as i've wanted too all week, that Minaya can take a Red Sox gig. (all week it's been reported he's been apparently offered a gig with TO to scout) I have never cared for him as an exec. Maybe he's un-luddited himself in recent years, and mouths off less in the "I don't talk OBP" speak.
   32. Jittery McFrog Posted: November 18, 2011 at 02:22 AM (#3996188)
Do you have any evidence of this?


Just google stuff like "Craig Shipley", "Boston Red Sox", "international", then filter out stuff from post-September 2011. e.g.

"Another organization that has put abundant resources into international scouting is the Boston Red Sox, considered by some as the emerging leader in procuring foreign talent." Baltimore Sun, Dec 2009

"18. Craig Shipley: The former utility infielder is the point man on the Red Sox' increasingly aggressive -- and thus far remarkably successful -- forays into Japan." Chadd Finn, ranking Shipley as the 18th most important Red Sock (1 spot behind Bill James) in the Boston Globe, Nov. 2008

Not saying I agree, but the Sox have been talked up on the international front since they signed Dice-K.
   33. Something Other Posted: November 18, 2011 at 08:26 AM (#3996313)
10 — I don't want to go in circles, so I'll probably bow out here. As I said in #6 and #8, it seemed like all was well with the Sox until late August, and now, one bad month later, the GM is gone, the manager is gone, the strength guy was fired, an asst. trainer was fired, the medical dept. is being overhauled, the int'l dept. is apparently in the midst of being overhauled, etc. Maybe all of this would have happened anyway and it just seems more conspicuous because of the collapse, but as of August, I didn't get the impression that the Sox were hurtling toward such major offseason upheaval.
Regarding this and 21, agreed. Nor did I.

During Minaya's tenure, the Mets had basically no success in developing Latin American players. The only year they made a significant investment they signed Fernando Martinez and Deolis Guerrera, neither of who has had major league success or is currently regarded as a top prospect. In other years, they signed clear second tier prospects like Francisco Pena, Wilmer Flores, Jefry Marte, Juan Urbina and Cesar Puello. Some of those players have had a modicum of minor league success, but again, none are regarded as top prospects. There have been no lower tier signings who have broken out to be much more than expected, unless Reuben Tejada excites you. Of course, these poor results may be partly due to ownership's unwillingness to invest, but for an executive such as Minaya who has built a reputation on scouting of Latin America, you would expect much better.
Until there's a good-sized article this is as good a synopsis as we're likely to see. My guess is that Minaya gets a pat on the back for his international signings from time to time from people unfamiliar with his work because otherwise you couldn't say anything good at all about the poor man.

As one of a batch of scouts, sure, why not? On second thought, why? What kind of horror would someone have to wreak on a baseball organization that Minaya didn't in order to dq themselves from consideration? Even his good-looking work with bit players at the beginning of his Mets tenure looked more and more flukish as time went on.

Whether they pay him 1 dollar or whatever the Mets owe him, he'll still make the same amount, right? If yes, he should negotiate for next year. "You pay me 1 dollar this year, and next year you pay me (something more than what he might get under normal circumstances)."
Does it work that way for baseball execs, though? As for negotiating a multiyear deal for Minaya, I'm just not seeing the demand or the rationale. You just might want that dollar back.
   34. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: November 19, 2011 at 06:57 AM (#3997086)
I'm with MCoA - the Red Sox have talked a good game about foreign scouting, and it sounds like they've put a lot of resources into it, but man, they don't have much to show. We've talked about it here a bunch of times. I don't really know what the media has said - probably something about how the Red Sox are putting resources into that area - but obviously nothing has come of it. It's not really a big news story because nothing has changed. The Red Sox still don't have a very good international track record.

I can't really comment on Minaya's competence, but the Red Sox also hired Allard Baird, perhaps one of the worst GMs ever, as some sort of consultant. I can't really say if Baird contributed much, but I can't rule out that he's generated baseball anti-knowledge during his time with Boston.
   35. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 19, 2011 at 08:27 AM (#3997095)
What kind of horror would someone have to wreak on a baseball organization ... in order to dq themselves from consideration?

Speaking generally and not re: Minaya specifically, you have to remember: No matter how bad someone in MLB might be at their job, they're still friends with, and likely a source for, a whole lot of reporters. When such people are fired, the reporters often repay the favor by writing mindless paeans about the fired exec's plans to "return to his roots in scouting" and how he "remains a respected evaluator," blah blah blah. It's been going on forever.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: November 19, 2011 at 09:39 AM (#3997104)
Here's the number of starters that each of this year's playoff teams signed as international amateur free agents, and developed:

Brewers: 0
Cardinals: 0
Diamondbacks: 2 (Montero, Parra)
Phillies: 2 (Ruiz, Bastardo)

Yankees: 3 (Cano, Mo, Nova)
Tigers: 0
Rangers: 0
Rays: 0

Maybe I missed a few players. Obviously, a number of these guys were signed many years ago. Only Parra, Bastardo and Nova were signed after 2002, when Epstein was named GM.

I'm not totally sure what my point is, but I think it's this: we really cannot evaluate the international scouting ability and potential of someone like Minaya (or Epstein or Shipley). It's just not possible. There will never be enough hard evidence. Even if they left more meaningful statistical records, a GM or scouting director is just one dude working at the head of a large organization. We have virtually no ability to interpret how fit these guys are at these specific tasks.

So a quick dismissal like this,

During Minaya's tenure, the Mets had basically no success in developing Latin American players

while undoubtedly true, might not actually be terribly useful in evaluating Minaya as a candidate for this job. First we have to put it in context: how much better are other teams doing? I also wonder how professional scouts evaluate the jobs that they're doing. Teams can go years without graduating legit starters from the minors, and a great scout, at the end of a long career, may only be able to count a handful of really solid players that he's signed. There is a lot of failure in this business, and all the people that are in it every day probably have a better understanding of this. Maybe some of these modestly successful (but ultimately useless) players are something to be proud of. Maybe Timo Perez is a feather in your cap.

GMs are not like baseball players, and the stats on the back of their card do not tell us everything we need to know. If someone like Baird or Minaya is reputed to be an excellent scout, or a good fit with the Sox, we don't have the evidence to disprove it.
   37. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 19, 2011 at 10:18 AM (#3997109)
36 — For purposes of this discussion, I don't see why it matters if a foreign player plays in the big leagues for the team that signed him. For scouting purposes, success is typically defined as a player reaching (and remaining in) the big leagues, rather than reaching the big leagues with the signing team. The latter might be important for purposes of organizational accounting, but the former is what matters when judging a particular scout or executive.

Either way, almost 30 percent of MLB players in 2011 were foreign-born. That seems like a suitably large sample size from which to determine which teams (and, to an extent, which scouts and executives) are good and bad at evaluating and signing foreign players. (It might actually be easier to quantify the abilities of international scouts than it is with their draft counterparts, since int'l players are free agents and are specifically targeted by teams and scouts. With the draft, it's tougher to quantify, since the worst scout in baseball could luck into getting Strasburg or Griffey Jr. while the best scout in baseball could be with a team that has no first-round pick that year, etc.)

Without a doubt, the dreaded "human element" is a big factor in the success rate of players — which, thus, affects the success rate of scouts — but it seems like a stretch to suggest the evaluators can't be evaluated. The track records might be less black and white than a B-R page, but over time, scouts develop track records nonetheless.

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