Jeff Luhnow - Best GM of Modern Era?

Ostensibly his career was ended because of the video scam. But wasn’t it really ended because he proved that you didn’t need to be in Boston or NYC or LA with their unlimited budgets to win in MLB? His core is on the field playing for their 5th straight AL champion title. And they are there because he flaunted convention - tanked for picks - stopped looking at strong chins and hot girlfriends and picked on analytics - fired a scouting department - brought non-baseball people to the top of the organization. He will never be a GM in MLB again - but for my money - no one was better and Rob Manfred couldn’t let it stand. Yes, we were deemed the bad boys. No, it wasn’t real. It was just MLBs way of getting rid of someone who defied convention and wasn’t very likable in doing it. Nothing against James Click - but I will never not be thankful for the remarkable accomplishments that Luhnow’s empire produced.


Luhnow done good, but the best GM of the last 100 years, at least, is Andrew Friedman, and it’s not even close. He turned the Rays from a perennial laughing stock into a perennial contender, beating the Yankees and Red Sox with only unicorn farts and Monopoly money at his disposal. Then when he finally got money he built an absolute juggernaut in Los Angeles. Everyone else is competing for a distant second place.


I think we have to throw a mention Theo Epstein’s way.

Were Click and Friedman in the Tampa FO together?


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I would have to agree. All due respect to Luhnow and Epstein, but turning the Rays into a winner is nothing short of a miracle. And make no mistake the Rays are still run by his disciples and his vision of how to build an organization. There’s a reason Click is in Houston and Bloom is in Boston. Both come from Tampa, both learned from Friedman. Farhan Zaidi also comes to mind, as someone who worked under Friedman(by way of Billy Beane) before running his own team and having success in SF

Edit: Friedman took over as Rays decision maker after the 05 season, the Rays 8th ever and 8th losing. He had 2 more losing seasons in 06 and 07, then 6 straight winning seasons from 08-13 including 2 division titles, 2 WC and 1 pennant. His last season was a losing one 77-85. Then he went to the Dodgers and as you say, he’s built a juggernaut

No one in recent memory has done more with less or more with more.

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That’s a great way of describing him.

I agree with everyone above who slots Friedman into “Best” GM.

That said, I think Luhnow can probably lay claim to being the GM with the most influence on baseball in the last decade. He was on the vanguard across a lot of different areas (for good and ill), and most if not all of the other organizations followed suit because, well, Luhnow got results. Analytics, increased reliance on video (both in-game and for scouting), draft strategies, system-wide coordinated player-development programs, applying game theory to arbitration. Hell, even the massive minor league system overhaul that just went down had roots in a Luhnow proposal to the league.

Too bad he was a dick who didn’t stop his employees from breaking the rules.


One has to consider his work in St. Louis as well. Not the “best”, but very influential. If we consider the Astros only, then Luhnow is the best ever, by a wide margin.

I am particularly grateful for the farm he left the team. Astros had not only the worst Major League team when Luhnow took over, they had the worst minor league system. It’s been a long time since the Astros have had a high draft pick and the system Luhnow built keeps producing quality major league players.

I don’t know why Luhnow and Beltran deserve the vast bulk of the punishment. Hinch and Cora are back to having their praises sung across baseball while Luhnow and Beltran remain pariahs.

Luhnow was a pariah to his peers before the “scandal.”

The difference is that when called out the Astros owner said to Manfred “oh my god, we’re so sorry…we’re horrible people, and we throw ourselves upon your mercy and grace.” The Red Sox owner said “fuck you, this is bullshit. I dare you to do anything”.


That’s a bingo.

He just pointed to the sign on his desk that said “Boston Red Sox” and Manfred skulked away.

Part of it is having stroke because you’re the Red Sox, but the bigger part is not being a gutless little bitch. Crane, for all his willingness to spend, has not mastered that part.

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Mike Fiers wasn’t a Red Sox.


I think that’s the biggest difference. There’s nobody on the record with the Red Sox providing the details and saying who was involved and how. It’s easy to give a blanket denial to a vague allegation.

But I also think it’s true that the Red Sox learned the value of a blanket denial after seeing the penalty the Astros paid for being more forthcoming. Not that that’s a great lesson in ethics or accountability or anything like that. It’s just the way the world sometimes works.

I agree. It is sad to think that the Red Sox players would obfuscate the truth after given immunity but after seeing the Astros players get so much heat by being forthcoming, the Red Sox players wanted no part of that, so they clammed up. Without any first hand account coming from within their organization, they have escaped the constant scrutiny and disdain heaped solely upon the Astros. Another reason those free skating guilty bastards need to go down.

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This may be exactly what Manfred wanted from that aspect.

Everybody STFU and we’ll get back to business. The fact they sealed the Yankees letter 2 years before speaks to that.

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A WSJ article Wednesday (I think) has Beltran back in a managerial role, leaving Luhnow as the sole banished official