Looking back this past year, I give O'Brien a C rating for this year. Considering that he wasn't hired till November, he had little time to prepare for the Winter Meetings. Instead, his first three months on the job was busy revamping the front office and farm system while instituting policies that were to be followed by every farm team. His first trade is pretty much inconclusive because we won't know for another year or two if Bong and Nelson pan out. You look at Reitsma's numbers and really they didn't improve that much while in a Braves uniform.
Even then, he took conservative approaches by signing journeyman John Vanderwal for the bench and signing journeyman pitcher Corey Lidle and picking Todd Jones off the scrap heap. But if the young players O'Brien got in return for Lidle and Jones pays off two or three years from now, then you have to say O'Brien's moves were a success. But right now, they are inconclusive.
IMO, I expect O'Brien to be more active this offseason. He personally had the entire season to view the entire organization from top to bottom. He made the moves necessary to revitalize the farm system. That is in place. Now, he can devote more time to the major league roster and if Lindner and Allen allows him to bump the payroll to the 57 million mark, I do expect him to be more active addressing the major league roster this offseason.
So, how do you rate O'Brien's first year?