The Redlegs' buffoonery hasn't been giving me much to be think about with on-field strategy these days. Increasingly despondent, I've turned my thoughts to GM technique. As we all know, WK has been busy with a flurry of moves recently, demoting and adding players too and from the ML roster (Coffey and Saarloos demoted, Milton to the DL, Encarnacion down and back again, Keppinger and Hopper resurfacing like yo-yos). Some of us are wont to call this type of shuffling "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic", but I thought we might dig a bit deeper.
Anyway, here's what I'm wondering. These are really more a cluster of interrelated questions about roster management than a coherent argument, but here goes nothing...
1) To what extent is K's recent roster management "by the book"?
I'm wondering it there are prevailing schools of thought about what to do with, for example, an ineffective starter with a big contract like Milton, or perhaps with a promising starter like Bailey, or an ineffective young regular like EdE. Does K strike out on his own in these matters, or is he a card-carrying member of the club?
2) Has K managed yet to carve his own distinctive identity as a GM?
Could be that his reputation just as a bit of a naive newcomer (see Trade, The) or that there is something much more complicated going on. I'd like to think K has a master plan but it's sure hard to see what's going on from where I sit.
3) How does K measure up in the current crop of GMs in terms of managing the roster?
All of this yanking of players back-and-forth simply may be par for the course, but it sure does seem that K has some sort of functional view of demotions as "punishment" or "message-sending" at the very least. My memory grows dim, but I don't recall other previous Reds GMs being so quick to demote, DFA, and the like. It's hard to trace an overall strategy, but he seems finicky and capricious at worst, compulsive and instinctive at best. Perhaps some amalgam of Terry Ryan dogma and dumb luck, but the jury may still be out. (Okay, sorry for the editorial comment. Inappropriate for this type of post. Moving on... no more snarkiness)
4) Are there different types of GMs? If so, can we talk about different "schools" of roster management?
Could be I am just plain ignorant of some pre-existing classification. You know, like "wheel and deal" or "slash and cut" or "blow up and rebuild." Better yet, these may be modes that all GMs adopt at different times, and that different GMs excel at in different ways. From my novice position I can already think of a few reputations out there. The Billy Beane "school" (sell high, invest low, draft college, seek undervalued commodities) is probably the most notorious, but surely there is also a Schuerholz approach (foundational building blocks with gradually phased in young talent), perhaps the Jocketty approach (analyze the market and trade for best-fitting pieces at opportune moments) the Ryan approach (strong farm development buttressed by undervalued veteran free agent signings) and *gasp* the Bavasi approach (do your best to screw your team for the foreseeable future).
Perhaps there is no discernible typology in all of this madness... but my instincts tell me otherwise.
So... what say you, fellow Deckers?
(why do I feel compelled to use this smiley now? Perhaps because it goes well with our new environs?)