MLB Trade Rumors has been compiling General Manager History for each team in the majors, chronicling every move each General Manager has made. Today they published the National League General Managers. Looking at the spreadsheet comparing the two, it's amazing the amount of success Rizzo has had compared to Bowden, despite Jim's 15 years of experience. Lets take a look. (Note: Rizzo was in charge of the draft for the Diamondbacks from 2000-2006)
Top Draft Picks Bowden (1993-2008)
Top Draft Picks Rizzo (2000-06, 09)
Dunn, Votto, and Zimmerman have all had major league success, however it is arguable that Webb, Upton, and Reynolds have had equal if not greater success. Webb has won a Cy Young, Reynolds was second in the National League in home runs this seas on and Upton is considered one of the brightest young players in the game. While Votto, Zimmerman, and Dunn are all established, the upside on Webb, Young and Reynolds have to be believed to be higher.
Jordan Zimmermann is a wild card because Rizzo was part of the staff that decided to draft him, and Aaron Boone had a solid but unspectacular career. Strasburg on the other hand is considered one of the top prospects in baseball, and Quentin is one year removed from a season where he hit .288/.394/.571 with 36 homers.
Biggest Signings Bowden
Ken Griffey Jr. 9 years/$116.5 M
Adam Dunn 2 years/$20 M
Austin Kearns 3 years/$17.5 M
Christian Guzman 4 years/$16.8 M
Jeff Brantley 5 years/$13 M
Biggest Signings Rizzo
Ryan Zimmerman 5 years/$45 M
Jason Marquis 2 years/$15 M
Stephen Strasburg 4 years/$15 M
Ivan Rodriguez 2 years/$6 M
Matt Capps 1 year/$3.5 M
This comparison is difficult because Rizzo has only been a General Manager for a year and a half. However, Rizzo unquestionably has the best deal despite his short track record with the signing of Zimmerman for only $9 million a year, for five years. While the Marquis and Rodriguez signings are questionable, they will be no where near as damaging as the Kearns and Guzman contracts were to teh Nationals.
It should be noted that while the Griffey deal in retrospect looks like a disaster, at the time it was considered a very good deal.