The GM is arguably the most important person in any organization — more
important, perhaps, than even a superstar player.
baseball’s dirty little secret is that the sport’s highest-ranking
executives are absurdly underpaid.
Most general managers earn
between $500,000 and $2 million annually, major league sources say. Only a few — notably, the Yankees’ Brian Cashman
Red Sox’s Theo Epstein and Tigers’ Dave Dombrowski — are believed to
make more than $2 million.
Rosenthal doesn’t think GMs are impoverished or anything, but he does believe that, given how critical the right GM is to an organization’s success, there should be greater competition over the best ones, and that in turn should lead to higher salaries.
I think he’s right (and I’ll add that lower-level front office people are criminally-underpaid, far more so than GMs are). The problem, of course, is that the GM is the one guy who the owner himself hires, so for that decision he doesn’t have the insight of the sharpest guy in most organizations — the general manager.
Why wouldn’t there be a bidding war for a Brian Cashman or a Theo Epstein or guys like them? Is there a gentleman’s agreement among owners not to do so? Are they just dense? Because it strikes me that paying a couple million more in order to get the right guy to run the team would more than pay for itself over time.