When the Diamondbacks extended Josh Byrnes’ contract in February of 2008 through 2015 and included a small stake of team ownership, they probably didn’t envision firing him just two and a half years into the deal. Yet, per Bob Nightengale, that’s the case, as both Bynes and manager A.J. Hinch were axed.
Arizona is only 31-48, good for last place in the National League West, but they could be so much better without one of the worst bullpens in recent memory. Byrnes is responsible for assembling the unit, and boy, are they ever bad; collectively they hold a WPA of -7.45. That’s nearly five wins worse than the Milwaukee Brewers at -2.91. The 2007 Devil Rays set all kinds of notorious records and their bullpen’s WPA was -7.83.
Byrnes is also responsible for a number of good things, too. Like, acquiring Dan Haren, Adam Dunn, and Jon Rauch — as well as signing Kelly Johnson and Adam LaRoche. He’s also the guy who traded Carlos Quentin away and signed Eric Byrnes to an iffy extension, so not all he touched turned to gold. Prior to becoming the D-Backs’ general manager he worked within some mighty fine front offices, including Boston and Cleveland; and coincidentally Byrnes just finished second in Buster Olney’s polling of executives when asked what GM they would want to hire, with the notable quotable being:
Josh Byrnes, Diamondbacks (2) “I think he’s smart as hell, he’s well thought-out, and he’s a good person.”
Well, there’s some good news for that quoted general manager: he can now keep his job and have Byrnes in his front office.