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Saturday, December 4, 2010
Jon Daniels gets deserving honor as top exec

By Richard Durrett

Jon Daniels was named Baseball America's 2010 Major League Executive of the Year on Friday. There's little doubt he deserved that one. And the timing is fitting leading into the Winter Meetings.

It was last year at the Winter Meetings that Daniels really started putting together a World Series team. He traded Kevin Millwood to free up space in a tight budget. That enabled him to eventually sign Rich Harden, Vladimir Guerrero and Darren Oliver. Going 2-for-3 on that front wasn't bad. But to review what Daniels did in less than a year to put this team on its way (note that this isn't all of it, but some of it):

* Traded Millwood to sign other free agents, including the guy that led the team in RBIs (Guerrero)
* Signed Colby Lewis out of Japan
* Moved C.J. Wilson from reliever to starter
* Acquired Andres Blanco and Matt Treanor before spring training ended
* Traded Chris Ray and Michael Main to get catcher Bengie Molina
* Traded for Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman in an effort to help bolster club at deadline
* Made the biggest acquisition of the season in getting Cliff Lee from the Mariners
* Found time to attend a court hearing or two and did all of this with the team in bad financial

There's, obviously, more to list, but you get the point. Few executives did what Daniels did and they weren't GMs of a team in bankruptcy.