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Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Five GMs who helped teams for long haul

By Richard Durrett's Jim Bowden took a look at the five GMs that helped their teams in the short-term on Tuesday. Now, he takes a look at five that helped their teams for the long-term. That includes Oakland A's GM Billy Beane as the No. 1 choice. Here's what Bowden wrote:

Beane has walked this ground before. Payroll issues forced him to trade his “Big Three” of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. However, this time around he got a much better return after dealing Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals and Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks. Pitching prospects Jarrod Parker and Brad Peacock could be potential No. 2 or No. 3 starters; Tom Milone should be a solid No. 5 starter and is big league-ready now. But 19-year-old A.J. Cole might have the biggest upside of all. However, he is four years away if he stays healthy and develops properly. Collin Cowgill is a definite upgrade in the outfield, and while catcher Derek Norris might only be average behind the plate, he has a chance to be a 25- to 30-home run hitter. No doubt it is tough to trade two 15-game winners like Gonzalez and Cahill, but the return was so large on both fronts the A's have improved their long-term future more than any team in baseball this offseason.

The rest of the list:

2. Josh Byrnes, San Diego Padres
3. Dan O'Dowd, Colorado Rockies
4. Frank Wren, Atlanta Braves
5. Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals

Read the entire story here (insider).