These are MLB's longest-tenured GMs

December 5th, 2022

The title might differ from franchise to franchise, but whether it’s the general manager, the president of baseball operations or the chief baseball officer, every MLB team has one person who’s ultimately responsible for the on-field product, and there's not a lot of job security in such a high-stakes business.

Billy Beane managed to stand the test of time with the A’s, leading Oakland’s baseball operations department for 25 seasons. Thanks in part to Michael Lewis’ book “Moneyball” and the subsequent movie starring Brad Pitt, Beane became the face of the sabermetrics revolution that reshaped baseball front offices after the onset of the 21st century. Beane didn’t deliver a World Series title to Oakland, but the club was consistently competitive under his stewardship despite its payroll constraints.

However, the A’s announced after the 2022 season that Beane was moving to a new role as senior advisor to owner John Fisher, marking the latest shakeup to the list of the longest-tenured baseball operations leaders.

Beane’s role change follows the departures of Jon Daniels from the Rangers, Al Avila from the Tigers and Dayton Moore from the Royals, and the reassignment of David Stearns with the Brewers. All were among the 10 longest-tenured GMs/presidents of baseball operations when they were fired or stepped down.

Here’s a breakdown of the current top 10, starting with the longest-tenured.

(Note: Many teams have both a president of baseball operations and a general manager. This list only includes each team's head baseball operations executive, regardless of their current job title. Their place on the list is based on the date they assumed that mantle.)

1) Brian Cashman, Yankees -- Feb. 3, 1998
With Cashman at the helm, the Yanks have made 21 postseason appearances in 25 seasons, winning four World Series titles and six American League pennants in that span. New York’s sizable budget certainly gives Cashman an advantage when building a roster, but it’s nonetheless remarkable that the club hasn’t had a losing season during his tenure.

Cashman's contract expired after the 2022 season, but he won't be going anywhere. On the first day of the Winter Meetings, the Yankees announced a new four-year deal with him, running through the 2026 campaign.

2) Ken Williams, White Sox -- Oct. 24, 2000
General manager Rick Hahn is now largely running the day-to-day baseball operations for the White Sox, but Williams remains in the fold as the team’s executive vice president, a role he’s held since 2012. Williams became the third Black general manager in AL/NL history in 2000, following Bill Lucas and Bob Watson, and won a World Series championship in 2005.

3) John Mozeliak, Cardinals -- Oct. 30, 2007
Now the team’s president of baseball operations, Mozeliak joined the Cardinals organization after the 1995 season and eventually became the team’s scouting director, overseeing the Drafts that brought Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina into the organization, before serving as the assistant general manager under Walt Jocketty for six seasons. The Cardinals parted ways with Jocketty in 2007 and made Mozeliak their new GM. St. Louis won a World Series championship in 2011, and Mozeliak’s moves helped the club remain a consistent contender in the wake of the departure of Pujols as a free agent and the retirement of longtime manager Tony La Russa following that 2011 title.

4) Mike Rizzo, Nationals -- March 4, 2009
The Nationals organization was a mess when Rizzo succeeded Jim Bowden as the team’s GM in 2009, but he helped right the ship with a slew of top Draft picks (Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon), free-agent signings (Max Scherzer, Jayson Werth) and shrewd trade acquisitions (Trea Turner, Gio González). Harper departed as a free agent after the 2018 season, but the emergence of homegrown star Juan Soto made it easier for the club to withstand the loss, and Washington went on a magical run to the 2019 World Series title after starting out 19-31.

5) A.J. Preller, Padres -- Aug. 6, 2014
Preller hasn’t turned the Padres into a perennial contender (yet), but his tenure has been anything but boring. The New York native has earned his reputation as one of baseball’s most aggressive decision-makers, starting with the ill-fated 2014-15 offseason in which San Diego acquired Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Craig Kimbrel and James Shields. After a disappointing 2015 season, Preller quickly pulled the plug on that experiment and oversaw a rebuild that notably led to the acquisition of future All-Star Fernando Tatis Jr., who had yet to play his first professional game when San Diego picked him up from the White Sox in a trade for Shields. Preller also signed superstar third baseman Manny Machado prior to the 2019 season and completed a blockbuster deal for Soto at the 2022 Trade Deadline, leading to an NLCS appearance.

6) Andrew Friedman, Dodgers -- Oct. 14, 2014
Friedman proved his mettle as a GM when he helped take the Rays from perennial cellar dweller to contender within his first three years at the helm. After posting a losing record in each of their first 10 years of existence, the Rays made the postseason four times in six years from 2008-13 and reached the World Series once. Friedman moved on to become the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations in 2014, and Los Angeles has become the standard of excellence during his tenure, winning seven division titles, three NL pennants and a World Series championship.

7) Mark Shapiro, Blue Jays -- Aug. 31, 2015
A longtime member of Cleveland’s front office, Shapiro joined the Blue Jays late in the 2015 season when the franchise was on its way to breaking a 22-year playoff drought. After earning an ALCS berth in 2016, the Jays experienced some lean years at the end of the decade before heading back to the postseason in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The team returned to the playoffs in 2022 after winning 92 games, the high-water mark under Shapiro.

8) Jerry Dipoto, Mariners (Sept. 28, 2015)
Dipoto took over for Jack Zduriencik late in the 2015 season, the Mariners’ 14th without a postseason berth. That drought would extend to 20 seasons before a roster shaped by Dipoto’s trade-happy approach and sparked by top prospect Julio Rodríguez finally got the M’s back to the playoffs in 2022.

9) Chris Antonetti, Guardians (Oct. 6, 2015)
Promoted from GM to president of baseball operations following Shapiro’s departure, Antonetti has built Cleveland into a consistent postseason contender despite the team’s lack of spending. The Guardians have shown a knack for developing young talent during Antonetti’s tenure, especially on the pitching side, and he used the trades of franchise icons Francisco Lindor and Corey Kluber to land multiple pieces that helped the club win the AL Central in 2022, after which he was named MLB’s Executive of the Year.

10) Derek Falvey, Twins (Oct. 3, 2016)
Falvey was hired as the top decision maker in the Twins’ baseball operations department after the 2016 season, when Minnesota finished last in the AL Central with an MLB-worst 59-103 record. The Twins reached the postseason in three of Falvey’s first four seasons, winning two division titles.

Next 10: Mike Hazen, D-backs (Oct. 16, 2016); Erik Neander, Rays (Nov. 10, 2017); Alex Anthopoulos, Braves (Nov. 13, 2017); Farhan Zaidi, Giants (Nov. 6, 2018); Mike Elias, Orioles (Nov. 16, 2018); Chaim Bloom, Red Sox (Oct. 28, 2019); Ben Cherington, Pirates (Nov. 18, 2019); Nick Krall, Reds (Oct. 19, 2020); Perry Minasian, Angels (Nov. 12, 2020); Kim Ng, Marlins (Nov. 13, 2020)