There seems to be a lot of dissapointment from fans on this board about Gillick.
I don't claim to be an expert on GMs, but I think he's a solid choice. I imagine that if he was 48 and not 68, the response would be significantly more positive. Furthermore, it seemed that Gillick and Hunsicker were the front runners all along and any wishes for Cashman and Epstein were not likely to be granted.
**side note** With the significant budgets that Cashman and Epstein have had to work with, I don't really know how easily you could evaluate their ability to move to another franchise and operate w/ certain fiscal restraint.
Here's an EXCERPT of an article I found on Yahoo written by Peter Handrinos that suggests that Gillick should be in the HOF. It chronicles his career as a GM .... a very impressive career.
"Any kind of glance back on Pat Gillick's career as a team builder reveals greatness, and on multiple levels.
You want a talent evaluator? This is the guy who drafted future stars like Dave Stieb, Lloyd Moseby, Jesse Barfield, and Jimmy Key. The guy who once stole a future MVP, George Bell, through the same Rule 5 draft that also produced solid Blue Jays contributors like Willie Upshaw and Kelly Gruber.
Some might say a Hall of Fame GM should be a superlative trader, too. Well, look no further.
Pat Gillick once traded for a young prospect named Fred McGriff and built a two-time World Champion with the 1992-93 Blue Jays by swapping for stars like Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, David Cone, and Rickey Henderson. His best set of trades and signings may have come in his last posting, in Seattle , where found a way to replace expensive superstars like Randy Johnson , Ken Griffey , Jr. and Alex Rodriguez with a well-designed collection of complimentary players including Mike Cameron , Aaron Sele, Bret Boone, and Jeff Nelson .
Of course, none of those decisions amount to much without results, and Gillick has collected those plenty of those, too. He needed six full years to build a winner with an expansion franchise and once he turned the corner he never did look back - Gillick's teams enjoyed winning seasons in every one of the eleven full seasons before his departure from the Toronto , then enjoyed another two winning seasons in Baltimore , and another four straight winners in Seattle . In all, Gillick crafted winning teams in 16 of his last 17 full seasons, nine of which made it into October. One of those teams, the 2001 Mariners, earned a record-tying 116 wins and Gillick's recognition as Executive of the Year.
How valuable was Pat Gillick over the course of his career? In the nine combined years prior to his three retirements, his franchises averaged 94 wins per year and made seven total playoff appearances. After he left, however, those same ball clubs fell off a cliff by averaging 61 wins and came up with exactly . . . zero playoff appearances. Basically, the guy made a difference between his ball clubs' finish at the very top or the very bottom of the division.
Among all free agency-era GM's, only John Schuerholz has been Pat Gillick's equal in terms of consistent winning and titles, and even Schuerholz has to come along with a tiny asterisk - the Braves' master architect has worked with bigger budgets during most of his career.
To put Gillick's achievements in their fullest context, however, it's important to remember what they've meant to the course of baseball history. He's contributed to playoff teams with three separate franchises, displaying the kind of team-building versatility matched only by the immortal Rickey's work with the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates. Gillick's two World Series winners, the 1992 and 1993 Blue Jays, were the most popular teams in Major League history in terms of attendance. The capper to his international career may have been the signing of Ichiro Suzuki for the Mariners, the one single move that's done the most to open up Japan 's vast talent pool and audiences to Major League Baseball in the new millennium.
Nowadays the 68-year old Gillick is in semi-retirement, serving as a part-time consultant to the Mariners' front office and a full-time husband to Doris, his wife of 37 years. By rights, the man should one day be speaking from a shrine in Cooperstown . Pat Gillick was nice enough to talk to me from his home in Canada ."