Peers choose Jocketty as MLB's top executive

Peers choose Jocketty as MLB's top executive

CINCINNATI -- The architect of the Reds' first playoff berth in 15 years and their first winning season in a decade, general manager Walt Jocketty was recognized Wednesday as the 2010 Sporting News MLB Executive of the Year.

It was the third time Jocketty has won the award, after also earning it in 2000 and '04 as GM of the Cardinals.

"It's nice recognition for the organization as a whole," Jocketty said from Arizona. "It's an acknowledgment of the improvement we've made as an organization. It's very nice. The most significant part is that it was voted on by my peers, which means a lot to me."

The Reds won the National League Central division title by five games over the Cardinals with a 91-71 record. As the head of the club's baseball operations, he provided many of the players that helped turn Cincinnati into a winner.

On July 31, 2009, Jocketty acquired third baseman Scott Rolen from the Blue Jays for three players, including Edwin Encarnacion. Rolen played a major role in the Reds' success this past season. Jocketty also signed free-agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera and stunned the baseball world by entering the winning bid to get Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman by signing the southpaw for $30.25 million over six years.

Jocketty also continued the organization's philosophy of an increased focus on scouting and development, as the Reds leaned heavily on homegrown and younger players in recent seasons.

A panel of 24 fellow big league executives and peers completed the voting that selected Jocketty. He is the Reds' fifth winner of the executive award, joining Warren Giles (1938), Gabe Paul (1956), Bob Howsam (1973) and Bob Quinn (1990).

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.