William J. Bavasi, born December 27, 1957 (1957-12-27) (age 51) in Scarsdale, New York, is a former general manager and vice president of baseball operations for the Seattle Mariners, and currently works as a Special Assistant to the GM for the Cincinnati Reds, under Reds GM Walt Jocketty. The son of longtime Major League Baseball executive Buzzie Bavasi and the brother of Peter Bavasi, also a former MLB executive, Bill also spent six full seasons (1994-99) as the general manager of the California/Anaheim Angels and 4 1/2 seasons with the Seattle Mariners (2003-2008). The latter (2003-2008), where the Mariners experienced a sharp dropoff in victories from preceding seasons, has been characterized as perhaps one of the darkest periods in Mariner history, following a period of noteworthy success under preceding former Mariners GM Pat Gillick (2000-2003), whom had left the Mariners in contention.
Bill Bavasi was a graduate of University of San Diego. Bavasi began his front office baseball career with the Angels, where his father was front office boss from 1977-84. Bill Bavasi was an administrator in the Angels' minor league department in 1981-82, then held the positions of farm system director and Director of Player Development before he succeeded Whitey Herzog as the Angels' GM on January 12, 1994. Bavasi remained in place when the club was sold by Jackie Autry, widow of the team's original owner Gene Autry, to the Walt Disney Company. But late-season collapses plagued the franchise, and Bavasi was succeeded by Bill Stoneman on October 1, 1999. After two seasons (2002-2003) as player development chief of the Los Angeles Dodgers — the team his father oversaw through four World Series titles during the 1950s and 1960s — Bill Bavasi returned to the GM ranks with the Mariners on November 7, 2003.
During Bavasi's Mariner tenure, the club achieved only one winning season (88-74 in 2007). Losing records of 63-99 in 2004, 69-93 in 2005, 78-84 in 2006, and a sub .500 2008 did not help Bavasi's image from the fans perspectives. At mid year of the 2008 season, Bavasi could have been the first general manager in the history of the MLB to have a 100 loss season with a 100 million dollar payroll, which was unprecedented in not only MLB, but sports history. On June 16, 2008 Bavasi was relieved of his position with the Mariners in hopes of improving their already losing 2008 season.