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Roster Contruction, the A's, and big money

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#1 Mike Sixel

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:26 PM

This is a great article, imo.


It talks about where the best teams recently (and WS champions for some time now) have built their rosters. The A's are taking a path few teams have taken, and almost none have won the WS with. There are a lot of numbers, and words, but the last few paragraphs sum up the thoughts.

Basically, the A's are not reliant on the draft at all (built through picking up DFA, trades, some FA, and other routes than the draft) for their current roster. Up until the last three years, WS champions have largely been built by FA. The A's are not, and that makes their recent success so interesting (to some).

Recommend the article.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.

#2 drivlikejehu


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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:54 PM

Definitely interesting. The main drawback though is that the weaker players on a given roster could come from a variety of places, but tell us little about how the team was built. It's more important to know where the team's productivity came from, as opposed to just raw composition numbers. That's been written about mostly in the context of dependency on free agents.

#3 Jim H

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:42 PM

While I am not particularly a Billy Beane fan, I think his success in building winning teams is partly driven by understanding his home park. It is a rather unique baseball park and Beane is pretty good at finding both hitters and pitchers that fit the park. With the huge foul territory, rather big outfield, surprisingly short power alleys, it is actually a pretty good park for patient power hitters. His successful teams in the early 2000's had a number of them.

It is also a good place for young pitchers with a lot of "stuff". A lot of foul pops turn into outs in the Oakland park. The fairly large outfield and cool weather in the spring and fall, often means that the pitchers get away with flyball mistakes that would be homeruns in other parks.

So Beane has turned what is a problem, how to keep effective pitchers who rapidly get too expensive for him to keep, into a solution. He constantly trades effective pitchers who are getting expensive for young pitchers who have "stuff" but would likely struggle a bit in more hitter friendly parks.

If you look at the history of the Oakland franchise, you would see that despite having a number of good hitters over the years, there has been only one batting champion. On the other hand a number of home run champs played for Oakland. Many, many young pitchers have had a lot success for Oakland over the years. I think a lot of Beane's success is related to building a team to his home park.

#4 The Wise One

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:52 PM

In regards to the Oakland team.
How many World Series teams has Beane put together? Answer as many as Ryan has.
I really don't think their pitching will carry them through the playoffs . The pitching devils have already claimed enough of their pitchers this year. When the playoffs starts their starters will be near that 200 inning mark. Only Kazmir has pitched that much in a season. If they can do as Moses Malone said (fo, fo and fo sure), that may keep them from being dead armed.

#5 diehardtwinsfan


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Posted 29 June 2014 - 07:11 AM

I think what you are seeing is essentially market diversification. There isn't one right way to build a roster. There's lots of ways, though some are more successful than others. All BB is doing is taking advantage of the fact that there are good players out there that people aren't investing in. I'd also argue that Oakland's success as a franchise over the last decade is going to make building through the draft difficult. This will be a problem for the Twins should their prospects pan out as planned, as it was about 5 years ago. When always picking near the bottom, you'll get a lot more failures. Where I think Oakland differs is they will turn around and trade guys who are a year or two out from FA for a decent haul to restock their system. That's an approach that I think the Twins should employ more as they've done an admirable job of identifying talent in other organizations.

#6 Brandon


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Posted 29 June 2014 - 09:34 AM

The Twins of the early 2000's were also built for their park. We are just now seeing how their new stadium plays out so they are starting to go after that kind of player. before the Twins went after more left handed hitting and hitters that would take advantage of the turf. Now it makes more sense to go after RH pull power hitters. There are other quarks too but the Twins haven't made any other adjustments so to speak that I know of. I am surprised how bad our OF defense is considering how much the Twins preach defense.

The Twins go after the Draft, DFA, FA and such for their roster construction. The following players were DFA or minor league free agent pickups that I remember. Guerrier (the first time we got him), Burton, Florimon, Nunez (though we traded to ensure we got him), Fuld, Deduno, Fien

From the independent league we got Theilbar and Colabello

Rule 5 draft Pressly and Diamond

through the draft we have Perkins, Plouffe, Gibson, Dozier, Hicks, Deunsing, Parmelee, and Mauer

International signings include Polanco, Arcia, Sano, Rosario,(last 2 will be on the team soon enough) Danny Santana, and Pino (the first time we got him)

Trade: Escobar, Meyer and May (last 2 again will be soon enough)

Free Agent: Willingham, Nolasco, Corriea, Pelfry, Hughes

I feel like we are pretty diversified in how we build our team. We are really good at finding good relievers from others discarded trash in seeing 4 relievers came to us on minor league deals and 1 came from the independent leagues. The Twins are also getting good depth from DFA's and rule 5 draft.

International signings are starting to look like a real source of talent for us in the next year or 2 especially if Arcia can take that next step and find consistency.

And the draft and trades are looking to provide some of the impact talent we need to win provided the players turn out as expected. I think we are on the right track.

Edited by Brandon, 29 June 2014 - 09:37 AM.

#7 Brandon


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Posted 29 June 2014 - 09:47 AM

I just read the article and see that the Twins are at least consistent. in 87, 91 and last year the Twins had 33.33% of their roster from the draft.

#8 NoCal



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Posted 29 June 2014 - 10:07 AM

The fan experience in Oakand is a bit different than in Minn. also, and I think it affects decisions. Beane views his players as commodities, and churns the roster looking for the right combo of performance and satisfying the tight budget demands of the franchise. No sentimentality, and fans can't get too attached to players. I think that the Twins give their players a longer rope, and encourage a little more fan attachment to their players, as a value of their franchise. Some people would call it a feature, some would call it a bug.

#9 nicksaviking


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Posted 29 June 2014 - 01:26 PM

Diversification is great, but if your draft, FA, DFA and trade roster spots are used respectively on Chris Parmelee, Mike Pelfrey, Sam Fuld and Vance Worley, you're still sitting in the basement.

It's great to use all avenues to build a team, but it's more important to use the avenues well. Getting elite talent regardless of the method is more important.

#10 Mike Sixel

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 10:18 PM

A team with limited budget going all in......I love the way the As roll.

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.

#11 jorgenswest


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Posted 05 July 2014 - 08:22 AM

I look forward to the a Twins being in the position of having the top record midseason and making a big trade to put the over the top.

They have a lot of work to do to get to the top first.