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Article: Show Me the Money (and the Wins)

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#21 Doomtints

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:17 PM

The stuff I read on this topic is always interesting.

 

"Spending money doesn't pan out...."

 

"The Twins could never spend like the Yankees anyway..."

 

Those two statements don't jive. Either it doesn't work, or it works but the Twins can't do it like the teams it works for. Which is it? (Hint: It's neither. The Twins could spend a little more and spend it smarter than the other teams.)

 

Cash may not be guaranteeing championships for the Yankees, but spending money keeps them in the conversation every year. Simply being in the conversation is extra revenue, and when you make the playoffs anything can happen. Just ask Gene Larkin.

Edited by Doomtints, 05 February 2019 - 07:18 PM.

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#22 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:26 PM

 

Enjoyed the article! And the poke at "winning the offseason". I've often wondered why some treat free-agent signings as if it's a game and a season all by itself. Maybe major league baseball should set up a handicap system where the team that spends the most acquiring free agents gets an extra run added to each of their playoff games... if they reach the playoffs. Or two runs added per game if they make the World Series. Then this free agent signing thing will have a real effect on game outcomes.

 

Until then, much ado about nothing.

How quickly you forget the Trade Deadline Championship they won last July-August :) 

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#23 ashbury

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:28 PM

and when you make the playoffs anything can happen. Just ask Gene Larkin.

I asked Ron Gant. He was less sanguine about this principle.

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#24 Major League Ready

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 08:37 AM

 

The stuff I read on this topic is always interesting.

 

"Spending money doesn't pan out...."

 

"The Twins could never spend like the Yankees anyway..."

 

Those two statements don't jive. Either it doesn't work, or it works but the Twins can't do it like the teams it works for. Which is it? (Hint: It's neither. The Twins could spend a little more and spend it smarter than the other teams.)

 

Cash may not be guaranteeing championships for the Yankees, but spending money keeps them in the conversation every year. Simply being in the conversation is extra revenue, and when you make the playoffs anything can happen. Just ask Gene Larkin.

 

I am not sure I understand your point. Are you suggesting all the Twins need to do is increase revenue by $350M or just spend like teams that produce over twice as much as they do? 

Edited by Major League Ready, 06 February 2019 - 08:37 AM.

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#25 Doomtints

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:16 AM

 

I am not sure I understand your point. Are you suggesting all the Twins need to do is increase revenue by $350M or just spend like teams that produce over twice as much as they do? 

 

(Hint: It's neither. The Twins could spend a little more and spend it smarter than the other teams.)

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#26 Major League Ready

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:36 PM

 

(Hint: It's neither. The Twins could spend a little more and spend it smarter than the other teams.)

 

That's quite vague. How much is a little and what is your suggestion for smarter? 

 

What free agents this year would be smarter? The concensus here seems to be we need to get the really high profile guys. Who should they have got last year. Would they have been smarter if they got Darvish? Would Arietta at $25M for 2 WAR been significant? How about the 3rd highest paid SP (Cobb). Is that the kind of smart move that would have moved the needle. How about the top RP. Would they have been smarter had the signed Davis at $17M/yr to produce .9 WAR. How about the next highest paid RP ( Holland). Would his .3 WAR have made a difference? I know there were some Brandon Morrow supporters here. He was the next highest paid. Was his .6 WAR the solution.

 

How about the highest paid position player. Would our FO been smarter had we signed Hosmer and his negative WAR. I guess you could say they would have been smart to sign Cain but signing a FA OFer when your supposed strength is a young outfield with all kinds of upside would require a crystal ball.

 

EVERY business based on probable ROI. I can't blame them for not investing in the highest price RPs. The success of RPs is volatile. Smarter might be converting starters with a specific profile or targeting multi-inning pitchers, call them what you will.

 

It's very easy to say they should be smarter when the failures outweigh the successes by 2:1 or more. 

Edited by Major League Ready, 06 February 2019 - 01:38 PM.

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#27 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:41 PM

How did not signing FA RPs work out, using guys that produced negative WAR instead? I mean, if the argument that signing them doesn't work, how has not signing them worked out? Maybe the answer is to just be smarter and better (really, the only way a mid market team can win, since they don't have unlimited resources).

 

As for Darvish, supposedly they bid the second most, so the FO must have wanted him. 

 

Since you like to exaggerate others' posts to make a point....are you suggesting never to sign a FA? Even though we see from successful teams that they have WAR from FAs of some kind (or trades)? No team is built solely from within, at least not winning teams.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#28 Battle ur tail off

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 02:30 PM

 

That's quite vague. How much is a little and what is your suggestion for smarter? 

 

What free agents this year would be smarter? The concensus here seems to be we need to get the really high profile guys. 

 

This is why you employ a scouting department. You have stats guys, baseball guys, guys that need to know how these FA's tick, their work ethic, etc. 

 

These guys are PAID to do this stuff. Do some research and scout them. That is how you do things smarter. Figure out, is signing a one year wonder like Logan Morrison worth it? Or could we fill in with someone in our system and get similar production?

 

How about a 1 year contract to a pitcher that hasn't been any good - ever? Is he going to be better than what we have in house? Or is this just wasted money to look like we are out thinking everybody?

 

 

 

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#29 Doomtints

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 03:46 PM

 

That's quite vague. How much is a little and what is your suggestion for smarter? 

 

What free agents this year would be smarter? The concensus here seems to be we need to get the really high profile guys. Who should they have got last year. Would they have been smarter if they got Darvish? Would Arietta at $25M for 2 WAR been significant? How about the 3rd highest paid SP (Cobb). Is that the kind of smart move that would have moved the needle. How about the top RP. Would they have been smarter had the signed Davis at $17M/yr to produce .9 WAR. How about the next highest paid RP ( Holland). Would his .3 WAR have made a difference? I know there were some Brandon Morrow supporters here. He was the next highest paid. Was his .6 WAR the solution.

 

How about the highest paid position player.....

 

I feel like I said, twice, that the Twins don't need to try to spend the most money. Your examples are flawed in two ways:

 

1) This isn't at all what I said,

2) You're assuming someone like Arrieta or many of those other guys would not have been an improvement for what the Twins had last year (apart from Darvish, they would have). You also might want to look at Arrieta's deal, it's basically a football contract in that very little is guaranteed. He could be a free agent again at the end of this year.

 

Who could they pick up now? If the Twins are throwing 1-year deals around, Clay Buchholz. He will be better than Martin Perez and the money might not be much different. Now your turn, who would you pick up?

Edited by Doomtints, 06 February 2019 - 03:47 PM.

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#30 howieramone2

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 06:34 PM

 

This is why you employ a scouting department. You have stats guys, baseball guys, guys that need to know how these FA's tick, their work ethic, etc. 

 

These guys are PAID to do this stuff. Do some research and scout them. That is how you do things smarter. Figure out, is signing a one year wonder like Logan Morrison worth it? Or could we fill in with someone in our system and get similar production?

 

How about a 1 year contract to a pitcher that hasn't been any good - ever? Is he going to be better than what we have in house? Or is this just wasted money to look like we are out thinking everybody?

In the last 3 years, Darvish has won 18 games. Perez has won 25. Who made the better deal? Also, he's projected to win one more game than Darvish this season.

Edited by howieramone2, 06 February 2019 - 06:46 PM.


#31 Mike Sixel

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 06:49 PM

 

In the last 3 years, Darvish has won 18 games. Perez has won 25. Who made the better deal? Also, he's projected to win one more game than Darvish this season.

 

Wins? Really? Wins are a team stat. I mean, would you rather add a player that gave up 5 runs a game, but played with the best offense, or a player that gave up 2 runs a game and played with the Mets.....

 

Darvish got hurt. If Perez now gets hurt, will it be a bad signing because he doesn't get wins? 

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#32 howieramone2

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 07:06 PM

 

Wins? Really? Wins are a team stat. I mean, would you rather add a player that gave up 5 runs a game, but played with the best offense, or a player that gave up 2 runs a game and played with the Mets.....

 

Darvish got hurt. If Perez now gets hurt, will it be a bad signing because he doesn't get wins? 

Wins and losses are great stats. I still remember how many games I won in college. No idea how many of those WAR things I accumulated. Look, Darvish is no more hurt than Hughes was. The board badmouthed Hughes, I badmouth Darvish. Yes, if Perez gets hurt, he'll continue to be a board scapegoat.


#33 Matt Braun

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 09:18 PM

 

I didn't take a dang thing from the data in this article. But I got this one thing from it: I want to read more stuff written by Matt Braun. You're an excellent writer.

Thank you very much, I'm awfully flattered.

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#34 Major League Ready

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:19 AM

 

I feel like I said, twice, that the Twins don't need to try to spend the most money. Your examples are flawed in two ways:

 

1) This isn't at all what I said,

2) You're assuming someone like Arrieta or many of those other guys would not have been an improvement for what the Twins had last year (apart from Darvish, they would have). You also might want to look at Arrieta's deal, it's basically a football contract in that very little is guaranteed. He could be a free agent again at the end of this year.

 

Who could they pick up now? If the Twins are throwing 1-year deals around, Clay Buchholz. He will be better than Martin Perez and the money might not be much different. Now your turn, who would you pick up?

 

Just about any team could improve slightly if the standard is replacing the worst player on the team with a high price FA in hindsight. However, the context of your text which prompted by reply was that the Twins could make a significant difference if they were willing to spend a little more and were a little smarter. The examples I provided were the most highly regarded FAs on the market and the same players that many here said were no brainers.I also asked you to define a little and the magnitude of the impact. The facts (history) is quite clear that FA productivity is around 9M/WAR. A little spending is highly unlikely to move the needle anywhere near what the Twins need to succeed.

 

The real disconnect is that fans have absolutely no problem with players treating baseball as a business but many refuse to accept the business that is the Minnesota Twins acting like a business. The fact is that if the Twins spent another $25M on free agents, the odds of them recouping that investment are near zero. The odds of recouping even 25% are less than even. Try going into your CEO’s office and suggesting they make a $25M investment with little chance of recouping even a modest portion of the investment.

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#35 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:40 AM

 

Just about any team could improve slightly if the standard is replacing the worst player on the team with a high price FA in hindsight. However, the context of your text which prompted by reply was that the Twins could make a significant difference if they were willing to spend a little more and were a little smarter. The examples I provided were the most highly regarded FAs on the market and the same players that many here said were no brainers.I also asked you to define a little and the magnitude of the impact. The facts (history) is quite clear that FA productivity is around 9M/WAR. A little spending is highly unlikely to move the needle anywhere near what the Twins need to succeed.

 

The real disconnect is that fans have absolutely no problem with players treating baseball as a business but many refuse to accept the business that is the Minnesota Twins acting like a business. The fact is that if the Twins spent another $25M on free agents, the odds of them recouping that investment are near zero. The odds of recouping even 25% are less than even. Try going into your CEO’s office and suggesting they make a $25M investment with little chance of recouping even a modest portion of the investment.

 

What's your argument, at the end? Don't spend any money, and make money on tv and radio and revenue sharing (the disconnect between attendance and profit has never been greater, according to several studies on line)? Is there some minimum they can spend, and still make money? Never invest in better players? Is there no obligation to spend, given that the taxpayers subsidize their business?

 

And, NO ONE is saying that the Twins shouldn't treat this like a business. No one. The delta in opinion is about how much money they make, vs how much they try to win. They aren't losing money. 

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#36 Major League Ready

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:43 AM

 

How did not signing FA RPs work out, using guys that produced negative WAR instead? I mean, if the argument that signing them doesn't work, how has not signing them worked out? Maybe the answer is to just be smarter and better (really, the only way a mid market team can win, since they don't have unlimited resources).

 

As for Darvish, supposedly they bid the second most, so the FO must have wanted him. 

 

Since you like to exaggerate others' posts to make a point....are you suggesting never to sign a FA? Even though we see from successful teams that they have WAR from FAs of some kind (or trades)? No team is built solely from within, at least not winning teams.

 

How am I exaggerating? I used hard fact. The very top paid FAs all failed from last year. Is this or is this not accurate.

 

You have tried to make the argument they should build through FA and trading for established players because they have failed at developing talent. In other words, the previous regime failed to successfullyimplement the practices most likely to succeed so let's take a crack at following a path that is patently proven not to work for teams with average or less revenue. The data is overwhelming in terms of the acquisition model that has produced playoff teams or even 90 win teams like the Rays that did not make the playoffs.

 

You have consistently ignore hard data and focus on anecdotes that might support your unwaveringposition the answer is spending just as the OP did here when he ignored the fact that the most successful teams in terms of wins increase spent virtually nothing on FAs. I have asked you on several occasions to show me examples of successful teams with average or below average revenue where FAs and/or established high performing players were acquired via trade. If you look at these teams, and I have provided hard fact previously, the majority of the WAR is produced by players acquired as prospects. The number of impact players acquired through trade while still prospects grossly outnumber the players acquired after becoming established.

 

The point being there is a lot of focus and insistence on spending focused practices which history clearly shows to be a bad bet. It's also very obvious that the teams have gained a firm of the relative merit of free building through free agency. Do you suppose it's the league that does not understand or are TDers holding on to some outdated principals?


#37 Major League Ready

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:45 AM

 

What's your argument, at the end? Don't spend any money, and make money on tv and radio and revenue sharing (the disconnect between attendance and profit has never been greater, according to several studies on line)? Is there some minimum they can spend, and still make money? Never invest in better players? Is there no obligation to spend, given that the taxpayers subsidize their business?

 

And, NO ONE is saying that the Twins shouldn't treat this like a business. No one. The delta in opinion is about how much money they make, vs how much they try to win. They aren't losing money. 

 

I can't tell you how much I would enjoy meeting you in a board room.


#38 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:52 AM

 

I can't tell you how much I would enjoy meeting you in a board room.

 

this is a fan board, not a place of work......I think you miss that distinction here.

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#39 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 10:52 AM

 

How am I exaggerating? I used hard fact. The very top paid FAs all failed from last year. Is this or is this not accurate.

 

You have tried to make the argument they should build through FA and trading for established players because they have failed at developing talent. In other words, the previous regime failed to successfullyimplement the practices most likely to succeed so let's take a crack at following a path that is patently proven not to work for teams with average or less revenue. The data is overwhelming in terms of the acquisition model that has produced playoff teams or even 90 win teams like the Rays that did not make the playoffs.

 

You have consistently ignore hard data and focus on anecdotes that might support your unwaveringposition the answer is spending just as the OP did here when he ignored the fact that the most successful teams in terms of wins increase spent virtually nothing on FAs. I have asked you on several occasions to show me examples of successful teams with average or below average revenue where FAs and/or established high performing players were acquired via trade. If you look at these teams, and I have provided hard fact previously, the majority of the WAR is produced by players acquired as prospects. The number of impact players acquired through trade while still prospects grossly outnumber the players acquired after becoming established.

 

The point being there is a lot of focus and insistence on spending focused practices which history clearly shows to be a bad bet. It's also very obvious that the teams have gained a firm of the relative merit of free building through free agency. Do you suppose it's the league that does not understand or are TDers holding on to some outdated principals?

 

I've never said build thru FA or trades. I've asked them to add one player they think is great, and one player just below that. Two players. Not a build.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#40 ashbury

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 12:21 PM

I can't tell you how much I would enjoy meeting you in a board room.

Moderator's note: This is getting awfully personal again. Mike's reply happened to be gracious. I would hope that's the norm by now, but please don't push it.

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