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Article: Show Me the Money (and the Wins)

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#41 Riverbrian

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 12:33 PM

I think having money allows you to absorb bad contracts. Teams with less money to spend may not end up crippled with a bad contract but They will at least limp as a result. Big money teams just carry on.

In my opinion... it is possible that when you just look at the production... everybody is playing by the same arb rules so it evens out a little.
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#42 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 12:43 PM

 

I think having money allows you to absorb bad contracts. Teams with less money to spend may not end up crippled with a bad contract but They will at least limp as a result. Big money teams just carry on.

In my opinion... it is possible that when you just look at the production... everybody is playing by the same arb rules so it evens out a little.

 

Like the Yankees with Ellsbury (I was totally wrong about that one! but it also shows that even position players are risky).

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#43 Major League Ready

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 01:26 PM

 

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.

 

Two things. The construction of Atlanta, Colorado, Tampa, Oakland in terms of impact players (3WAR or higher) is absolutely dominated by players that were drafted or acquired in trade before becoming established. Obviously, supplementing though any other means is advisable but the impact of trades for established players or FAs has been very modest. The point is the constant complaining about a practice with modest impact is not exactly enlightened. Things that really matter get a fraction of the attention.

 

The other thing is timing. You and others always insist it must be done NOW. Most fans refuse to see this through the lens of a business. There are 4 potential future states.

1) The FA pans out and the rest of the team produces at a level where the addition of the FA results in enough success to recoup the investment in that player.
2) The FA pans out but the rest of the team does not produce at a level where the addition of the FA results in enough success to recoup the investment in that player.
3) The FA does not produce and the rest of the team produces at a high level.
4) The FA does not produce and the rest of the team also fails.

 

The reason teams wait until they have significant confidence is that the odds of #1 are probably 2:1 against for just the first part of the scenario that the player performs at a high level. Their willingness to take those odds is going to be very low if the odds of the 2nd part of that scenario are not high. If the odds of part 1 are .333 and the odds of part 2 are .333, the overall odds of success are 11%. .333 is probably optimistic in terms of the rest of this team. Business don’t spend 10s of millions on those odds. It’s bad from both a business perspective and roster building perspective. The typical response here is so what it’s just money but that does not account for the inability to invest if the remainder of the team improves. In other words, FAs are always a bad bet but a bet that makes much more sense when the team has proven to be ready to contend.


#44 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 02:52 PM

I agree that it is more risky to sign free agents early in the process. After 2017, it looked like Buxton was legit. That was when I wanted Realmuto. Buxton got hurt, showing that even young position players carry risk. Had Buxton and Sano been healthy, and Dozier produced, having a legit pitcher and Realmuto may have been enough. Not likely, but we won't know.

If those two are healthy and great this year, they will have almost no pitching under contract in 20. While it looks like there will be plenty available, someone will get hurt. Someone will get extended. Everyone will be a risk. I hope they take that risk if the core plays to it's potential

Edited by Mike Sixel, 07 February 2019 - 02:53 PM.

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#45 Jham

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 02:55 PM

Two things. The construction of Atlanta, Colorado, Tampa, Oakland in terms of impact players (3WAR or higher) is absolutely dominated by players that were drafted or acquired in trade before becoming established. Obviously, supplementing though any other means is advisable but the impact of trades for established players or FAs has been very modest. The point is the constant complaining about a practice with modest impact is not exactly enlightened. Things that really matter get a fraction of the attention.

The other thing is timing. You and others always insist it must be done NOW. Most fans refuse to see this through the lens of a business. There are 4 potential future states.
1) The FA pans out and the rest of the team produces at a level where the addition of the FA results in enough success to recoup the investment in that player.
2) The FA pans out but the rest of the team does not produce at a level where the addition of the FA results in enough success to recoup the investment in that player.
3) The FA does not produce and the rest of the team produces at a high level.
4) The FA does not produce and the rest of the team also fails.

The reason teams wait until they have significant confidence is that the odds of #1 are probably 2:1 against for just the first part of the scenario that the player performs at a high level. Their willingness to take those odds is going to be very low if the odds of the 2nd part of that scenario are not high. If the odds of part 1 are .333 and the odds of part 2 are .333, the overall odds of success are 11%. .333 is probably optimistic in terms of the rest of this team. Business don’t spend 10s of millions on those odds. It’s bad from both a business perspective and roster building perspective. The typical response here is so what it’s just money but that does not account for the inability to invest if the remainder of the team improves. In other words, FAs are always a bad bet but a bet that makes much more sense when the team has proven to be ready to contend.

But it is just money. Savings aren't carried over. The team isn't in financial trouble.

You talk about the team like it's a normal business which it isn't. It's closer to a non-profit. If you've ever served on a church or charity board you'd understand that the mission guides what you are doing. If you can't fiscally follow your mission, then your organization has no purpose and you dissolve. The Twins have ever stated that their mission is sustainable success, not necessarily championships. But it seems that their real mission is to make money. If that's the case, they aren't good for the sport and they should pick a new business.

Edited by Jham, 07 February 2019 - 02:55 PM.


#46 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:01 PM

But it is just money. Savings aren't carried over. The team isn't in financial trouble.

You talk about the team like it's a normal business which it isn't. It's closer to a non-profit. If you've ever served on a church or charity board you'd understand that the mission guides what you are doing. If you can't fiscally follow your mission, then your organization has no purpose and you dissolve. The Twins have ever stated that their mission is sustainable success, not necessarily championships. But it seems that their real mission is to make money. If that's the case, they aren't good for the sport and they should pick a new business.

I don't agree. I think they can make money and be good. It's a matter of how much money..... That's my issue. When they are competitive, or close, will they spend? Last year they spent a lot. But they were all short term investments, which were lauded for their efficiency. I want wins when they look good. They looked legit, sort of, after 17. They went half in. Turns out, somewhat due to injuries, they were right.

Until they act differently, they are the Twins. A team that has only spent big in free agency twice. Coincidentally, those are the championship years....

Edited by Mike Sixel, 07 February 2019 - 03:02 PM.

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#47 Jham

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:26 PM

I don't agree. I think they can make money and be good. It's a matter of how much money..... That's my issue. When they are competitive, or close, will they spend? Last year they spent a lot. But they were all short term investments, which were lauded for their efficiency. I want wins when they look good. They looked legit, sort of, after 17. They went half in. Turns out, somewhat due to injuries, they were right.

Until they act differently, they are the Twins. A team that has only spent big in free agency twice. Coincidentally, those are the championship years....


I agree as well. They're in one of the world's great investments. incredibly profitable. Exclusive, almost monopoly exclusive. Popular, fun, and generating both income and growth.

#48 Jham

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:26 PM

I don't agree. I think they can make money and be good. It's a matter of how much money..... That's my issue. When they are competitive, or close, will they spend? Last year they spent a lot. But they were all short term investments, which were lauded for their efficiency. I want wins when they look good. They looked legit, sort of, after 17. They went half in. Turns out, somewhat due to injuries, they were right.

Until they act differently, they are the Twins. A team that has only spent big in free agency twice. Coincidentally, those are the championship years....

I agree as well. They're in one of the world's great investments. incredibly profitable. Exclusive, almost monopoly exclusive. Popular, fun, and generating both income and growth.

That said, what is their primary objective?

Edited by Jham, 07 February 2019 - 03:27 PM.


#49 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:28 PM

 

I agree as well. They're in one of the world's great investments. incredibly profitable. Exclusive, almost monopoly exclusive. Popular, fun, and generating both income and growth.

 

Heck, Congress keeps passing LAWS that allow them to operate in ways no other businesses can, including possibly allowing minor league players to be barely paid........And taxpayers keep handing them money for stadiums and parking and and and. 

Edited by Mike Sixel, 07 February 2019 - 03:28 PM.

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#50 Jim Hahn

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:40 PM

I don't agree. I think they can make money and be good. It's a matter of how much money..... That's my issue. When they are competitive, or close, will they spend? Last year they spent a lot. But they were all short term investments, which were lauded for their efficiency. I want wins when they look good. They looked legit, sort of, after 17. They went half in. Turns out, somewhat due to injuries, they were right.
Until they act differently, they are the Twins. A team that has only spent big in free agency twice. Coincidentally, those are the championship years....



The Twins sure didn't spend big in 1987. Berenguer was the biggest free agent signing. Joe Niekro won like 5 games. Everyone else was acquired thru trade or minor league signing. Morris was a FA signing in 91. Chili Davis was a FA too. He played 113 games for the Angels the year before with 265 ave and 12 hr. Morris got good money but was coming off a pretty poor year.

Edited by Jim Hahn, 07 February 2019 - 03:51 PM.

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#51 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:54 PM

 

The Twins sure didn't spend big in 1987. Berenguer was the biggest free agent signing. Joe Niekro won like 5 games. Everyone else was acquired thru trade or minor league signing. Morris was a FA signing in 91. Chili Davis was a FA too. He played 113 games for the Angels the year before with 265 ave and 12 hr. Morris got good money but was coming off a pretty poor year.

 

Huh, I thought there was one FA in 87, but I could be off on that. You recall the trades?

 

And, I'm aware Morris and Davis came off bad years, but they did sign them, and it did work. 

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#52 Major League Ready

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:57 PM

 

But it is just money. Savings aren't carried over. The team isn't in financial trouble.

You talk about the team like it's a normal business which it isn't. It's closer to a non-profit. If you've ever served on a church or charity board you'd understand that the mission guides what you are doing. If you can't fiscally follow your mission, then your organization has no purpose and you dissolve. The Twins have ever stated that their mission is sustainable success, not necessarily championships. But it seems that their real mission is to make money. If that's the case, they aren't good for the sport and they should pick a new business.

 

You need to read more carefully. Carry over has nothing to do with the point. There are other issue with your post but the most meaningful is that those of you who take this position don't seem to understand such a model would actually put below average revenue teams at an even bigger disadvantage. The only thing that would change under your proposed operating model is the players would make even more and teams with less than average income would have an even larger disadvantage because the large market teams make considerably more profit which when redistributed would obviously create an even bigger disparity in payroll expenditures.

Edited by Major League Ready, 07 February 2019 - 04:01 PM.


#53 Mike Sixel

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 04:04 PM

 

So average players should make more in a year than a cop or teacher does in their lifetime and owners should fund $300M/annually for no return and also take on the risk of loss associated with operating that way. This is incredibly naive.

 

What is interesting even a bit humorous is that those of you who take this position don't seem to understand the only thing that would change under your proposed operating model is the players would make even more and teams with less than average income would have an even larger disadvantage because the large market teams make considerably more profit which would obviously create an even bigger disparity in payroll expenditures.

 

Unfortunately, yes, average players should make more money than those people. Supply and demand and all.....It doesn't make it moral, but it is the reality of the world we live in. 

 

I don't recall anyone mentioning 300M per year. 

 

I am curious what risk they are taking. Has any team ever sold for less than an ROI that an owner could get in teh stock market? I doubt it very much, and if so, it would be very rare. There is virtually no risk in owning a MBL, NFL, or NBA team (not sure about NHL).

 

If it weren't for the uncapitalistic laws that Congress has passed, allowing MLB to act as a monopoly, and the terrible CBA, the players would make even more....

Edited by Mike Sixel, 07 February 2019 - 04:04 PM.

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#54 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 04:41 PM

You know we could have this same conversation with anyone in entertainment... Why are actresses paid more than cops and teachers? Why are (some) standup comedians paid more than them?

There seems to be a fundamental flaw in how to view sports. It's always been entertainment in my eyes. If they want fans to view it as a business, guess what? Their product hasn't improved in a long time... In fact, it's become worse over the years. And they're still charging the same amount to cops and teachers for a worse product. I love baseball, but I'm sure as hell not going to dedicate my time or money to this particular business, the Minnesota Twins.
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#55 howieramone2

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 05:28 PM

 

You know we could have this same conversation with anyone in entertainment... Why are actresses paid more than cops and teachers? Why are (some) standup comedians paid more than them?

There seems to be a fundamental flaw in how to view sports. It's always been entertainment in my eyes. If they want fans to view it as a business, guess what? Their product hasn't improved in a long time... In fact, it's become worse over the years. And they're still charging the same amount to cops and teachers for a worse product. I love baseball, but I'm sure as hell not going to dedicate my time or money to this particular business, the Minnesota Twins.

I'm going to my usual 15-20 games a year. Be there or be square.


#56 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 05:40 PM

Huh, I thought there was one FA in 87, but I could be off on that. You recall the trades?

And, I'm aware Morris and Davis came off bad years, but they did sign them, and it did work.


Reardon wasn’t a FA, but he was certainly a case of the Twins making a preseason trade for an established star closer. And while his 1987 stats look rather pedestrian, that kinda fits in with the rest of the team. No one’s stats were jump off the page stellar in 1987 other thsn maybe Viola.

Dan Gladden was also a well established veteran trade acquisition made just prior to opening day in 1987.

Both moves increased payroll, that’s for sure.
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#57 Major League Ready

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 06:11 PM

 

Unfortunately, yes, average players should make more money than those people. Supply and demand and all.....It doesn't make it moral, but it is the reality of the world we live in. 

 

I don't recall anyone mentioning 300M per year. 

 

I am curious what risk they are taking. Has any team ever sold for less than an ROI that an owner could get in teh stock market? I doubt it very much, and if so, it would be very rare. There is virtually no risk in owning a MBL, NFL, or NBA team (not sure about NHL).

 

If it weren't for the uncapitalistic laws that Congress has passed, allowing MLB to act as a monopoly, and the terrible CBA, the players would make even more....

 

The owners could pay an 1/4 of what they do now and lose 1% of the available players. Do you think players would not work for an average of $1M/year.There highest paid alternative outside of MLB is the Nippon league which is about an 1/8 of what they get paid now. The average pay of MLB players has grown at 7X the adjusted rate of inflation in the last 25 years and more than that if you go back further. I would say MLB players have done great and let's not forget that both sides continue to allow MiLB players to work for peanuts. They are all (players and owners) greedy bastards.

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#58 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 06:57 PM

A simple rebuttal to the greedy on both sides argument is, prove it. Open up your books, MLB owners. Show how you're somehow losing money in an industry that generates $10+ billion in revenue. It's simply hard to believe.

NBA owners tried pulling the same crap 8 years ago. Claiming 21 out of 30 teams were losing money and couldn't afford player salaries anymore. Funny, 8 years after the lockout concluded, player salaries have skyrocketed to $50 million a season. From what I can tell no one had to board up the arena doors for failing to pay the bills.
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#59 Jham

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 06:59 PM

You need to read more carefully. Carry over has nothing to do with the point. There are other issue with your post but the most meaningful is that those of you who take this position don't seem to understand such a model would actually put below average revenue teams at an even bigger disadvantage. The only thing that would change under your proposed operating model is the players would make even more and teams with less than average income would have an even larger disadvantage because the large market teams make considerably more profit which when redistributed would obviously create an even bigger disparity in payroll expenditures.


I need to read more carefully? You didn't even address my post. Just said it was wrong.

This is not your normal business where if your margins aren't high enough people lose their jobs and families and investors suffer.

The mission of an MLB club in some fashion, is to win games. Bottom line just isn't the concern it is in other industries because they're part of a monopoly where every business is almost automatically profitable.

As for market disparity, there are revenue sharing agreements and especially escalating luxury tax penalties that seem to be helping to curb that. Now we need a floor. One thing I agreed with Steinbrenner on was the unfairness of having to pay into a sharing system without requiring the Twins and Pirates to reinvest into the product.

You can disagree and keep suggesting they operate like Delta or Best Buy, but there's no need for condescension. We're arguing about how one of the richest families in the world should spend its "going out" money.

#60 Riverbrian

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 08:29 PM

 

Like the Yankees with Ellsbury (I was totally wrong about that one! but it also shows that even position players are risky).

 

you forgot to include the entire San Francisco Giants roster. 

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