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Reusse: Modern Game Unkind to Dozier, Plouffe

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#61 Sielk

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 07:37 AM

 

I would start more with tweaks than wholesale changes - 

 

- Fix the service time issue so that 6 years is the true maximum.

 

Just curious -- how you propose fixing the service time issue like this?

Not my post, but I would start with eliminating the concept of "days of service time" a player has to accumulate to get a year of service time.

 

Instead, if you are on the 26-man roster in a given season, it counts as a year, even if it was just one day. As a result players become free agents after they have played in six major league seasons (and not seven years minus three weeks). This would also prevent teams from keeping players in the minors at the beginning of their rookie season to gain an extra year.

 

If you wanted to soften this up a bit you could also allow for a larger threshold than one day, for example allowing a September callup that doesn't count as a year. If six years is too much that could also be reduced further. But in my opinion one of the biggest flaws of the current system is the possibility of teams gaining almost an entire seventh year on top when six should really be the maximum.

 

I don't know if free agency at a set age would be really viable because the timelines of prospects are so different. Take Brent Rooker for example. If there would really be (restricted) free agency at age 25 he would have been a free agent before even debuting.

 

Not directly related to that, but I would also change the rules for eligibility for the Rule 5 draft / the time when a player has to be added to the 40-man roster. It's just ridiculous that 16-year-old international prospects have only one year more than 21-year-old college players. Reduce the time for college players and give international players a bit more time, so they don't have to use up all their option years while still developing.

 

And after you have done that, maybe the number of option years could be reduced to prevent teams from keeping a player in the minors forever (and also delaying his eventual free agency).

 

Just a few ideas to make the system a bit fairer to players without weakening small- and mid-market teams too much...


#62 spycake

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 09:33 AM

 

Not my post, but I would start with eliminating the concept of "days of service time" a player has to accumulate to get a year of service time.

 

Instead, if you are on the 26-man roster in a given season, it counts as a year, even if it was just one day. As a result players become free agents after they have played in six major league seasons (and not seven years minus three weeks). This would also prevent teams from keeping players in the minors at the beginning of their rookie season to gain an extra year.

Thanks for sharing. The problem is, reducing the number of days to count as a full service time year, even down to 1 day, still allows the team to control when that 6 year clock starts. So it's still going to influence roster decisions, just at different times.

 

Take Kris Bryant again. Your proposal would have had him in MLB 2 weeks earlier than he actually was in 2015, which is nice, but people overlook the fact that Bryant was likely MLB ready by mid-2014. I want to incentivize teams to call up players when they are ready, not simply when they want to start their service time clock.

 

 

I don't know if free agency at a set age would be really viable because the timelines of prospects are so different. Take Brent Rooker for example. If there would really be (restricted) free agency at age 25 he would have been a free agent before even debuting.

Doesn't have to be based on age -- that was just one idea. Jeremy's article that I linked was actually based on the number of years from when they sign -- and that number would vary based on what age they sign at, so a 22 year old college draftee like Rooker might come with ~8 years of control vs a 16 year old international prospect coming with ~13 years of control. But it could effectively point to universal free agency around the same age of 29/30/whatever, if we wanted to simplify it and make it age-based.

 

Also, I'm not sure where you picked up the idea of earlier restricted free agency, but it wasn't in the proposal I linked. I'd say real service reform would render it mostly unnecessary, or at the very least, arbitration years already act as a de facto form of restricted free agency.


#63 mikelink45

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 09:52 AM

Free agency still defies the logic of these analytic driven teams.Pujols is not and has not given the Angels their money's worth and at the end Trout won't either.No one forced SD to give Tatis a lifetime guarantee that does nothing for the team if he is injured, gets fat, loses the drive. 

 

The teams futures are compromised and I cannot understand the logic.We see that players like Harper, Trout, Realmuto have not come close to bringing their teams a championship, but they do limit payroll options in the future.

The old adage that teams win championships, not stars still holds true and the FO still has trouble with those projections.

 


#64 ashbury

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 10:06 AM

Free agency still defies the logic of these analytic driven teams.Pujols is not and has not given the Angels their money's worth and at the end Trout won't either. 

Unless... the analytics is more advanced than simple measures of WAR or its relatives, and tries to assess the revenue that comes from handing out a contract.

 

Airlines for instance use analytics to schedule crews to flights, to assign aircraft to flights, to plan fleet sizing, to monitor prices for individual seats on flights, et cetera. A dream has been to integrate some or all of these aspects into a master planning system that at least gives broad direction to the assignments mentioned, resulting in neither minimal costs nor maximal revenue but maximal net profit. I don't know whether or how well this has been achieved.

 

A similar view could have already happened in baseball front offices. We don't know what revenue figure the Angels assigned to Pujols joining the team, but perhaps by their estimates he has already earned his contract due to the incremental revenue they believe he drew in during his first few seasons.

 

Or perhaps they made a mistake. Analytic decision making can be only as good as the forecasts that go into them. Someone paying out $250M and being able to justify only $150M in incremental revenue a few years later would tend to get fired - I don't recall one way or the other if someone paid that price.

 

Anyway, absent a firing like Dombrowski's, I'm not too inclined to judge those mega contracts.
 

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#65 spycake

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 10:15 AM

 

That's a good point. Adapting business models to new conditions generally takes an outline of ideas and lots of tweaking. Validate ideas, develop new tweaks and repeat until the end product in flushed out. However, I think this two sides will have a problem ever agreeing to parameters of any complexity.

I don't think this particular issue -- how to handle arbitration for second year players -- would be all that complex, on its own. It's simply an extension of the current arbitration system. Arbitration is already based not only on performance, but also on playing time and the salaries of your service time peers, so a good performance or a partial season from a rookie wouldn't net all that much for year two. It's basically adding two levels on the scale below super-2 salaries, not pushing any existing levels up.

 

Sure, some guys would wind up getting a little more in year 2 than their subsequent performance would suggest they should have, but on that scale, it's not enough to cause any real harm to anyone. And like I said, better to scrap the weird automatic-renewal contracts -- vestiges of the old reserve clause framework.

 

If one wanted to make it more complex, you could also ditch the arbitration framework of both sides submitting a number and making a case. I think metrics and measurements are advanced/accepted enough that they could come up with a general formula based on those, and apply that formula to all future arbitration cases to divide a pre-determined share of revenue. Haggling over metrics and measurements in an individual case would be contentious, but in the aggregate, probably not too difficult.

 

I think only one parameter is a difficult hurdle for the owners and MLBPA: defining revenue and the player's share of it. Unfortunately, it's a very difficult one! And it basically precludes anything else from happening until it is solved. I suspect we'll see more of the status quo before we see any changes like we're proposing, while both sides try to game the current system for their benefit.


#66 mikelink45

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 05:18 PM

 

Unless... the analytics is more advanced than simple measures of WAR or its relatives, and tries to assess the revenue that comes from handing out a contract.

 

Airlines for instance use analytics to schedule crews to flights, to assign aircraft to flights, to plan fleet sizing, to monitor prices for individual seats on flights, et cetera. A dream has been to integrate some or all of these aspects into a master planning system that at least gives broad direction to the assignments mentioned, resulting in neither minimal costs nor maximal revenue but maximal net profit. I don't know whether or how well this has been achieved.

 

A similar view could have already happened in baseball front offices. We don't know what revenue figure the Angels assigned to Pujols joining the team, but perhaps by their estimates he has already earned his contract due to the incremental revenue they believe he drew in during his first few seasons.

 

Or perhaps they made a mistake. Analytic decision making can be only as good as the forecasts that go into them. Someone paying out $250M and being able to justify only $150M in incremental revenue a few years later would tend to get fired - I don't recall one way or the other if someone paid that price.

 

Anyway, absent a firing like Dombrowski's, I'm not too inclined to judge those mega contracts.
 

During Pujols ten years the annual revenue has increased $160 million.check out this page to see the chart.  https://www.statista...eim-since-2006/

 

Here is their payroll for those year.The increase per year in payroll must be calculated into the profit made off the Pujols deal.  https://legacy.baseb...=ANA&cyear=2018

 

For a good recap - https://halohangout....rs of all time.

 

Sorrybaseball execs do not always make good decisions and end of career FA signings seldom work out well.Good luck Twins on Donaldson's signing.1/4th of the deal is bad so far. 


#67 Sielk

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 07:05 PM

Thanks for sharing. The problem is, reducing the number of days to count as a full service time year, even down to 1 day, still allows the team to control when that 6 year clock starts. So it's still going to influence roster decisions, just at different times.

Take Kris Bryant again. Your proposal would have had him in MLB 2 weeks earlier than he actually was in 2015, which is nice, but people overlook the fact that Bryant was likely MLB ready by mid-2014. I want to incentivize teams to call up players when they are ready, not simply when they want to start their service time clock.



Yeah, you might have a point there. But at least it would ensure that six years actually means six years at most and not almost seven. In Bryant's case, he would have gotten to free agency a year earlier. So, maybe it would be a good start?

Doesn't have to be based on age -- that was just one idea. Jeremy's article that I linked was actually based on the number of years from when they sign -- and that number would vary based on what age they sign at, so a 22 year old college draftee like Rooker might come with ~8 years of control vs a 16 year old international prospect coming with ~13 years of control. But it could effectively point to universal free agency around the same age of 29/30/whatever, if we wanted to simplify it and make it age-based.


Anyway, that's why I brought up the topic of reducing option years and making the time before Rule 5 eligibility more individual (so much that prospects cannot be stashed in the minors forever). But as I consider that the end result would probably be something very similar to just basing it on the number of years since signing. The latter with the added bonus of incentivizing teams to call up prospects as soon as possible.

Would be interesting to see how such a proposal would affect player development. It's worth a try, I guess. I just hope the upcoming CBA negotiations won't be too much of a nightmare. Not that the involved parties have given us much reason to hope...

Also, I'm not sure where you picked up the idea of earlier restricted free agency, but it wasn't in the proposal I linked. I'd say real service reform would render it mostly unnecessary, or at the very least, arbitration years already act as a de facto form of restricted free agency.


Forget about that. It was just referring to a proposal by someone else here. I was not suggesting restricted free agency or advocating for it.

#68 ashbury

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 09:21 PM

 

During Pujols ten years the annual revenue has increased $160 million.check out this page to see the chart.  https://www.statista...eim-since-2006/

 

Here is their payroll for those year.The increase per year in payroll must be calculated into the profit made off the Pujols deal.  https://legacy.baseb...=ANA&cyear=2018

 

For a good recap - https://halohangout....rs of all time.

 

Sorrybaseball execs do not always make good decisions and end of career FA signings seldom work out well.Good luck Twins on Donaldson's signing.1/4th of the deal is bad so far. 

On further review, you're right.
 

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#69 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 07:53 AM

this was a very good read... Unfortunately, I think the real problem here is that the solution is far too complex with far too many who currently benefit quite well needing to take it on the chin... and that's with both players and owners ultimately... I don't think we see baseball in 2022. Neither the owners or the players have the working relationship/confidence in each other to make the hard choices that will save the sport...Baseball I fear is going to be a lesson to the other professional leagues about what not to do... I want to be wrong there, but I don't see a way forward unless both sides make some hard decisions that won't be popular.

 

I think there were a lot of good ideas here, but I don't see a scenario that's good for baseball that doesn't involve some combination of total revenue sharing, earlier FA, higher minimum salaries, less guarantees, etc.I think getting the players to agree will be a bit easier since it's really only a handful of them that have benefitted from this system at the expense of others... that said, on the ownership side simple math says that in a revenue sharing situation that approximately 50% of the owners are going to take it on the chin to support the other half. I realize it's not exactly 50% depending on distribution, but the point being is that a lot of owners are going to have to agree on a pay cut.

 

Does anyone know the percentage of owners that needs to affirm the CBA for it pass? I was thinking 2/3s, but I could be wrong there. My point is that some of them are going to have to be very altruistic for this problem to be solved, and unfortunately, most billionaires don't get there for their altruism...

 

Perhaps some calmer heads will prevail in that enough see that the bridge is out on the train tracks ahead, but if last season's covid negotiations showed us anything, it's that not nearly enough players and owners recognize this. 

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#70 bighat

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 08:07 AM

 

The only amazing thing is that front offices didn't get better at this form of evaluation and projection, a long time sooner.

Yeah, I mean that's what I take from this also.

 

Sucks for guys like Dozier and Plouffe, there's no doubt about it.

 

Think about Jose Bautista. He was hitting 50, 40, 30+ HR seasons. The guy then had a bad season (just 23 HR) and he couldn't find a job. Back in the old days, he'd have been paid based on name recognition and could have spent a few full seasons playing in outposts like San Diego or Detroit before retiring on his own.


#71 Major League Ready

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 09:15 AM

 

During Pujols ten years the annual revenue has increased $160 million.check out this page to see the chart.  https://www.statista...eim-since-2006/

 

Here is their payroll for those year.The increase per year in payroll must be calculated into the profit made off the Pujols deal.  https://legacy.baseb...=ANA&cyear=2018

 

For a good recap - https://halohangout....rs of all time.

 

Sorrybaseball execs do not always make good decisions and end of career FA signings seldom work out well.Good luck Twins on Donaldson's signing.1/4th of the deal is bad so far. 

 

On what basis have you concluded the revenue increase was a product of signing Pujlos? Revenue went up across the league during that decade and the revenue chart looks like that for most teams. Are you really suggesting that fans come to the park because the Angels have a guy who used to be great even though he has played at below replacement level for several years? The revenue increases were primarily things that Pujlos had very little influence over like national TV deals, shared gates, etc.


#72 mikelink45

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 08:58 PM

 

On what basis have you concluded the revenue increase was a product of signing Pujlos? Revenue went up across the league during that decade and the revenue chart looks like that for most teams. Are you really suggesting that fans come to the park because the Angels have a guy who used to be great even though he has played at below replacement level for several years? The revenue increases were primarily things that Pujlos had very little influence over like national TV deals, shared gates, etc.

You misread my post - I was responding to another question.My point is that the Pujols signing was bad at every level and they did not gain, but lost money on his signing.

 

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#73 Major League Ready

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 08:57 AM

 

You misread my post - I was responding to another question.My point is that the Pujols signing was bad at every level and they did not gain, but lost money on his signing.

 

My bad! I skipped to the end and did not see the previous posts. I went in the wrong direction not having that context. 

 

I, Reusse was a little off-center here. IMO, Seth's post where he said "It absolutely is how it should be, and it totally makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that wasn't always the thinking."

 

He was responding to someone who asked "Shouldn't players be paid for what they are expected to produce rather than for what they have produced in the past?"

 

My point is the statement the modern game no longer favors players like Dozier is not exactly accurate. The game has never favored someone with Dozier's early decline. What has changed is simple. Team leadership is in the hands of people with different skill sets as compared to even a decade ago. This has lead to different business practices and much more sophisticated decision making practices. This is evidenced by the last couple FA classes. Productive players are still getting paid. Teams simply are not willing to assume that production will remain at the same level for several years because the evidence is overwhelming shows it will not. 

 

In an odd way, these horrible contracts had one positive affect. Big market teams invested in these huge contracts and many of them were bad enough to actually suppress their revenue advantage. The Dodgers have become much more measured in their approach and the Yankees are getting there as well. Philadelphia and the LA Angels are examples of the perils of trying to buy a team. It's fair to assume most teams are going to get better and better in terms of understand the financial and economics metrics of the game. IMO, the take away from this article should have been parity has never been more at risk. As fans, we should all quit worrying about which side fairs better economically and get focused on the preservation of the game.

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#74 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 11:22 AM

 

It's fair to assume most teams are going to get better and better in terms of understand the financial and economics metrics of the game. IMO, the take away from this article should have been parity has never been more at risk. As fans, we should all quit worrying about which side fairs better economically and get focused on the preservation of the game.

 

This hits the nail on the head. The game is in serious trouble. 


#75 bustedstuff88

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 12:03 PM

I guess it always seemed really silly to me to be handing out megadeals to these players who had put up huge numbers but were also hitting 30+ years old.....

 

So im in favor of what front offices are doing. Players are still getting paid plenty handsomely and teams arent hamstrung with noose-type contracts on failing aging pieces. 

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#76 mikelink45

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 12:59 PM

 

My bad! I skipped to the end and did not see the previous posts. I went in the wrong direction not having that context. 

 

I, Reusse was a little off-center here. IMO, Seth's post where he said "It absolutely is how it should be, and it totally makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that wasn't always the thinking."

 

He was responding to someone who asked "Shouldn't players be paid for what they are expected to produce rather than for what they have produced in the past?"

 

My point is the statement the modern game no longer favors players like Dozier is not exactly accurate. The game has never favored someone with Dozier's early decline. What has changed is simple. Team leadership is in the hands of people with different skill sets as compared to even a decade ago. This has lead to different business practices and much more sophisticated decision making practices. This is evidenced by the last couple FA classes. Productive players are still getting paid. Teams simply are not willing to assume that production will remain at the same level for several years because the evidence is overwhelming shows it will not. 

 

In an odd way, these horrible contracts had one positive affect. Big market teams invested in these huge contracts and many of them were bad enough to actually suppress their revenue advantage. The Dodgers have become much more measured in their approach and the Yankees are getting there as well. Philadelphia and the LA Angels are examples of the perils of trying to buy a team. It's fair to assume most teams are going to get better and better in terms of understand the financial and economics metrics of the game. IMO, the take away from this article should have been parity has never been more at risk. As fans, we should all quit worrying about which side fairs better economically and get focused on the preservation of the game.

I think the Dodgers with their own private Mint went crazy this year.They did not need Bauer and the cost is outrageous.


#77 spycake

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:08 PM

 

I think the Dodgers with their own private Mint went crazy this year.They did not need Bauer and the cost is outrageous.

Perhaps, but you know what team Fangraphs has projected for the second-highest win total in MLB? The Padres. So the Dodgers have some competition, and while I'm not sold on Bauer either, the risk of the deal is mitigated quite a bit by its short length.

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#78 Major League Ready

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:40 PM

 

Perhaps, but you know what team Fangraphs has projected for the second-highest win total in MLB? The Padres. So the Dodgers have some competition, and while I'm not sold on Bauer either, the risk of the deal is mitigated quite a bit by its short length.

 

I would not be a bit surprised if Bauer opts out after this season. 2021 was a bad year to be a free agent. Next year will be better if we actually play. If we don't play, he opts out for 23. As you point out, they are not assuming the normal risk associated with this type of FA. 

 

They also lose the Jansen / Kelly and Kershaw contract commitments after this year. Price & Turner come off after 22. They have a lot of options which I would bet is what they were aiming for as they put together this roster.

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