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Am I wrong? I'd rather the Twins have Martin, Woods Richardson, and $20M per year to spend than Jose Berrios?


John Bonnes
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1 hour ago, nicksaviking said:

It's a fair take, but the 2023 free agent starting pitching class is barren; Berrios would have been the top arm. If they don't get someone like Robbie Ray now, they likely won't have any pitchers to spend that 20M on for at least three years.

To me, your point on Berrios being the top arm of the class makes his signing now more curious.  I'm not Berrios though and there's something to be said about the safety of signing.

The other alternative is that they trade for a pitcher and use that money to pay a current contract or extend him.  It doesn't have to be for a free agent.

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I still like the trade and think it was the right decision if it was clear they wouldn't re-sign him.  I'm also disappointed that it came to that though.  

As far as the topic at hand, I can't really answer at this point.  It's an "Incomplete" for me right now because we don't know what they do with the money they would otherwise have spent.  I think the trade also put the team back from a year as far as contention.  So, how quickly Martin and SWR get to the big leagues and start contributing plays into this too.  

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At the time I approved of Berrios trade, now after signing extension still do. Believe Twins would have signed Berrios to 5 year contract same rate as Toronto, but Berrios would not have signed for that. The last 2 years of the contract sealed the deal for Berrios and Twins did not want to go that long. Will have to wait to see how players develop to give final grade to trade. 

Great discussion, good points on both sides.

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23 minutes ago, Tim said:

I legitimately cannot fathom the fact some would rather have him over Martin.

I think this is being overstated. The point is, if the FO evaluated talent better, they wouldn't need to consider Martin in the OF. They would already have strong young talent there, and could have gotten more in terms of return for pitching. However, if Martin is a true SS candidate, then he's a good prospect to have here, sure.

I'm a FO skeptic. John's question was simple: better to have Martin and SWR and $20M than Berrios. I stand by my answer: not with this FO, no. They won't spend the $20M any better in terms of production than Berrios would have given the team, and they possibly wouldn't have needed the prospects they got for him.

Ah speculation. We'll see how it all pans out. 

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1 hour ago, Tim said:

So both of you would take Baddoo over Martin .. His underlying number are terrible.

You seem far more invested in this then I am. I probably would still rather have Martin because he potentially plays positions that are harder to fill while the Twins have a lot of corner OF types. But your attitude on this is surprisingly hostile and your quick take and strawman arguments are not helpful. 

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55 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

So he had five poor to average months and one good month.  I'll take Martin.

Bit of the eye of the beholder there. The Al hitters average line last year was .245/.316/.415, a .731 OPS. Except for those 11 games in August, each other month was above average. 

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21 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

You seem far more invested in this then I am. I probably would still rather have Martin because he potentially plays positions that are harder to fill while the Twins have a lot of corner OF types. But your attitude on this is surprisingly hostile and your quick take and strawman arguments are not helpful. 

:(

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5 hours ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

Making crappy assumptions is tired as well, I NEVER mentioned moving prospects along though the system slowing, I was talking about innings pitched, and some of your examples above prove my point. Now maybe you could enlighten us with examples of pitchers they jump large innings?

"Twins bring pitchers along it could be another three years to get him to 120+ innings a year."

 

I mean, if you don't understand that innings pitched are tied to promotions (no pitcher gets moved a level or two if they're not putting up significant innings), then that's on you.

Winder went from 38 IP in 2018 to 125 in 2019

Ober went from 28 IP in 2017 to 75 in 2019

Varland went from 8.2 IP in 2019 to 103 in 2021

SWR was at 53 IP last year, and that's despite taking 2+ weeks off between May 22 and June 9, and didn't pitch at all between Jul 15 and Sep 4, which is almost 7 weeks, due to being part of the Olympics.  If healthy, he would have easily hit the 100 IP mark, so your idea that it will take until 2024 for him to pitch 120 innings is not rooted in reality.

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4 hours ago, Sconnie said:

The fallacy is assuming that Berrios would have signed that contract with the Twins. That is not an assumption I am willing to make. My assumption is that the terms of an extension with Berrios for the Twins would have been different because the two parties had different priorities and different BATNAs (best alternative to negotiated agreement) than Berrios and Blue Jays...

Don't agree with your take at all. You're changing the orginal post's subject entirely. We know for a fact Berrios signed the contract he has. You're saying the Twins wouldn't offer what the Blue Jays did, and you're 100% right... which is why the Twins traded Berrios. Arguing we need to fabricate a contract which Berrios would have signed with the Twins is the fallacy because it doesn't exist. Berrios would have never signed a contract the Twins were willing to offer. 

The question is whether or not Twins fans would rather the Twins had a different organizational mindset and been willing to offer the contract the Blue Jays offered to guarantee Berrios stays rather than having the prospects from the trade and the $7-29MM of savings per season for the next 7 years to sign other talent. The OP's question is itself kind of moot as he forbids logical arguments which would easily defeat his position because he doesn't like them and is actually asking essentially a rhetorical question. Idk. Maybe that lends credibility to your position after all haha.

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4 hours ago, Sconnie said:

The fallacy is assuming that Berrios would have signed that contract with the Twins. That is not an assumption I am willing to make. My assumption is that the terms of an extension with Berrios for the Twins would have been different because the two parties had different priorities and different BATNAs (best alternative to negotiated agreement) than Berrios and Blue Jays.

I don’t think John is wrong, just framing it incompletely. It’s not Berrios at 6 years 120 mil or the Two Prospects. It’s Berrios at an unknown contract or the Two Prospects. The uncertainty of both scenarios is pertinent.

I’d probably take the trade too. I’m pretty risk averse, and two lotto tickets plus the assumed budget freed up (as things sit total freed up space is probably 40-50 mil) is worth more IFF(to Brocks point) the FO improves their ability to identify free agents to sign. Their track record thus far is pretty poor on pitching.

I think the contract gives a relatively accurate ballpark of what it would've taken to keep him. The speed with which he signed the extension + report(s) that MN was nowhere close to those numbers kinda starts to pick apart the notion that what he was seeking in negotiations with the Twins was vastly different. I understand the lotto ticket/cap allure, but I have almost no faith that it'll be spent in full, or if it is, that it'll be spent wisely.  

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I'll take Berrios and his contract, whatever it may prove to be, because 1) he is one of us; 2) He has shown a very real ability to work hard and to avoid injuries, which is critical for a contending  team to have in several SP's.  3) In Berrios we have a pitcher who has pitched 180 plus innings the last several years AND was not just eating innings, because ....he pitches very well. " There's something happening here; What it is, ain't exactly clear." 

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So I'm limited to not arguing the Twins won't spend the $7-24/29MM extra per year because revenue streams and budgets will clearly remain completely unaffected by Berrios' absence?

I recently wrote a blog about top free agent starters which broke down how effective the Twins' front office has been in recent history with signing starting pitching. In a single word?

https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/23110-no-top-fa-starters-are-not-risky/

Terrible. Low-end and Mid-market starters for the Twins have never worked out. Not once. No free agent starter signed by the Twins who has played for them over the past 8 years has worked out. Zero. Zilch. Nada. None. The best was Jake Odorizzi who managed a median of 1.2 WAR per season. Ervin Santana? Median WAR 0.5 WAR per season. It doesn't matter what a team spends if you don't actually want the player on the mound. A starting pitcher needs to be producing at least 2.5 WAR to be a legitimate asset and a bare minimum of of maybe 1.5-2.0 WAR to be helping at all. In the average season, a free agent starter the Twins signs is probably about AAA replacement level for $8-10MM. So two AAA replacement players for the "$20MM" the Twins stand to save doesn't seem like a good trade to me.

I would have been happier if the Twins extended Berrios. I'm happy enough with the trade overall knowing full well the Twins will likely squader whatever savings in cash they make from the move because signing Berrios was never an option to begin with.

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21 hours ago, John Bonnes said:

Would you rather the Twins had offered Berrios the same contract as the Blue Jays inJuly, or traded him for what they got and have the $20M to spend for the next six years (which might well be spend this offseason on a long-term deal). 

I'll start: I'd take the trade. Granted, I'd feel a lot better if I knew that the $20M would be spent on a pitcher as good or better than Berrios (Ray, Gaussman, etc), but even it it's used to pick up two of DeSclafini/Matz/Wood/Gray/Cobb, I think I'd rather have that and two fairly high-end prospects than Berrios in what should be his declining years. Am I wrong? 

(If your answer is some version of "they won't spend it" don't expect any kind of thoughtful response from me. This management team has shown they spend their budget and no more. I don't see any evidence they'll be pocketing the money, or that they would have stretched the budget for Berrios.)

Declining years? Berrios is 27. He should, barring injury, be pretty damn good for most if not all of the contract.

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If Berrios were reluctant to sign with the Twins due to the cold weather, then he probably would not have signed with Toronto, where the weather ain't exactly warm in April and October either. Therefore is probably is not due to the weather.  If this assumption is true, then he must want to win and sees  that as being more likely to happen with Toronto, or he had a beef with the FO, or he felt he would get better coaching in Toronto, or he wanted more money than the Twins were willing to offer.  I doubt we will ever know the truth here. And that is frustrating for me. So I am just going to accept that Berrios, one of my all time favorite pitchers for the Twins is gone to the land where all good Twins players eventually go.

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I think the fanbase might feel a bit different about this if the Twins were cranking out Berrios-like pitchers every couple of years like the good teams in the league regularly do. But since it's been 20 years since the team has developed a similar pitcher, it's a harder pill to swallow. This just isn't a skill they've been good at so no one has confidence any of the prospects will work out, and really, we need about 3-4 to work out.

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3 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

Yeah, well I suppose that's true if you do it the way the Twins want to do it and only want to hand out short term deals.......

It doesn't work if need and availability don't align. The SP market next year is not pretty. And the SS market will never be like this again. Passing on signing legit players this year doesn't mean they can sign similar or better players next year....it just means they have money to do so if they want. 

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19 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

I think the contract gives a relatively accurate ballpark of what it would've taken to keep him. The speed with which he signed the extension + report(s) that MN was nowhere close to those numbers kinda starts to pick apart the notion that what he was seeking in negotiations with the Twins was vastly different. I understand the lotto ticket/cap allure, but I have almost no faith that it'll be spent in full, or if it is, that it'll be spent wisely.  

In terms of faith in the FO allocation of spending, I understand and respect that skepticism and am starting to align that way myself (though I waffle). The evidence thus far fits the narrative that this FO "likes to spend nickels on washed up old has-beens who have one statistic they like" certainly has merit, but they did sign Donaldson and aren't afraid of making a trade. 

The reports on the Twins being "nowhere close" are really hard to accept at face value. That reporting always comes from sources who have an agenda. If the Berrios side starts the negotiation with "12 years, 250 mil", well then no, the Twins were never going to be close. Even if the contract that Berrios signed is the objective going rate for Berrios, he probably wouldn't have signed that deal with the Twins, not because he had some gripe with the FO or he doesn't like "us" or didn't want to be a Twin anymore, because priorities change. In the blink of an eye... If Berrios had snapped his UCL in July, he probably would have signed that contract with the Twins, but would the Twins? No.

Priorities change based on the negotiators needs, desires and what they have. Those things change 

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1 hour ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

I mean, if you don't understand that innings pitched are tied to promotions (no pitcher gets moved a level or two if they're not putting up significant innings), then that's on you.

Winder went from 38 IP in 2018 to 125 in 2019

Ober went from 28 IP in 2017 to 75 in 2019

Varland went from 8.2 IP in 2019 to 103 in 2021

SWR was at 53 IP last year, and that's despite taking 2+ weeks off between May 22 and June 9, and didn't pitch at all between Jul 15 and Sep 4, which is almost 7 weeks, due to being part of the Olympics.  If healthy, he would have easily hit the 100 IP mark, so your idea that it will take until 2024 for him to pitch 120 innings is not rooted in reality.

Didn't Winder pitch 85 for VMI in 2018 as well? and Varland pitch 55.1 for Concordia in 2019? and didn't Ober pitch 56 for Charleston in 2017,  75 in 2018 and 78.2 in 2019, then 108 in 2021?

I have never heard that pitchers get promoted based on the amount of innings pitched, so I guess that's on me?

I thank you for pointed out examples to back my case.

SWR pitched 17.1 professional innings in 2018, then 106.2 in 2019, then 53.1 in 2021 and got hurt (You pointed out the obvious that he got hurt, and if players don't get hurt they generally pitch more innings), you don't think the Twins are going to take it slow with him? Most of us were pretty good with taking it slow with Ober, but with a 21 year old prospect they just traded for Berrios they are going to rush his innings count?

With jordan balazovic, they went 32 in 2016, 40.1 in 2017, 61.2 in 2018, 93.2 in 2019, and he pitched 97 in 2021 (again he was hurt at the beginning of the year, so we don't really know what the Twins plan for innings was, but Austin Schulfer had the most innings in all of the Twins minor leagues (110)

Edit: FYI, I never said he won't be in the majors before 2024, I think there is a good chance he is in MN next year by mid-season or a little later, because he pitched so well at AA and AAA, I was trying to say he won't be a full-time 5-6 inning full season guy until them. (so maybe now you will quit arguing against yourself though me)

 

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47 minutes ago, adorduan said:

Declining years? Berrios is 27. He should, barring injury, be pretty damn good for most if not all of the contract.

Blame Bill James - How Do Baseball Players Age?: Investigating the Age-27 Theory - Baseball ProspectusBaseball Prospectus - if 27 is peak, then it is inherently decline. Hitters tend to age better than pitchers, and most of the data is more around attrition rate than actual age... Basically the older a player gets the higher the likelihood of career ending or altering injury.

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22 hours ago, John Bonnes said:

Would you rather the Twins had offered Berrios the same contract as the Blue Jays inJuly, or traded him for what they got and have the $20M to spend for the next six years (which might well be spend this offseason on a long-term deal).

There is no $20M.

They paid him $6M this year, and that's what's been freed up.

They balked at paying his likely $11M in arbitration salary in 2022.  They certainly weren't going to pay him market rate for future years.

They got a couple of prospects - only one of which was a pitcher - in exchange for one and a half years of below-market control of Berrios in 2022.  That's the only meaningful comparison, and in those terms it's probably a pretty good bottom-feeder trade to make.

There never was a $20M.

(If your answer is some version of "they won't spend it" don't expect any kind of thoughtful response from me. )

If that really is your stance, I probably wouldn't offer my view. :)

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Fine, I understand your point John.  BUT - if the Front Office thought this type of contract was unreasonable for Jose, why would we believe they will wisely spend that $20M anyway.  We had a known commodity in Jose, while not an Ace, a durable number 2.  I have high hopes for the 2 guys we got, and felt it was a good trade when I thought Jose was going to price himself out of MN.  Did he really do that, or did we simply make him a low ball offer and possibly new low ball offers to others very soon.  I recognize the new regime has a habit of middle of the pack spending - awesome!  BUT, do we have any idea what they tried to get Jose to agree to, and why would a different FA SP might agree to what they consider a "fair" offer?  I fear we may have some financial strings being tightened after 2 years of poor revenues - but knowing what we offered Jose might give us a better idea of what this Front Office considers a fair offer for a pitcher of Jose's quality - thus what they might feel are fair others for Free Agents they make overtures to this off season.

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1 hour ago, bean5302 said:

Don't agree with your take at all. You're changing the orginal post's subject entirely. We know for a fact Berrios signed the contract he has. You're saying the Twins wouldn't offer what the Blue Jays did, and you're 100% right... which is why the Twins traded Berrios. Arguing we need to fabricate a contract which Berrios would have signed with the Twins is the fallacy because it doesn't exist. Berrios would have never signed a contract the Twins were willing to offer. 

The question is whether or not Twins fans would rather the Twins had a different organizational mindset and been willing to offer the contract the Blue Jays offered to guarantee Berrios stays rather than having the prospects from the trade and the $7-29MM of savings per season for the next 7 years to sign other talent. The OP's question is itself kind of moot as he forbids logical arguments which would easily defeat his position because he doesn't like them and is actually asking essentially a rhetorical question. Idk. Maybe that lends credibility to your position after all haha.

Berrios wasn't concerned at all with his stability prior to the trade, and  stated openly he was looking for a big payday in free agency. Reportedly he was shocked to be traded. After such a shock, priorities change. The Blue Jays had to extend Berrios, they were going to lose him for nothing after 2022 and not have the prospect to fill his shoes.

You are correct, the Twins were not going to pony up 7 years 150 mil or 6 years 120, regardless... but we don't know what it would have cost the Twins to extend him. and the assumption of the same deal he got from the Blue Jays doesn't fit what we know of the situation at the time of the trade.

What happened after the trade is independent of what happened before.

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44 minutes ago, ashbury said:

There is no $20M.

They paid him $6M this year, and that's what's been freed up.

They balked at paying his likely $11M in arbitration salary in 2022.  They certainly weren't going to pay him market rate for future years.

They got a couple of prospects - only one of which was a pitcher - in exchange for one and a half years of below-market control of Berrios in 2022.  That's the only meaningful comparison, and in those terms it's probably a pretty good bottom-feeder trade to make.

There never was a $20M.

(If your answer is some version of "they won't spend it" don't expect any kind of thoughtful response from me. )

If that really is your stance, I probably wouldn't offer my view. :)

THIS!!! 1000 times THiS!

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55 minutes ago, Sconnie said:

Blame Bill James - How Do Baseball Players Age?: Investigating the Age-27 Theory - Baseball ProspectusBaseball Prospectus - if 27 is peak, then it is inherently decline. Hitters tend to age better than pitchers, and most of the data is more around attrition rate than actual age... Basically the older a player gets the higher the likelihood of career ending or altering injury.

For somewhat unrelated reasons, I looked up the 2021 top-50 WAR for batters and the same for pitchers, and totted up all the 30-year and older players in those lists.  Separately, I found the number of 30-year and older players, good and not so good, in total. 

It comes out this way:

Batters: 217 total players in this age range, 9 of whom were top-50.

Pitchers: 307 total players in this age range, 17 of whom were top-50.

These older batters were clustered early (3 age 30, 3 age 31, and 1 each for 32/33/34, nobody after), while the older pitchers were a bit more spread out at the tail end of the range (4-30, 5-31, 1-32, 2-33, 2-34, 1-36, 1-37, 1-38).

I did this by hand, so errors may have crept in, or even I may have misused the b-r.com tools somehow.  If I were planning to publish this somewhere, I would beg for a fact checker, not to mention I should probably conduct the same methodology over more than just one season. :)

Anyway, my half-baked but unexpected conclusion is that a larger percentage of pitchers over 30 managed to be top-50 in the majors than the percentage of batters.  It's correct that the large majority of wins are contributed by younger major leaguers.  But if you won't invest in players over 30, you might have been cutting yourself off from 34% of the pool of top pitching talent in 2021, and a smaller percentage of hitting.

Age 32 might be smarter as a cutoff, leaving only 16% of top pitching talent to the risk-tolerant deep pockets teams.  Trouble is, you can decide to declare the 16% as off-limits to yourself, but the deep-pockets teams have no such self-imposed limits on the other/younger 84% who also turn out good.

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4 minutes ago, ashbury said:

For somewhat unrelated reasons, I looked up the 2021 top-50 WAR for batters and the same for pitchers, and totted up all the 30-year and older players in those lists.  Separately, I found the number of 30-year and older players in total. 

It comes out this way:

Batters: 217 total players in this age range, 9 of whom were top-50.

Pitchers: 307 total players in this age range, 17 of whom were top-50.

Even more surprising to me, these older batters were clustered early (3 age 30, 3 age 31, and 1 each for 32/33/34), while the older pitchers were a bit more spread out at the tail end of the range (4-30, 5-31, 1-32, 2-33, 2-34, 1-36, 1-37, 1-38).

I did this by hand, so errors may have crept in, or even I may have misused the b-r.com tools somehow.  If I were planning to publish this somewhere, I would beg for a fact checker, not to mention I should probably conduct the same methodology over more than just one season. :)

Anyway, my half-baked but unexpected conclusion is that a larger percentage of pitchers over 30 managed to be top-50 in the majors than the percentage of batters.  If you won't invest in players over 30, you might have been cutting yourself off from 34% of the pool of top pitching talent in 2021. 

Age 32 might be smarter as a cutoff, leaving only 16% of top pitching talent to the risk-tolerant deep pockets teams.  Trouble is, you can decide leave the 16% as off-limits to yourself, but the deep-pockets teams have no such self-imposed limits on the other 84% who turn out good.

I can also only assume the league's continued trend toward starters throwing fewer innings/pitches is only going to continue to help aging pitchers to last well into their 30s.

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28 minutes ago, ashbury said:

For somewhat unrelated reasons, I looked up the 2021 top-50 WAR for batters and the same for pitchers, and totted up all the 30-year and older players in those lists.  Separately, I found the number of 30-year and older players, good and not so good, in total. 

It comes out this way:

Batters: 217 total players in this age range, 9 of whom were top-50.

Pitchers: 307 total players in this age range, 17 of whom were top-50.

These older batters were clustered early (3 age 30, 3 age 31, and 1 each for 32/33/34, nobody after), while the older pitchers were a bit more spread out at the tail end of the range (4-30, 5-31, 1-32, 2-33, 2-34, 1-36, 1-37, 1-38).

I did this by hand, so errors may have crept in, or even I may have misused the b-r.com tools somehow.  If I were planning to publish this somewhere, I would beg for a fact checker, not to mention I should probably conduct the same methodology over more than just one season. :)

Anyway, my half-baked but unexpected conclusion is that a larger percentage of pitchers over 30 managed to be top-50 in the majors than the percentage of batters.  It's correct that the large majority of wins are contributed by younger major leaguers.  But if you won't invest in players over 30, you might have been cutting yourself off from 34% of the pool of top pitching talent in 2021, and a smaller percentage of hitting.

Age 32 might be smarter as a cutoff, leaving only 16% of top pitching talent to the risk-tolerant deep pockets teams.  Trouble is, you can decide to declare the 16% as off-limits to yourself, but the deep-pockets teams have no such self-imposed limits on the other/younger 84% who also turn out good.

Scope definitely matters a ton. Looking at top 50 vs MLB as a whole vs MLB and MiLB... but yeah, it definitely adds an element to the risk/reward calculation. There must be some selection bas... cruddy players don't stay major leaguers very long

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