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Old 02-22-2014, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Amherst
127 posts, read 140,978 times
Reputation: 110

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Since becoming a competitive team in 2008, the Rays, their closers and their salaries:
2008 Troy Percival..3.9 million
2009 J.P. Howell..433,700 dollars
2010..Rafael Soriano..7.5 million
2011..Kyle Farnsworth..2.6 million
2012..Fernando Rodney..2.1 million
2013..Fernando Rodney..2.5 million

Now they will be paying Balfour six million a year for two years.

With the one year exception of Soriano in 2010, whom the Rays did not keep past one season, they have been getting a very nice dollar return on their closers. Balfour at two years and six million does not fit the pattern.

Howell and Farnsworth weren't closers, just parts of bullpens by committee. Leading the club in saves does not a closer make.

The pattern here is crystal clear: the Rays sign and keep players who are bargained price and/or have huge upside. Soriano was bargained priced that year and so is Balfour. The Heath bell contract is the real mystery here....

The TV money is definitely a factor but I think it's more a case this year of not wanting to squander a great opportunity with the roster they have going into the season. If ever there was a season for them to double-down, this is it.


And this just in....Jesus Montero showed up to camp 40 pounds overweight with an even less healthy attitude. Too bad, as I have always hoped that he'd prosper after being traded by the Yankees.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,913 posts, read 18,566,118 times
Reputation: 18665
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley83 View Post

The pattern here is crystal clear: the Rays sign and keep players who are bargained price and/or have huge upside. Soriano was bargained priced that year and so is Balfour. .
Balfour is bargain priced if you subscribe to the idea that your club needs a "proven closer." A primary Moneyball conclusion was that the entire concept of a closer was overrated, and that you should not be paying top dollar for someone who is going to pitch just 65 or 70 innings for you, regardless of when those innings are pitched. It was an observation which arose from noting that save totals were often incongruent with how well the player actually pitched. For example the Giants Brian Wilson was second in the NL in saves in 2008 with 41, despite having a 4.62 ERA, a 1.444 WHIP, and averaging four walks per nine innings. But he saved 41 games, so he is a "proven closer."

That, as much as the monetary specifics involved, is the departure which I have been referencing...the Rays, and the A's, suddenly deciding that they needed to spend money on "proven closers."
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,913 posts, read 18,566,118 times
Reputation: 18665
Default Orioles, Nelson Cruz have deal

Quote:
The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract with free agent slugger Nelson Cruz, ESPN and multiple media outlets are reporting.

A source told ESPNdeportes.com that Cruz's deal also includes $750,000 in incentives. If the deal is completed, Cruz would become the Orioles' primary designated hitter.
Baltimore Orioles, Nelson Cruz agree on contract - ESPN

I think it wise that they limited this to a one year contract. To what degree Cruz owed his success to PEDs use is unknown. If it turns out that he isn't a star hitter without them, then it will have only cost the O's 8 million to learn this. Toronto went for two years with their Melky Cabrera contract and they must regret that a great deal.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:21 PM
 
460 posts, read 853,170 times
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Default Nelson Cruz

I was wondering where Cruz would end up. No telling how his career will pan out from now on. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:34 PM
 
460 posts, read 853,170 times
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Default Barry Bonds is back

Looks like he'll be a spring training instructor for the Giants. Apparently he is still a fan favorite.

Barry Bonds is back
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Long Island,New York
8,163 posts, read 13,183,725 times
Reputation: 2488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muonic View Post
Looks like he'll be a spring training instructor for the Giants. Apparently he is still a fan favorite.

Barry Bonds is back
This reminds me of what happened when McGwire was brought back in by LaRussa. In my opinion, the organization did this to help his chances going forward for a better hall vote and to make him more likeable in the public eye. For McGwire it didn't work. I expect the same for Bonds.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,913 posts, read 18,566,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muonic View Post
Looks like he'll be a spring training instructor for the Giants. Apparently he is still a fan favorite.

Barry Bonds is back
From the linked article:
Quote:
Manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday that he's looking forward to having the 49-year-old Bonds in camp and thinks he can help the hitters.
Sure he can...

"Okay, listen up. This is the clear, and this is the cream."
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:21 AM
 
Location: Amherst
127 posts, read 140,978 times
Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Balfour is bargain priced if you subscribe to the idea that your club needs a "proven closer." A primary Moneyball conclusion.....

That, as much as the monetary specifics involved, is the departure which I have been referencing...the Rays, and the A's, suddenly deciding that they needed to spend money on "proven closers."

Just because the Rays have a limited budget doesn't mean they are, or ever have, subscribed to the concepts in "Moneyball". That book referred to the tools of the game that were bargained priced in that one specific era. Those tools were soon over-valued and speed and defense were then bargain priced, which the Rays cashed in on. Now that speed is getting too expensive the Rays have a team full of slow pokes who hit for higher average. Proven closers just dropped from $15mil/year to under $7mil making the Balfour signing a true moneyball maneuver.

When Ortiz, Teixiera, Pujols, and a few other expensive sluggers are all injured at the same time, you'll see DH/1B salaries drop too. While James Loney is choosing between $15mil/year deals between BOS and NY in three years, the Rays will pick up another 45 HR guy for pennies on the dollar.


Don't worry, in another 20 years the "Moneyball" book and the stats it highlights will be relevant again.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,913 posts, read 18,566,118 times
Reputation: 18665
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley83 View Post
Just because the Rays have a limited budget doesn't mean they are, or ever have, subscribed to the concepts in "Moneyball". That book referred to the tools of the game that were bargained priced in that one specific era. .
Your understanding of the Moneyball concept is incorrect. It was never limited to any specific areas or positions. The idea is the employment of advanced metrics to uncover market inefficiencies which may be exploited by clubs which have limited budgets. It may be applied to any aspect of the game where an inefficiency may be found.

The Rays organization didn't call their use of the idea "Moneyball", they called it "The extra 2 %", a system which among other measures, utilized advanced metrics to uncover market inefficiencies which they could exploit. At least that is the information presented in the book "The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First" by Jonah Keri, which I have read.

From a review of the book:
Quote:
The extra 2 percent referenced in the title isn't part of a new sabermetric formula. It's actually Sternberg's way of quantifying the small advantage, the 52-48 edge, the organization can find by approaching everything smarter and more creatively than their opponents. They have to do everything 2 percent better than everyone else. Given the huge disparity in cash flow between the Rays and their division rivals, those little advantages all have to add up in order to level the playing field.

If this sounds at all reminiscent of "Moneyball," well, that might be by design. Michael Lewis's book on the Oakland Athletics' efforts to compete in "an unfair game" is referenced both in the book and its accompanying marketing materials.
BaseballAmerica.com: Majors: Book Guide: Book Review: The Extra 2%

It wasn't that good of a book. The Rays brass was smarter than Billy B and didn't blab away their industry secrets for all rivals to dissect. That was good for the club but made for a bad book because when you are finished reading, you still have little idea of the specifics the Rays used in bringing about their transformation. But that they did indeed use advanced metrics searching for inefficiencies to exploit, is unambiguously clear.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,251,141 times
Reputation: 36087
Opening Day today. Yankees and Tigers play against college teams.
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