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The Oakland A’s Payroll In 2015 + Going Forward: Beane Counting

The A's GM has done a masterful job putting together a World Series worthy rotation without breaking the bank to do it. Even for the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) and Samardija (about the same in Arbitration), the Bullpen doesn't make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A's payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015, and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success. The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.     The A's GM has done a masterful job putting together a World Series worthy rotation without breaking the bank to do it. Even for the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) the Bullpen doesn't make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A's payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015, and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success. The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.

For the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) the Bullpen doesn’t make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A’s payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015 (down about $10 MIL from 2014), and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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MoneyBall 1..MoneyBall 2… So we all have seen the movie or at least read the book – or heard about somebody referencing it all the time on the Baseball airwaves.  Beane does it a different way, and he keeps the rest of the landscape second guessing.

This website has been one of the frontrunners of dissecting his moves over the last few years, and have accurately predicted a lot of what would happen with the terms of the club.

As much as the MLB Reports has loved the movements the team has done, we have not picked them to advance in the postseason in any prognostications, but we have continuously marveled on how the GM keeps wheeling and dealing.

Chuck Booth likened him to a “Baseball Rounder”, using a nice analogy from the world of poker.

The A’s GM is the best at creating value to his team but exercising all of the freebies in the league, coupled with knowing how to maneuver when the time is right.

Trading Josh Donaldson may come back to haunt him, but he did receive a plethora of young talented throwers, and perhaps Brett Lawrie will emerge into his talent after all.

Being a “Baseball Rounder” is being the smartest guy in the room, and knowing your opponents moves before even they do.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the A’s players salaries please visit here

Read the rest of this entry

I Understand The River Boat Gambler Mentality, But Preller’s Method To Build SD Into A Winner Will Fail

A.J. Preller has revamped the roster of the Padres so much in the offseason, that I think it will take a full season for everyone to get used to their surroundings.  Much like the 2012 Angels and Marlins, 2013 Blue Jays and 2014 Yankees, just when you thought they won the winter, it took them half to a full year to round out their talent.  Having 10+ new faces on the roster usually doesn't translate to immediate impact on the field.  The Padres are listed as about an 84 win game club based on their squad.  I think they will be far below that.  For now, I have them ranked below the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Cardinals, Pirates and Marlins in the National League.

A.J. Preller has revamped the roster of the Padres so much in the offseason, that I think it will take a full season for everyone to get used to their surroundings. Much like the 2012 Angels and Marlins, 2013 Blue Jays and 2014 Yankees, just when you thought they won the winter, it took them half to a full year to round out their talent. Having 10+ new faces on the roster usually doesn’t translate to immediate impact on the field. The Padres are listed as about an 84 win game club based on their squad. I think they will be far below that. For now, I have them ranked below the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Cardinals, Pirates and Marlins in the National League.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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You are the San Diego Padres, and are looking at the Dodgers (north of $230 MIL in payroll the last 2 years and $267 MIL in 2015), and also the 3 times in 5 year champions (Giants) that also hail in your Division. Your franchise barely can scrape up enough dollars to crack the $100 MIL salary barrier, and you have 2 Pennants since your inception in 1969.

Petco Park’s attendance has been dropping since the park opened over a decade ago, and you needed to shake things up.  I get that.  Everyone and their grandma is calling A.J. Preller’s winter as a landmark win for any new executive that there has been.

Similar words were spoken in the winter of 2012 – going into 2013, when Alex Anthopoulos pulled off that mega trade with the Marlins, and everyone was casting them for the World Series (even the oddsmakers).  He based that trade with several components from Miami that were riddled with injury troubles in their career. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Farm System Rankings (1 – 30) In 2015

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By Jordan Gluck (Featured Writer): 

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1. Chicago Cubs- They are still one of the top systems even with  Javier Baez graduating from the list. I love the bats headed by what maybe the top prospect in baseball in Kris Bryant and high end talent in Addisson Russell, Jorge Soler, Kyle Schwarber and Dan Vogelbach.

They also have upside in Albert Almora, Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario. The pitching on the farm remains the main concern with a wiry C.J .Edwards, a mid ceiling Paul Blackburn and Pierce Johnson and a very far away Carson Sands.

The best farm system in the league that will see some graduates very soon.

2. Minnesota Twins- Last season was unfortunate for the twins and all of major league baseball as  Byron Buxton got injured in spring training and Miguel Sano got TJ surgery.

I believe both of them will bounce back with ease and could be close to the major league level. Pitchers J.O Berrios, Alex Meyer and Kohl Stweart have frontline potential with Meyer possibly a candidate to make the rotation out of spring training.

They took Dee Gordons brother Nick in the first round last year and he can be a complete player. There is upside all over in Lewis Thorpe, Felix Jorge, and 50th overall pick Travis Harrison. A very solid farm that can hopefully bear some fruit this season.

Read the rest of this entry

Dear Santa: All AL Teams 2015 Wish List (By The Fans)

santa claus

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Okay, so it is time to ask old Saint Nick, for some help for teams in the MLB to have their wishes come true.

New York Yankees:

Can someone please knock some sense into the brass in the Bronx to realize they are the friggin Yanks?  Since we can’t bring the “Boss” back to kick some ass, maybe a losing season would force the team to pilfer the payroll, and believe it or not, if Cashman behaves himself before Spring Training, the club could get under the Luxury Tax Threshold this year with a few Trade Deals, and go an attack the 2016 Free Agent core of Jason Heyward, Jordan Zimmermann, David Price and Johnny Cueto

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Would it be too much to ask if the team could just release Alex Rodriguez?  There is no way he should hit his 660th HR in Pinstripes.  Release him before that day, or way prior, and don’t pay him that dumb $6 MIL Bonus.  He ain’t worth it.  Also don’t want him passing Lou Gehrig for the RBI list ALL – Time in a New York uniform either. Read the rest of this entry

Stanton’s Deal Will Set Off A Collective Groan For Small To Mid Market Clubs

Giancarlo Stanton;s new 13 Year Deal worth $325 MIL has got to be a red flag for other small to mid market franchises who are looking to extend their own talent.  Everything is a cumulative effect on another when a deal like this goes down.  Many teams are going to be asked to grant contracts of more than 10 plus years, and for ridiculous sums of money.

Giancarlo Stanton’s new 13 Year Deal worth $325 MIL has got to be a red flag for other small to mid market franchises who are looking to extend their own talent. Everything is a cumulative effect on another when a deal like this goes down. Many teams are going to be asked to grant contracts of more than 10 plus years, and for ridiculous sums of money.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Giancarlo Stanton signing his whopper of a deal has to be shaking the foundation of all but the many low to mid level market’s boots.  He just raised the bar on what young franchise players will make in terms of years and dollars,  Not good.

Arizona you better thank the lord you inked Paul Goldschmidt before he took off in his career,.  The same can be said for Andrew McCutchen in Pittsburgh and Chris Sale in Chicago.  All among the better valued deals in the game right now.

These 3 would all enter in the top 25 contracts of ALL – Time if they were Free Agents on the open market presently…. Meaning at least $135 MIL for a deal in the 6 to 7 year window. Read the rest of this entry

Washington Nationals Pitching Roster Tree For 2015

Stephen Strasburg

How All Of The 2015 Nationals Pitchers Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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The Nationals have done a great job of stockpiling pitching arms since relocated to the district in 2005.  From Stephen Strasburg, to Jordan Zimmermann, and unheralded pitchers like Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler.

The acquisitions tree saw Minor League Prospect A.J. Cole drafted by the organization, traded to Oakland in the Gio Gonzalez, only to be brought back in the 3 way deal with the A’s and Seattle, that saw Mike Morse sent to Seattle.

A small part of that transaction included Ian Krol, who was packaged with two Nats selections in the MLB Amateur Draft (Robbie Ray and Steve Lombardozzi).

We have even traced a tree that stems all the way back to the Montreal Expos Drafting Jose Vidro.

The Starting 5 pitchers all contributed to Washington being the top seed in the National League during the 2014 year,

A big thank-you must be send to Yanks GM Brian Cashman, for giving the Nationals Tyler Clippard first, but then to also let Matt Thornton be claimed for no parts going back the other way.

Drew Storen is yet another 1st RD Draft Pick that is part of the Pitching Staff for Washington.

Tanner Roark was also stolen in a deal for Christian Guzman from Texas, with the latter having just a small cup of coffee with the Rangers organization, while Roark might have been the best #5 Starter in baseball this past campaign.

Xavier Cedeno joins Thornton as the only players to have been claimed by the squad. Read the rest of this entry

San Francisco Giants Pitching Roster Tree In 2014: Sabean Should Not Be Overshadowed By Beane Any Longer!

Brian Sabean has been the architect behind the Giants brilliant 5 year run.  His attention to building a Pitching Staff has to be noted, with several winning draft selections, mixed with key Free Agent signings, and waiver claims.  With all of the hype surrounding the other "Bay Area" GM, it is time that this man is giving his due.

Brian Sabean has been the architect behind the Giants brilliant 5 year run. His attention to building a Pitching Staff has to be noted, with several winning draft selections, mixed with key Free Agent signings, and waiver claims. With all of the hype surrounding the other “Bay Area” GM, it is time that this man is giving his due.

How All Of The Giants Pitchers Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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With having gone through this exercise of finding out where all of the Giants Pitching Staff came from, there is a new-found appreciation for San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean.

While his fellow “Bay Area” counterpart Billy Beane is having books and movie’s written about him, Sabean has put forth a club that is on the verge of potentially winning its 3rd World Series Title in 5 years.

Most of the roster of hurlers was drafted by the franchise, or brought in by a nice Free Agent signing.  The franchise hasn’t lost that many players the other way for their current pitchers, so that has to be commended.

Bumgarner, Lincecum and Cain were all team draft selections, as was Vogelsong, although he came back to the team after several season away in Japan.

Jake Peavy was acquired midway through this year, when the club knew Cain would be out for the year, and that Lincecum was heading to the Bullpen.

Hudson came into the fold this season, following the lead of his former A’s teammate Barry Zito.  The deal was a smart one, as it cost the franchise nothing but money.

Even more impressive of how the roster was constructed, is how the Relief Core was put together.

Hunter Strickland was claimed off of waivers from Pittsburgh. and the club also pick-pocketed Javier Lopez from the Bucs for the talents of John Bowker and the immortal Joe Martinez.

Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Jean Machi and Yusmeiro Petit were all brought in through Free Agency, and the club drafted Sergio Romo to round out the late innings arms. Read the rest of this entry

It Has Been Bizarro World In the MLB All Year For 2014: The Playoffs Are No Different

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Royals and O’s in the ALCS??? with KC halfway to running the table on the whole playoffs – winning 6 straight games – and looking like the reincarnation of the 1927 Yankees?

The Braintrust of the New York Yankees, (and some fans) are happy with a 84 win season – following an 85 win campaign the previous year – to miss the postseason for the 2nd season in a row, but lock the GM for 3 years?&*!@!

The Pirates made a 2nd consecutive playoff spot??  

Jose Altuve and Justin Morneau led their respective leagues in Batting Average??

Okay so it has definitely been a bizarre year in the Majors.  While I am happy to see the game return to more athleticism and talent (not aided by steroids), the game has never been any harder to predict.

As a professional handicapper I realized this much a long time ago about baseball.  You never bet the favorite, and always take the value. Read the rest of this entry

The Dodgers Winning The Title Could Cure Baseball In The Future – Part 1

Magic Johnson said the new ownership group would put their money down on the players to stay or come to the franchise, and man he wasn't kidding.  The Los Angeles Dodgers now own 5 of the top 23 player contracts of ALL - Time in the MLB.  With a total team payroll likely to be north of $240 MIL for the next few year, he was right.

Magic Johnson said the new ownership group would put their money down on the players to stay or come to the franchise, and man he wasn’t kidding. The Los Angeles Dodgers now own 5 of the top 23 player contracts of ALL – Time in the MLB. With a total team payroll likely to be north of $240 MIL for the next few years, he was right.  The team is presently the highest salaried team, and they will pay about $16 MIL in Luxury Tax, based on 30% penalty for $51 over the $189 MIL mark in 2014.  Their cash infusion to the NL has spawned a rapid ascent for other teams in the Senior Circuit  – who are looking just to keep up, while some franchises have no chance at all with their revenue streams.

A couple of years ago I wrote an article on how the Dodgers were going to change the way the MLB operates.  I may be proven right this fall.

4 of the top 5 clubs were alive in the LDS round

1.  LA Dodgers $240.7 MIL

2.  NY Yankees $227 MIL

3.  SF Giants –  $172.4 MIL

4.  Detroit Tigers – $170.5 MIL

5.  LA Angels – $170.5 MIL Read the rest of this entry

NL Wild Cards Virtually Sewn Up With Giants/Bucs: Huge Night Monday/Week Ahead For AL Chase

The Pirates started the year almost 10 games under .500 in early May.  Since that timeframe, they have operated 22 games over .500.  The Pirates are within a magic number of 3 to collect their second straight playoff appearance.  Heading into play tonight, they also own the #1 wildcard slot over the Giants, because even though they are tied, the Bucs have the tiebreaker - with best season series.

The Pirates started the year almost 10 games under .500 in early May. Since that timeframe, they have operated 22 games over .500. The Pirates are within a magic number of 3 to collect their second straight playoff appearance. Heading into play tonight, they also own the #1 wildcard slot over the Giants, because even though they are tied, the Bucs have the tiebreaker – with best head to head season series record.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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The Pirates have done a fantastic job brushing off their competition in head to head battle the last few weeks.  As such, they have moved their playoff magic number to 3 versus the Brewers.

This squad has done more than that though…With a the Giants being swept down in San Diego this weekend, they have taken over the #1 wild cards slot over San Francisco – by way of tiebreaker (they won the season series vs SF).

Vance Worley, Edinson Volquez and Josh Harrison have surprised us all this year, and have picked up the slack for the club’s reluctance to add high – priced talent through trades or Free Agency.

Pittsburgh ended the year at home with a 51 – 30 record, and will have to hold their own with 4 against the Braves @ Turner Field, before ending the campaign against the Reds at The Great American Ball Park. Read the rest of this entry

ATR (Ask The Reports) Sept.20, 2014: World Series Betting + MVP Talk!

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Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Every once in a while we will air the (ATR special, like our founder Jonathan Hacohen used to do every week).  Sometimes a lot of good questions are asked, all at the same time. 

Rather than go on for days on social twitter, it is easier writing in a format that doesn’t limit you to 140 characters:

We had 2 such questions that were good enough to write an article about.

Q:  Who do you think should be the MVP in both the AL and NL this year?

A: This one is easier in the AL than the NL, but I would like to point out that the clear-cut favorite (Mike Trout) is not having as good of a year that he did in 2012 and 2013, however this trophy is going his way with the year LA has had.

Will finish with 35 HRs and 110+ RBI, with over 110 Runs scored, (currently has 81 Extra Base Hits for huge MLB Lead) and his stellar defense is definitely the difference separating him from Martinez (a primary DH) and Cabrera. 

I will also point out that Victor Martinez  (.970 OPS, 30 HRs and 104 RBI) would certainly be right up there if he weren’t playing on the Tigers. 

His numbers, contact rate, and overall professionalism as a hitter have saved Detroit’s bacon this year.

V-Mart is hurt by the fact Cabrera is on the same club.  For as much as the two time reigning MVP has been dealing with injury,. his so-called “down year” still has him with a 3 Slash Line of .318/.380/.527 with 104 RBI.

The big 1B for Detroit has seen his HRs cut nearly in half, but he is still leading the league in Doubles with 49 – and has 73 Extra Base Hits are even more than he had last year.

The Tigers never running away with the competition also is a drawback for both players. Read the rest of this entry

THE LONG BALL In 2014 MLB: TOP 5 HRs AL/NL + Who Will Win The HR Titles?

Chris Carter is the biggest mover and shaker this week, and is leading the Majors in bombs since May 09.  He has fashioned his bolts in a short amount of time by having Multi HR Games, and also coupling it with consecutive streaks.  This guy is looking like a keeper for Houston, and may be one of the guys that got away from Billy Beane!

Chris Carter iis leading the Majors in bombs since May 09 – with 28 big flies and 66 RBI during that time frame in just 305 AB. He has fashioned his bolts in a short amount of time by having Multi HR Games, and also coupling it with consecutive streaks. This guy is looking like a keeper for Houston, and may be one of the guys that got away from Billy Beane.  The massive DH/1B/OF burned his old squad last night by drilling a 3 run bomb in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the Astros a 4 – 2 win. The victory knocked Oakland out of 1st place.  I think he will win the HR title in the AL now. Wouldn’t that be something if he won that, in addition to Jose Altuve possibly winning the Batting title?

THE LONG BALL In 2014

TOP 5 HRs AL/NL,

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For Games Played Through Aug 26, 2014

Chris Carter… we have been preaching this man’s name at this website for years.  Our founder and former lead writer Jonathan told me about this man 3 years ago.

When he was traded by Billy Beane, Jonathan explained it would be a deal that he will regret.  Now with the A’s lacking some firepower, and Jed Lowrie on the shelf, plus having an off year, the Astros are looking good in this one.

I have also pointed out the A’s GM forced the Astros to go over their roster limit – exposing Nate Freiman for him to pluck as a Rule 5 Draft right after, however it is hard to argue the “Moneyball” man may end up on the wrong side of this deal long-term.

It would behoove Oakland to have Freiman see more Plate Appearances.  The big 6 ft 7 behemoth clubs 3 HRs in 2 games in Atlanta – and then rides pine for 4 games in the next week.

That is a blog for another time.

We are talking about Chris Carter.  This big man was once an afterthought in Houston this year, despite bombing 29 jacks in 2013.  Bo Porter was taking flak for having CC still in the lineup back in May when he was hitting about ..153 with 4 HRs as of May 9th.

Since that day, he has crushed 28 HRs and added 64 RBI.in his last 302 AB.  This represents about half of a season, and this guy has been completely on fire. Read the rest of this entry

The Bullet Version Of Monday’s MLB Games + Craig Kimbrel Is Filthy!

Season high 7 game winning streak - including 3 straight walk off hits at Nats Park.  They hold a 6 game lead over 2nd place Atlanta, and the Nationals haven't even hit full stride with several key players not maximizing on their talent level.  With a weaker NL East schedule down the stretch, they just may hold home field advantage by season's end in the National League.

Season high 7 game winning streak – including 3 straight walk off hits at Nats Park. They hold a 6 game lead over 2nd place Atlanta, and the Nationals haven’t even hit full stride with several key players not maximizing on their talent level. With a weaker NL East schedule down the stretch, they just may hold home field advantage by season’s end in the National League.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Erik Kratz smacked 2 HRs and now has 23 HRs in just 472 AB.  Thats a HR for every 20.52 AB or would equal about 29 Bolts in a 600 AB campaign.  The guy is 34 so that is not likely to happen… but smart move on KC’s part to bring him in.  Beats the alternative for what they had.

Washington is starting to heat up, and if you play them into late and extra innings, any of their hitters can beat you right now.  This does not bode well for Atlanta.

Everybody just back off of Trevor Rosenthal, as all young relievers go through this.  Besides what is a season if the Cardinals didn’t changeup their Closer at least once…

Everyone also needs to take a chill pill on the A’s missing Yoenis Cespedes so much it has destroyed the unity of the offense.  Teams go through stretches where they don’t play well.  It is just 17 games of a sample size so far. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The A’s Pitchers Were Acquired: Lots Of Depth Even For 2015 Without Breaking The Bank!

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration.  He will likely cost in the $12 - 15 MIL range for 2015.  He tops the list of several A's players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry.  While the club is going for it in 2014, there unloading of Cespdes's $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises.  Some of the club will be traded or released.  The A's should still have about $25 MIL to spend on 7 or 8 guys next year.  Their $95 MIL payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration. He will likely cost in the $12 – 15 MIL range for 2015. He tops the list of several A’s players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry. While the club is going for it in 2014, their unloading of Cespdes’s $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises for next year, which should ensure them of another chance to compete for it all.. The Pitching Staff will remain almost intact, with losing just Lester, Hammel and Gregerson, while 12 guys are still under Team control, and 3 more guys with lots of MLB experience are in Sacramento waiting for a callup.

How All Of The A’s Pitchers Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Billy Beane has assembled quite the Pitching Staff for his 2014 final playoff push despite having both Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin out for the year with Tommy John Surgery.

Sonny GrayA.J. Griffin and Sean Doolittle (although he was drafted as a hitter) are the only active pitchers on their staff that are homegrown products.

Jon Lester was acquired with Yoenis Cespedes (who signed as an International Free Agent.

Much like the hitters, the ‘Moneyball GM’ has wheeled and dealt until he put together one of the best run prevention teams in the game baseball.

Bringing in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel cost the team 2 young prospects and Dan Straily, all of whom were team draft picks. Read the rest of this entry

“Stoking The Fire Segment” – MLB Games Are Too Long But Fantasy Baseball Is a Godsend!

More and more fans are accessing the MLB from their own personal phones these days.  Here is the problem. With games going too long, people lose interest in a real hurry - and especially just the casual fan..

More and more fans are accessing the MLB from their own personal phones these days. Here is the problem. With games going too long, people lose interest in a real hurry – and especially just the casual fan..

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I tried to watch the Mariners vs Rangers a few months ago on  MLBTV.

5 Instant Replay reviews, many pitching changes, and the game lasted 3 hours and 30 minutes – and this was a 4 – 3 9 inning game.

It is not hard to figure out why games are longer in length.

Money Ball has forced every team to wear down pitchers, see as many tosses from the Starting Chuckers as humanly possible.

30 years ago, it was more of a rip it and grip it approach.

Strikeouts and Walks are at an all time high, but also are some pre-pitch rituals. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The A’s Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree Shows Incredible Beane Trading Record

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How All Of The Athletics Hitters Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Truthfully this blog took me forever to do the research for, simply because the A’s GM Billy Beane has been so proactive at the trading helm.

From flipping Mark Mulder several years ago which fetched Dan Haren as part of the haul, to the massive deal with Dan Haren sent to the D’Backs, he added enough depth to pull off several other moves.

Yes, along the way he may have been burned by Colorado for Carlos Gonzalez, but in a the Dbacks deal still is paying off.

The Roster deals include several Oakland draft picks being flipped for current A’s.

Nick Swisher was traded for Gio Gonzalez, who in turn the club can thank for the Catching tandem of Derek Norris and John Jaso as assets received from Swisher initially.

Jaso was brought back in a 3 way deal from Washington, where the A’s sent the SP back to the team they traded Gio Gonzalez for.

Ryan Sweeney (another player brought in for the Swisher) was packaged with Andrew Bailey to obtain Josh Reddick. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Trade Deadline Breakdown 2014 + The August Aftermath

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a flurry of action that baseball really needed.  Half way through the day, I was amazed their was actually day games.

Oakland and Detroit pushed all of their chips in, and you have to think they are pretty much done with transactions, although one of them doing an August deal could prompt the other to do the same.

I am holding back reservations for judging the Pirates, Blue Jays and Royals….however they all must be the “MLB clubhouse leaders” in August acquisitions to challenge for playoff slots.

Although KC better have a better idea than having Raul Ibanez take regular AB at 1B..That is horrible..

It wasn’t like the club didn’t know Eric Hosmer was injured badly.

I am also about throwing Ruben Amaro‘s career about 10 second from a toe-tag (and those ten seconds are August), for standing pat on his 47 – 60 aging core.

Like I have said so many times on twitter and social media outlets.  Someone teach this man some basic economics.

Take a lesson from Boston, and trade-off assets, to receive younger ones in the process, then you can turn around and spend every red cent in Free Agency in the offseason.. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland A’s Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going FWD: Updated For Trade Deadline Deals

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration.  He will likely cost in the $12 - 15 MIL range for 2015.  He tops the list of several A's players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry.  While the club is going for it in 2014, there unloading of Cespdes's $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises.  Some of the club will be traded or released.  The A's should still have about $25 MIL to spend on 7 or 8 guys next year.  Their $95 MIL payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

Part of the lure in acquiring Samardzija was that he had 1 year left of Arbitration. He will likely cost in the $12 – 15 MIL range for 2015. He tops the list of several A’s players that will be ARB eligible in 2015 like Moss, Donaldson, Cook, Parker, Jaso, Reddick and Gentry. While the club is going for it in 2014, there unloading of Cespdes’s $10.5 MIL 2015 salary will be used to pay these guys raises. Some of the club will be traded or released. The A’s should still have about $25 MIL to spend on 7 or 8 guys next year. Their $95 MIL projected payroll in 2014 is their highest ever recorded for any one year.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Wow.  What a roster that has been assembled by Billy Beane in the last 30 days or so.

Make no bones about it, the reason the Money Ball GM was able to this was one from depth strength – coupled with being the master of financial flexibility.

We all know that the A’s have shied away from giving long term pitching contracts, or heck, from lucrative long contracts to positional players.

Ever since the team offered Jermaine Dye a big deal at the time, only to see his production fall off, then to be resurrected in other uniforms, did the management learn to ply their craft.

The team also doled out megabucks for Eric Chavez after that, then to watch him suffer through countless injuries.

Players like Nick Swisher, Miguel Tejada, Johnny Damon, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder have left the nest to make fortunes in other locations.

Beane made off like a bandit dealing Rich Harden before he eventually broke down.  Oh yeah, the GM received Josh Donaldson for that trade.

It has been a brass that sees about 50 roster transactions every year.  The key is to always sell high, and mix in the right amount of Free Agent veterans.

All of that ‘baseball rounding’ afforded the “Moneyball” GM to go for it this year. Read the rest of this entry

Beane Acquires Lester + Gomes For Cespedes: Then Acquires Fuld For Millone

Jon Lester, 30, is in the last year of his contract, which will make him around $4 MIL for the last 2 months of the 2014 season.  While there is no way he signs with Oakland past this campaign, this is a calculated move to land a playoff assassin that can front a franchise a #1 starter for a playoff series - or as the pitcher in a Play in Wild Card game should the Angels run the A's down for the AL West.  Much like Samardzija, the Athletics brass knows these guys could never be acquired via Free Agency, and have the wherewithal to know that inking longterm aces to deals past the age of 30 is just not in the cards for the franchise.  The A's were put in the position to rent them because of Beane's nice deals to build the organization's depth.

Jon Lester, 30, is in the last year of his contract, which will make him around $4 MIL for the last 2 months of the 2014 season. While there is no way he signs with Oakland past this campaign, this is a calculated move to land a playoff assassin that can front a franchise a #1 starter for a playoff series – or as the pitcher in a Play in Wild Card game should the Angels run the A’s down for the AL West. Much like Samardzija, the Athletics brass knows these guys could never be acquired via Free Agency, and have the wherewithal to know that inking longterm aces to deals past the age of 30 is just not in the cards for the franchise. The A’s were put in the position to rent them because of Beane’s nice deals to build the organization’s depth. Lester features a 2.11 ERA in 76.2 IP worth of work in the Post season lifetime.  Lester is 10 – 7, with a 2.52 ERA in 143.2 IP this season in 21 Game Starts.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Billy Beane has been adamant about his team winning the World Series in 2014, and he fired yet another salvo on the July 31st deadline.

The A’s GM acquired Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes for the popular Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes.

Lets have the finances out of the way 1st.

Jon Lester, 30,  is in the last year of his contract, and will be a Free Agent after this year. 

There is no shot at the man signing with the Athletics after this year. however the A’s will receive a compensatory pick for giving him a qualifying offer following 2014.

The LHP wll make approximately $4 MIL the rest of the season.

Yoenis Cespedes, 28,  is signed through the 2015 at $10.5 MIL per year the next 2 seasons, and will become a Free Agent after next year. 

As per the article 20B section of the CBA, he negotiated that he would be free and clear once his original 4 YRs/$36 MIL deal with the A’s was completed – prior to the 2012 campaign.

The 2013 and 2014 HR Derby winner will make just south of $3.3 MIL for the rest of this year.

Jonny Gomes 33, will make about $1.5 MIL for the duration of the 2014 year, and will become a Free Agent this winter. Read the rest of this entry

Current 2014 MLB Team Payrolls: Trade Deadline Manuevering

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers.  Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL.  As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year.  If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold.  Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%.  With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers. Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL. As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year. If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold. Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%. With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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2014 Team Salaries Rank  (In Millions)

1. LAD – $239.8 ( 2nd time abuser – Luxury Tax Penalty at 30% over $189 MIL = $15.24 MIL to be added at the end of the year.) (1st in NLW)

2. NYY – $200.0 ( 4 or more time abuser – Tax Penalty at 50% over $189 MIL for an additional $5.5 MIL to be added at end of the year.) (1st In ALE)

3. PHI – $177.4 (1st in NLE)

4. DET – $163.0 MIL (1st in ALC)

5. BOS – $157.9 (2nd in ALE)
Read the rest of this entry

MLB Teams Pitching Payroll vs Positional Players Payroll In 2014

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB.  They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending.  With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB. They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending. With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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The LA Dodgers have 5 quality Starting Pitchers, and a bevy of former Closers in their Relief Core.

The boys who play their home games at Chavez Ravine, would fit into the top half of entire team payrolls for the majors with each of their pitching and offense separately.

If the Yankees trade 1 or 2 hitters before the Deadline, or the Dodgers add an offense player to their depth, they will hold the #1 spot in both distinctions.

New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and both of the Los Angeles franchises are in the top 10 in each. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 10, 2014

Carlos Avila Gonzalez, San Francisco Chronicle

Carlos Avila Gonzalez, San Francisco Chronicle

The current Giants squad has nothing to prove nor accomplish to ensure an historical legacy. The A’s need to make the World Series NOW.

How we remember our great teams is painted entirely in October.

It is a legacy episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Salvador Perez, Troy Tulowitzki, Max Scherzer Roberto Hernandez, Seth Smith, Kevin Kiermaier, Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi   all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

Catch Erin Foley’s podcast Sports Without Balls by subscribing HERE.

Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 15 – 2014

The Atlanta Braves were hovering around .500, and in serious jeopardy of watching the Nationals blow by them with a healthy roster.  Instead, they are the biggest mover of the week, riding a 9 game win streak.   All of this coming on the heels of losing Evan Gattis for awhile.

The Atlanta Braves were hovering around .500, and in serious jeopardy of watching the Nationals blow by them with a healthy roster. Instead, they are the biggest mover of the week, riding a 9 game win streak. All of this coming on the heels of losing Evan Gattis for awhile.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Thursday July.06, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 10 Days Rec

1.  ***Oakland A’s (1) 54 – 33:  6 – 3  The A’s are the only team that has an above .600 Win Percentage.

What is not to like.  They have the best record since 2012, are even better over the last 2 years (July 2012, July 2014, about .615 Baseball), have won 2 AL West in a row as well.

Added to the fold is a great trade bringing in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, and not yielding anything from the current MLB Roster in return.

2. ***Detroit Tigers (2) 48 – 36: 6 – 4: Tigers beat the better teams, and have troubles with the lesserlites.

Emergence of J.D. Martinez is a major bonus for a team starving for OF help.  Still need more Bullpen arms.

Great division for opponents down the 2nd half. Read the rest of this entry

Beane Spins Magic Again In World Series Quest: Picks Up Samardzija + Hammel For Straily + Prospects

Billy Beane - and the Athletics have seen their team post the best record in the MLB during the regular season for the last 2 years (190 Wins). The franchise has completed the most incredible amount of wins per dollar spent. Enough so, that they should really come out with the movie MoneyBall 2. Beane has been awesome in acquiring his Bullpen for 2014 - without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A's GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel. Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.  With the team's core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now.  The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (Tj Surgeries).

Without surrendering any assets from the MLB club currently (with Dan Straily having been in AAA). the A’s GM has made his move to anchor the Starting Rotation for a playoff run, by adding Samardija and Hammel.  Going the other way are: Addison Russell (20) was a high prospect, as was Billy Mckinney (19) as the 1st RD Draft Pick of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Dan Straily and cash compensation, or a PTBNL. With the team’s core becoming increasingly more expensive going forwards, the window to win is right now. The trade also helps deepen the starting staff, who have suffered season ending injuries to Griffin and Parker (TJ Surgeries).

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Billy Beane knows his current squad’s best chance to win the World Series now.

He has upped the ante, by acquiring  Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for highly rated SS Addison Russell, SP Dan Straily, and young prospect OF Billy McKinney, with a player to be named later or cash finalizing the deal at a later date.

I like this move…rather I love this move.

The A’s GM saw what happened to his club the last few weeks when matched against the pitching of the Tigers, and knew he had to bolster his team for the stretch – to replace A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker, who both went down to Tommy John Surgeries this campaign. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 5, 2014

PHOTO BY BRIAN KERSEY/GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO BY BRIAN KERSEY/GETTY IMAGES

The A’s and the Cubs clearly didn’t treat the 4th of July like a holiday. They pulled off a stunning blockbuster that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for some of their top young players and Dan Straily, a fan favorite of one of my dear friends.

Does this sound like a day to put on an evergreen podcast?

Hell no! Let’s record an emergency episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.!!!

Chris Sale, Andrew McCutchen, Clayton Kershaw, Brian Roberts, Jayson Werth, Matt Cain, Shin-Soo Choo and Marcus Stroman all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball.

Read the rest of this entry

The A’s Should Trade Jim Johnson To Tampa Bay For Grant Balfour

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core - and rotation for the 2014 year.  Unfortunately 1 move may haunt in more ways than 1 in Jim Johnson.

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core – and rotation for the 2014 year last winter. Unfortunately 1 move may haunt in more ways than 1 in Jim Johnson.

Billy Beane just hasn’t been on the bad end of many deals in his recent days.  Trading for Jim Johnson may turn out to be his worst move ever.

Originally it looked like another genius move, trading away an MiLB player in Jemile Weeks – for a guy who has back to back 50 Save seasons on his resume, but it has been a colossal nightmare for the AL Bay Area franchise.

Johnson was given a 1 YR deal worth $10 MIL.  This represents about 12% of the team total payroll of just over $80 MIL for the 2014 campaign.

The dollars doled out hurts the team more than anything else.  Had this man just been inept, without carrying a heavy price tag, it would have been a 4th and 40 situation (think what you do in football in that scenario.

What is too bad is that Beane actually looks smart in not giving Grant Balfour his cash for the kind of deal he wanted either. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 11 MLB 2014

battle of the bay

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Well, another few weeks have gone by, and there has been some separation from all the Divisions and the 2nd place squads, except for the NL East dogfight right now between the Nats and Braves.

9 teams are within the top 2 Wild Card Slots in the AL, with the Angels and Mariners holding onto the 1st and 2nd spots respectively.

Preseason NL favorites Los Angeles joins the reigning NL champs ‘The Cards’ at 0.5 Games behind the playoff bar – constituting either Atlanta or Washington (presently in a dead heat) – and the upstart Marlins. 

The Reds, Rockies and Pirates are within striking distance as well, but look for the Dodgers and Cardinals to take off from here, leaving the current Division leaders and those 2 as the 5 playoff teams.

Arizona and Houston have at least jumped into the conversation with recent good stretches of play, after brutal starts.

*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Monday June 9, 2014

RK Team  Current Rec  Last Wk Rnk  ()  –  Last 13 Days Rec

***1. SF 42 – 21: (1) 9 – 3:  Must be an even year in the teens of this century.  The offense has a different hero everyday.

Playing .667 ball this late into the year bodes well.  9.5 Games ahead of next club in your Division also will land you as slot #1.

***2. OAK 39 – 24: (2) 8 – 4: Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson both towers of strength and Sean Doolittle is the best Closer no one has heard about 40+SO/1 BB rate is sick.

Billy Beane continues to find gems like Drew Pomeranz, Jesse Chavez – and Kyle Blanks has fitted in well.

The team could still trade for a 2B that can hit, or bring up Billy Burns, flip Jed Lowrie over to 2B.

Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Keeps The Magic Elixir Running With Pitching Staff In 2014: Lead The AL In Wins

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core - and rotation for the 2014 year.  Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parke - Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against).  Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff.  he also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons.  Once again the "Moneyball Man" looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane made some great trades to bolster his Relief Core – and rotation for the 2014 year. Despite 3 of the slated Opening Day starters not currently with the club due to Tommy John Surgeries (Griffin and Parker) + Straily (Optioned to the Minors), added with early Bullpen woes, the team has righted the ship, and lead AL pitchers in collective ERA, (OBP and OPS against). Beane has allocated just around $34 MIL in players salary to his staff in 2014. He also made great judgement calls on departing pitcher Bartolo Colon, Brett Anderson and Grant Balfour – not duplicating key roles in the previous two seasons. Once again the “Moneyball Man” looks like he may come up roses one more year in the Division at least.

Billy Beane knows how to construct a Pitching Staff on a shoe string budget.

Not enough Pitching with double TJ Surgeries to A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker to have slowed the Rotation? Nope.

What about the loss of Bartolo Colon?  Hell no, that big guy is sporting an ERA of over 5.50 in an easier NL hitting league.

Scott Kazmir a risk?  Nope, wrong answer again thus far. The recipient of a 2 YRs Deal worth $22 MIL is a lot of money doled out from the A’s organization for a Free Agent Hurler.

All the 30 Year Old LHP has done in 2014, is lead the AL with a WHIP of 0.974, carried forth a 5 – 1 record, and a sparkling 2.28 ERA to date.

How about sophomore Sonny Gray having a tougher time peddling through the league for a second time?  Not a chance.

Gray is 3rd in the AL – with an ERA of 2.17, and has a 4 – 1 record himself. Read the rest of this entry

Oakland Athletics Roster In 2014: How All Of The Pitchers Were Acquired

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with  Tommy John Surgery.  You are talking about a guy that was 25 - 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined.  He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed.  The A's also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now.  Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland - including Chris Carter< Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Cook for Starter Dan Haren.  The club still has many of the components left as assets from that very deal. While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back.

Jarrod Parker is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery. You are talking about a guy that was 25 – 16 with a 3.68 ERA over the last 2 years combined. He has top of the rotation stuff and will be greatly missed. The A’s also had a TJ scare with A.J. Griffin, but it has been downgraded to an elbow strain for now. Parker was traded for by the Athletics in a major package sent to Oakland with Collin Cowgill and  Ryan Cook for Starter Trevor Cahill. The club still has Parker and Cahill.  While it is bad Parker is out in 2014, he will be back. Cahill has been ineffective for the D’backs in 2014 – with a 9.17 ERA and an MLB leading 4 losses.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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I just finished writing an article about how Billy Beane was smart not to have signed Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson to extensions here.

You really wont find him do this anytime soon with any of his chuckers.

The Scott Kazmir deal is the one he likes to do.  It is simple as to why the man operates like this.  He doesn’t have to give up any assets in the process.

Beane is a “Baseball Rounder”.

It is not unlike him to do manage 50 – 60 transactions per year.  He was won more than he has lost – whether it is Free Agency or trades.  His ballclub has the best record in the Majors since the start of play in 2012 – at 200 – 144 (.581 baseball).

We will go through the Pitching First, and then the hitting by the weekend. Read the rest of this entry

Billy Beane’s Decision To Not Extend Mulder, Zito And Hudson Was The Right One: Money Ball At Its Best

Billy Beane will never spend a king's ransom for Pitchers on long-term deals or for big $$ because of injuries like Tommy John crippling your salary infrastructure for the whole time a player may be out.  Especially with smaller market teams, having too much invested with your pitchers can be catastrophic.  Even though Jarrod Parker is out for the year with TJ surgery, and A.J. Griffin may not be out of the wood for it either, the club is not hampered long-term financially by their injuries.  It hurts yes, but not as much as it could have.  He was forced into realizing the effects from losing Mulder, Zito and Hudson because the team couldn't afford to re-sign them.  But as you will read, it was a blessing.

Billy Beane will never spend a king’s ransom for Pitchers on long-term deals or for big $$ because of injuries like Tommy John crippling your salary infrastructure for the whole time a player may be out. Especially with smaller market teams, having too much invested with your pitchers can be catastrophic. Even though Jarrod Parker is out for the year with TJ surgery, and A.J. Griffin may not be out of the woods for it either, the club is not hampered long-term financially by their injuries. It hurts yes, but not as much as it could have. He was forced into realizing the effects from losing Mulder, Zito and Hudson because the team couldn’t afford to re-sign them a decade ago. But as you will read, it was a blessing in disguise.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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This has been an organization that has thrived on brilliant drafting of young arms. But in saying that. Billy Beane is a manager that will never throw out big dollars to retain Starting Pitching once the club has past the Team Controllable years.

In the early 2000’s, the team featured three ace pitchers in Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder

Billy Beane had to let each of them leave Oakland (in the winters of 2004 – Hudson/Mulder, and 2006 winter – Zito) because they couldn’t pay them the kind of dollars needed to secure them long term.

It was a decision that looked dire to start with while the team struggled from 2007 – 2011, but it also paved the way for a new run at AL West Division supremacy from 2012 to current.

Lets take another look at the decision on how it has worked out since then. Read the rest of this entry

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