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New Rosenthal column

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2 hours ago, Camden_yardbird said:

This is a really great analysis of how big and small market teams are different but I think there is one very important aspect that is worth mentioning.  

In a competitive team environment, large market teams can take larger risks without the same drawbacks.  A $10 million dollar contract that is 5% of your $200 payroll is not going to hurt you as much as the same contract that is 20% of your $50 million dollar payroll.

So a team like the Giants can sign Gausman last year as a throw away contract (good if it works out, okay if doesn’t) and reap the benefits when that works out.

Whereas the Orioles throw away contracts this season were $1 million to Harvey or $800k to Franco.

Its a completely different competitive test, where every decision means significantly more to small market teams because each contract takes up a bigger percentage of their payroll, with out the added resources (analytics and scouting) that get put into those decisions.

Yes, true. I treated MLB payroll as if it's one thing. It's not, where the disparities among teams' resources and their decision-making are concerned. A complicated subject. Another example: some teams can more easily afford to retain salary obligations for traded players in order to obtain talent in trades. Others feel the need to give up talent in order to get rid of salary obligations, as the Orioles did in 2018.

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14 hours ago, NCRaven said:

This is true, in and of itself.  But improving our international presence can have a significant impact on the rebuild by providing additional talent.  Question, did you oppose a tear down and rebuild after 2018?

No..I have said several times that I feel they should have tanked for a year or 2.

Of course, the tear down  should have happened after 2016.

And sure, the Intl talent aspect is important.  No one has or ever will say differently.  However, a rebuild isn’t needed to do that.  In fact, it’s completely irrelevant to what you do when you rebuild.  It has nothing to do with the draft, trades, getting payroll down long term, etc…it’s a completely separate aspect of baseball ops.

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1 hour ago, foxfield said:

That is really funny and now it's pretty clear you are just looking to push.  YOU asked a question based on the Orioles being successful.  Not me.  I also noted its a trick question because in Sports Guy world the rebuild is over already.  Which I acknowledged in my previous answer...IF we have to accept that then no the rebuild would not be the reason.  The better question is Why not?  The answer to that is that...the rebuild isn't over.

 

I don’t get why you can’t figure out that there are a lot of levels to discuss here.  However, you are too busy (moderator edit) for no reason to actually discuss it, so I will choose to do it with people who actually have the ability to think and answer the questions.  

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People say the Cubs are proof that a long rebuild works.

 

Lets look at the key guys for them that year.

Kris Bryant.  #2 pick in the draft.  Direct result from tanking.

Anthony Rizzo.  Traded to the Cubs from the Pads for 24 y/o Andrew Cashner.  Not a rebuild type move.

Baez.  Drafted 9th after a 75 win season.  Not really a result of a rebuild although the next year started the down turn of the team.

Russell.  Acquired in Jeff S deal.  This was a rebuilding type move.

Contreras was an Intl sign I believe, as was Gleyber Torres, who they traded for Chapman in 2016.
 

Traded Feldman, an impending FA for Arrieta and Strop.  Not sure I would call that a rebuilding move.  They traded an expiring asset for a lottery ticket and it paid off.  Good move but not a move you need to be rebuilding to make.  

Traded Dempster, another impending FA, for Hendricks.  Same type of thing as the Arrieta deal.

Heyward, Lackey, , Lester and Zobrist were FA signings between 2015 and 2016.  

 

Those are your key guys.  There are obviously other players who contributed for their roles but you certainly don't need to tank to acquire those types of guys.

So, did the Cubs win because of tanking and rebuilding?  I don't know.  Bryant and Russell were really the only players they got as a direct result of rebuilding.  

Seems to me that they got lucky with some trades, signed a few guys via Intl that helped and had there payroll flexibility to sign some big contracts, albeit some they probably wish they hadn't.

I don't think I can say they won because they tanked and were awful from 2011-2014.  I also think it helped that they did it but I think, outside of Bryant, that they could have done most of what they did and still won a WS without being a disaster of a team for several years.

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2 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

How about you remove all the players that were in the minors when Eilias took over and see what's left before you call it barren when he got here.

The system was ranked in the bottom five depending on which resource you used.  Player development was terrible, no J2 signings, many of the guys who we got in the deadline trades, including guys who are no longer in the organization, were ranked in our top 10 and 30 on MLB Pipeline.  

I’d argue that we have drastically turned a corner on the pitching, and I’ve been all over this board as a proponent of what John Wasdin did with his influence in the draft.  DL Hall went from a guy that many pegged as a closer/high leverage reliever due to control issues to a guy many are saying will be fine as a starter.  Grayson Rodriguez was a questionable pick at the time, and now he is the top pitching prospect in baseball and just about everyone raves about him.  John Means was developed into our first TORP since Erik Bedard, and he wasn’t even a prospect on the radar.  Even Zimmerman looks like a #4-5 and he was an afterthought in the Gausman deal

And then you have guys like Baumann and Bradish who have gotten serious shine as prospects as well, and that’s part of the pipeline game- building up guys who are trade chips.  

I’m not trying to trash guys like Mountcastle or Hays, but let’s be real here……..the minor league system was a disaster and didn’t have much coming.  And from what we’ve seen with this stretch of prospect pitchers that are coming up, they were overrated because they were the best we had at the time.  

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

Very tough grader.  To me “barren” implies devoid of any significant talent.  Sure Rodriguez hasn’t thrown a major league pitch yet, but he’s literally ranked the no. 1 pitching prospect in baseball by at least two major sources.   Hall is also extremely highly regarded and my only reservation about him relates to the health of his elbow.  Mountcastle and Hays are, at a minimum, major leaguer contributors.   As to Means, I don’t expect him to become Scherzer but he’s certainly been a significant asset for three years now.   I’m highlighting those five but there a number of others who may contribute.  So to me, “barren” is hyperbole.  

Maybe it was hyperbole, but it was a system ranked 25-30 depending on who you talked to or who you decided to read.  One that had an extremely high failure rate of return as far as pitching was concerned.  Rodriguez and Hall have made leaps forward under the new regime with the changes to the development and analytics system, and Means wasn’t even considered a prospect.  We were not in a good position at all.  

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A chat observation from Fangraphs Goldstein today:

12:41
John B: Why does MLB skew the draft so much to the worst teams.  Why not a lottery?  Why not lower slot values of the first few picks ? Aren’t they semi-creating the boom-bust by virtue of the rules ?

 

 
12:42
Kevin Goldstein: Not semi-creating. Flat out creating. We’ll see what happens in the CBA, but the union at least SEEMS like they want to address it.

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Just now, OrioleDog said:

A chat observation from Fangraphs Goldstein today:

12:41
John B: Why does MLB skew the draft so much to the worst teams.  Why not a lottery?  Why not lower slot values of the first few picks ? Aren’t they semi-creating the boom-bust by virtue of the rules ?

 

 
12:42
Kevin Goldstein: Not semi-creating. Flat out creating. We’ll see what happens in the CBA, but the union at least SEEMS like they want to address it.

Gosh the NBA lottery sure stopped teams from tanking. 

 

A lot of tanking isn't about the draft picks.  It's about lowering costs, if teams are not going to be generating the additional revenue that a winning team provides they are going to cut costs.

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1 hour ago, ThomasTomasz said:

Maybe it was hyperbole, but it was a system ranked 25-30 depending on who you talked to or who you decided to read.  One that had an extremely high failure rate of return as far as pitching was concerned.  Rodriguez and Hall have made leaps forward under the new regime with the changes to the development and analytics system, and Means wasn’t even considered a prospect.  We were not in a good position at all.  

The best pitcher the Orioles have developed since Erik Bedard is John Means and there was a little bit of luck there because Means was not thought of as a top prospect.

It's not like the O's haven't had their share of highly rated starting pitching prospects, it's just they end up as relievers or do better elsewhere for the most part. With Rodriguez and Hall that has to change or this rebuild might take 10+ years like the 1998 to 2011 drought. 

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I guess Ken Rosenthal and the players union would love it if the O's and other teams went back to giving out multimillion dollar contracts to "proven veteran" players like Jay Payton, Mike DeJean and Deivi Cruz.   The fans, not so much.       

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13 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

Question for everyone, especially those who are happy that they are still (essentially) tanking/trying not to win/whatever terminology you want to use…

If the Orioles become legit contenders in 2 or 3 years, do you think that will have happened because they tanked/went through a rebuild, etc…?

If Green turns into the next Ken Griffey Jr, then yes absolutely it was great to put up with this season. If he is Nate McClouth, hopefully the rest of the draft faired well. I just hope he has a know doubt #1 season and turns into a Pirates Barry Bonds. 
That isn’t too high of expectations for a 17 year old is it?

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6 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

Gosh the NBA lottery sure stopped teams from tanking. 

 

A lot of tanking isn't about the draft picks.  It's about lowering costs, if teams are not going to be generating the additional revenue that a winning team provides they are going to cut costs.

I agree.  There is no Lebron James to save a franchise in the NBA.  Even a team w/ a couple of the best players in the game, like the Angels can wallow in mediocrity.  Typical of the union to worry about the lottery.  How about trying to equalize revenue among teams at least somewhat.  If low revenue teams are punished for tanking because they don't have the revenue to compete, they will tank even more until conditions are ideal.  Maybe there will be 3 or 4 2021 O's type super turd teams every years.  Of course, high revenue teams like the Dodgers and Yankees will dominate even more. 

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7 hours ago, OsFanSinceThe80s said:

The best pitcher the Orioles have developed since Erik Bedard is John Means and there was a little bit of luck there because Means was not thought of as a top prospect.

It's not like the O's haven't had their share of highly rated starting pitching prospects, it's just they end up as relievers or do better elsewhere for the most part. With Rodriguez and Hall that has to change or this rebuild might take 10+ years like the 1998 to 2011 drought. 

And that’s my point, our development system has failed us despite a high investment in starting pitching. Having seen what they’ve done with Means and Mullins, and how the other pitching prospects have leaped forward, I am hoping that’s changed. 

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And now, let’s look at the 2017 Astros…

Altuve- signed for 15k as an Intl FA.  Nothing to do with rebuilding

Correa- #1 pick…direct result of rebuilding

Bregman- #2 pick but only after they failed to get Aiken done.  So, yea it was from rebuilding but the reality is this pick was done because of a failure to do something that would have blown up in their faces.  This was pure luck but you can tie the idea of rebuilding/tanking into it.

Springer- drafted 11th after 76 win season. Like Javy Baez, that’s not really a result of a rebuild, just a mediocre/subpar team.

Marwin Gonzalez- intl FA.  No rebuild necessary

McCullers- probably there more because of a rebuilding than anything else but certainly other factors at play and knowing what we know about the value of picks where he went, it’s pretty lucky that he became what he did/is.

Keuchel was a 7th round pick.  No product of rebuilding.

Acquired Giles from Phillies in a deal headed by Velazquez and Appel, a pick they tanked for who failed.  They built some depth to make this trade but not depth as the result of rebuilding.

Everyone else of any significance was either not a product of rebuilding or were a FA signing.  McCann was the biggest signing for them.  Payroll flexibility helped with these signings but they could have signed any of these guys with or without rebuilding. Payroll was still only 123M.  It hasn’t been close to that low in any full season since.

Again, did the Astros win because of rebuilding?  Correa and perhaps Bregman and McCullers were the only pieces acquired where they either did get them from tanking or tanking helped to get them.
 

So sure, it helps but in the case of the Astros and the Cubs, there weren’t more than a handful from either team where you can say those players were acquired from a direct result of tanking.  Is 2-4 key core guys worth tanking several seasons for?  I guess you can argue that if you win but I don’t think it’s necessary to do this for so long.  

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