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The Elephant In The Room (International Talent)


SteveO

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1 minute ago, billw76 said:

I never understood why we avoid international signings, but I put the blame for that fully on Angelos not DD

Angelos has a moral issue with the way the international system works.  I don't think he's ever fully explained exactly what that issue is - I'm sure it has to do with the buscones - but it seems very clear that we're not going to be heavily involved in latin america until new ownership is in place.  Just makes the draft (and not giving away draft picks for bad MLB talent) that much more important.

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Is it really a moral thing?    It’s not like we’ve never signed a Latin American player.    There’s EdRod, Schoop (if you want to include Curaçao), and guys like Reyes and Peralta now.    We have a fully staffed team in the DR, and we had two until fairly recently.    So I don’t think PA’s morals have anything to do with it.   He doesn’t believe in paying big money to 16-year old kids and then finding out when they’re 18-19 that they’re not that good.    That made some sense to me (though still debatable) back when there weren’t caps on international spending and the bonuses paid to the top prospects were astronomical; it makes far less sense to me now.   

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Why do the Orioles avoid the international market by trading so many of their international slots?

A: Let’s flip this one. The Orioles trade so many of their international slots because they avoid the international market. Now, why do they avoid the international market? It’s an ownership philosophy. And I’ve heard two reasons. One, ownership wants its organization to avoid getting involved with the seedy underbelly of amateur baseball in other countries. Corruption can be king in some of those interactions, as Major League Baseball concluded in dropping the hammer on the Atlanta Braves recently.

The second reason, from what I’ve been told, is that giving big-dollar contracts to 16-year-olds with little knowledge of their backgrounds is considered too risky. Indeed, it’s the ultimate crapshoot, even more so than MLB’s first-player draft, but cutting off an entire avenue of talent, for whatever reason, is exceptionally shortsighted in my opinion.

 

Connolly

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/8/2015 at 9:20 PM, SteveO said:

It's my opinion that a lot of the Orioles woes stem from their approach or lack of a coherent one towards signing young international talent. It's the reason the minor league system is so lowly rated and has so few real prospects. Essentially not participating in a system that has increasingly contributed a growing number of players in the overall player talent pool is akin to trying to box with one arm behind your back.

This past offseason we watched Nick and Nelson walk. The decision to not resign them could certainly be argued from many different angles as has been on this discussion board. One thing that cannot be argued though IMO is that our unwillingness to spend money in the international sector to get young talent has left us in a position were we have limited young talent available to make trades and moves to replace that lost talent. When you have limited talent, you tend to overvalue that talent and be less willing to move it.

I don't believe the O's are bad at developing young talent, I think they are bad at acquiring it. Even if the O's were the best talent development franchise in MLB they would still lag behind because at the end of the day the number of talented guys they put into the system lags behind teams that spend on young international talent.

I guess I get frustrated with this whole issue because it feels like the team gets a pass on it. Nobody in the media really calls them to task on this very real issue they have. I hear very little in the way for some explanation on their approach comparative to teams who are successful in that market. It just feels that until they fix that problem, they are unlikely to have the young talent base to capitalize and acquire what they need when they have the opportunity to compete for a WS crown.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2757937-sixto-sanchez-19-year-old-pedro-martinez-clone-already-has-102-mph-heat?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial

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We need to sign intl guys. But doesn’t every prospect throw 100 nowadays?  So does Tanner Scott. Heck, Gausman sits 98 some games and it hasn’t helped him too much yet. 

My silver lining in this whole everyone on a one year deal mess, is that Brady will take over and ownership will listen to their boy about signing intl guys. 

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In the 1940s and 1950s, after the color line was broken, some teams were more aggressive than others at signing the former Negro Leaguers.  Some, like the Red Sox, simply did not sign black players.  This was also the era where some teams like Brooklyn and St. Louis had farm systems dramatically larger than any team does today, while the Washington Senators didn't have a AAA team.  Teams like the Senators clung to the ways teams did business in the 1910s and 1920s and prior, where you'd just sign whatever amateur talent you could find and often take players who weren't ready and farm them out to independent teams or have them sit the bench for a few years. 

This was a large part of why there was a bigger gap in on-field performance among major league teams then than now, even though we have massive revenue and payroll disparities and free agency today.  I think that one of the biggest reasons that the Senators left D.C. was that they had an uncompetitive team because they couldn't or wouldn't invest in building a farm system.

For 20 years I've thought that the Orioles' lack of investment and participation in the higher end of the international market was a similar negative impact to what happened 60 or 70 years ago to teams that didn't participate in building farm systems or signing black players.  In some ways the Orioles run their organization as though it was 1980 or 1990, and we shouldn't be surprised when the results aren't always that great.

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13 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

In the 1940s and 1950s, after the color line was broken, some teams were more aggressive than others at signing the former Negro Leaguers.  Some, like the Red Sox, simply did not sign black players.  This was also the era where some teams like Brooklyn and St. Louis had farm systems dramatically larger than any team does today, while the Washington Senators didn't have a AAA team.  Teams like the Senators clung to the ways teams did business in the 1910s and 1920s and prior, where you'd just sign whatever amateur talent you could find and often take players who weren't ready and farm them out to independent teams or have them sit the bench for a few years. 

This was a large part of why there was a bigger gap in on-field performance among major league teams then than now, even though we have massive revenue and payroll disparities and free agency today.  I think that one of the biggest reasons that the Senators left D.C. was that they had an uncompetitive team because they couldn't or wouldn't invest in building a farm system.

For 20 years I've thought that the Orioles' lack of investment and participation in the higher end of the international market was a similar negative impact to what happened 60 or 70 years ago to teams that didn't participate in building farm systems or signing black players.  In some ways the Orioles run their organization as though it was 1980 or 1990, and we shouldn't be surprised when the results aren't always that great.

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At least since the arrival of Duquette, who seems pretty clearly to recognize the competitive disadvantage to the Orioles from not drafting and developing Latin American talent, I've thought that it's a money issue. It would be expensive to build a full-scale structure of staff and facilities to identify, draft, sign and develop international players. Those expenditures would provide no immediate return of ML talent, and in any case the the likelihood that any particular international signee will reach the majors -- unless you draft and pay a lot for the top, can't miss talent, which the Orioles almost certainly wouldn't do -- is pretty low.  

Our owner would rather spend money on ML salaries that will produce immediate results than invest in the future of the club by putting significant dollars into building an international infrastructure that may not produce anything until after he no longer owns the team. The Orioles can't afford to sign Chris Davis now and develop a bunch of power arms from the Dominican , a couple of whom might be productive in five or six years, and they have opted for Davis. 

As  the international talent pipeline becomes a  more significant source of ML talent, the larger the  Orioles' competitive advantage becomes, and the more it would cost to catch up.

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15 minutes ago, spiritof66 said:

At least since the arrival of Duquette, who seems pretty clearly to recognize the competitive disadvantage to the Orioles from not drafting and developing Latin American talent, I've thought that it's a money issue. It would be expensive to build a full-scale structure of staff and facilities to identify, draft, sign and develop international players. Those expenditures would provide no immediate return of ML talent, and in any case the the likelihood that any particular international signee will reach the majors -- unless you draft and pay a lot for the top, can't miss talent, which the Orioles almost certainly wouldn't do -- is pretty low.  

Our owner would rather spend money on ML salaries that will produce immediate results than invest in the future of the club by putting significant dollars into building an international infrastructure that may not produce anything until after he no longer owns the team. The Orioles can't afford to sign Chris Davis now and develop a bunch of power arms from the Dominican , a couple of whom might be productive in five or six years, and they have opted for Davis. 

As  the international talent pipeline becomes a  more significant source of ML talent, the larger the  Orioles' competitive advantage becomes, and the more it would cost to catch up.

The Orioles missed the sweet spot, the time before caps on spending on international signings. The 2000-2010 era when they were woefully behind on development was the window where they could have made massive gains by transferring $millions a year from Jamie Walker and Danys Baez and Kevin Millar and Jay Payton to beefing up the international operation.

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9 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The Orioles missed the sweet spot, the time before caps on spending on international signings. The 2000-2010 era when they were woefully behind on development was the window where they could have made massive gains by transferring $millions a year from Jamie Walker and Danys Baez and Kevin Millar and Jay Payton to beefing up the international operation.

And the draft. 

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31 minutes ago, spiritof66 said:

At least since the arrival of Duquette, who seems pretty clearly to recognize the competitive disadvantage to the Orioles from not drafting and developing Latin American talent, I've thought that it's a money issue. It would be expensive to build a full-scale structure of staff and facilities to identify, draft, sign and develop international players. Those expenditures would provide no immediate return of ML talent, and in any case the the likelihood that any particular international signee will reach the majors -- unless you draft and pay a lot for the top, can't miss talent, which the Orioles almost certainly wouldn't do -- is pretty low.  

Our owner would rather spend money on ML salaries that will produce immediate results than invest in the future of the club by putting significant dollars into building an international infrastructure that may not produce anything until after he no longer owns the team. The Orioles can't afford to sign Chris Davis now and develop a bunch of power arms from the Dominican , a couple of whom might be productive in five or six years, and they have opted for Davis. 

As  the international talent pipeline becomes a  more significant source of ML talent, the larger the  Orioles' competitive advantage becomes, and the more it would cost to catch up.

I think this is accurate. They only have so much money - they kind of have been pushing the limits with the payroll as much as they can. 

And yeah - exactly, signing international talent has expenses beyond just what the players cost. So, I think they are just punting on the international market because they are using all of their funds to pay for the MLB payroll. Then, they use the tradeable cap money to acquire depth players and such.

I get the reasoning behind it - but it's shortsighted. There's just too much international talent to ignore it completely.

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9 minutes ago, theocean said:

I think this is accurate. They only have so much money - they kind of have been pushing the limits with the payroll as much as they can. 

And yeah - exactly, signing international talent has expenses beyond just what the players cost. So, I think they are just punting on the international market because they are using all of their funds to pay for the MLB payroll. Then, they use the tradeable cap money to acquire depth players and such.

I get the reasoning behind it - but it's shortsighted. There's just too much international talent to ignore it completely.

The explanation, or part of it, for most of the things the Orioles have and haven't done the last five years. For me, the reason for that shortsightedness is not hard to figure out. 

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4 minutes ago, theocean said:

I think this is accurate. They only have so much money - they kind of have been pushing the limits with the payroll as much as they can. 

And yeah - exactly, signing international talent has expenses beyond just what the players cost. So, I think they are just punting on the international market because they are using all of their funds to pay for the MLB payroll. Then, they use the tradeable cap money to acquire depth players and such.

I get the reasoning behind it - but it's shortsighted. There's just too much international talent to ignore it completely.

The 2017 Orioles had about $110M in payroll tied up in players worth 1.0 rWAR or less.  Meaning the other $50M in payroll had to provide about 40 or 50 wins to compete.  That's an almost impossible task, even if you have a good influx of young, cheap talent.  The 2014 Orioles only had about $33M tied up in underperforming or dead weight contracts.  There was a lot more flexibility to shuffle around resources.

You can't have a maxed out payroll that is 2/3rds dead weight while you're heavily emphasizing current payroll at the expense of player development.  The only way to compete is to have a lot of disappointing current players over-perform.

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Not that it's an acceptable excuse now, but I wouldn't have invested much in overseas talent--at least not until we fixed/improved our amateur scouting & drafting + farm system overall.  We could neither draft nor develop talent for over a decade.  Attention and resources to fix such first, which I feel like we have done (& are currently doing). But while fixing the system, we should've been planning how & when to eventually invest internationally, as opposed to dismissing/ignoring the opportunities to acquire talent altogether. I'm sure there's a fiscally reasonable means of implementing and growing an international scouting department as evidenced by other lower market teams. [The question I have is, are top-market teams & their greater amount of resources ($$$) successfully identifying int'l talent at a better rate than the bottom-market teams that have invested internationally? If so, such a competitive advantage is a major deterrent from investing too much in the int'l arena. (not that the O's need another excuse, but it's a viable one IMO)].

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