From SI, a column from Joe Posnanski:

He states that one of the theses from “Moneyball” is that small-market teams learned that, in order to compete, they had to find “inefficiencies” in the system. In the case of the A’s, it was OBP, which translated into runs, and then to wins.

But he believes that’s not working any longer:

Well, of course, the big-market teams figured it out. They hired their own Ivy League consultants. They bought even better computers. Walks is only one tiny aspect in it … but who leads the American League in walks this year? The New York Yankees. Last year? The Boston Red Sox. The year before that? The Boston Red Sox. And so it goes.

Now, six years later, it seems to me that the small-market teams are really grasping and trying to find some loophole, some opening that will allow them to win in this tough financial environment.

And it seems like the market inefficiency they have all come up with is this: time.

Here’s what I mean: The big-payroll teams want to win right now. More than that, they HAVE to win now. They are spending too much money not to win now. They are leveraged. But most of the low-payroll teams — say teams with payrolls of less than $75 million — have come to the conclusion that they are NOT going to win now. The one thing they have is time. And so, they’re trading time.

Take the A’s — in the midst of their third consecutive losing season. They (again) are trading away veteran players like mad — Matt Holliday, Jack Hannahan, Orlando Cabrera and so on. Their plan (again) is to stockpile young players, to deal a little now in the hopes of getting a lot later. It certainly could work. The key is, they have to be right about those young players. And, to be honest, it’s hard to be right when you are predicting a distant and hazy future.

The Kansas City Royals are trying to predict an even more distant and hazy future. Their plan is to spend their money and resources on the front end — they spent more money on the draft last year than any other team and will be one of the biggest spenders again this year. They have become big players in Latin America. They are putting their future in 16- and 17-year-olds. Sure, it’s frustrating for fans who have been watching mostly terrible baseball for 15 years to be patient — especially when the Royals have Zack Greinke, one of the franchise players in the game, right now. But the on-the-cheap big-league moves the Royals have made have ranged from shaky to frightening, and the Royals are on pace to lose 100 games again. The future is later, much later.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, meanwhile, seem to be trying to make up for the sins of their fathers. You probably know that the Pirates have not had a winning record since 1992 — an astonishing feat of incompetence and bad luck — and now they’re trading off every player anyone has ever heard of. I would reserve judgment, though — it’s not like Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez and Ian Snell were going to win the Pirates any championships. They are breaking away from a haunted past; and it’s messy right now.

I would argue that the Reds are a different story. They aren’t dumping veterans (in fact, recently went the other way..but I digress), but have invested heavily in their farm system and have made some strong moves in Latin America. But their future is hazy…at best. They seem to be trying to play the middle of the road, and I’m not sure that’s possible. Some local writer (can’t remember if it was John Fay or Paul Daugherty) wrote the other day that Reds ownership will never go into full rebuilding mode. Seems to me like ownership/management of the Reds can’t decide on a plan and stick with it when the going gets tough.

Posnanski sums up:

Point is, things are fuzzy right now for most of the small-market teams. Florida is the only one that seems to have a working plan. The Marlins have the lowest payroll in baseball but they are playing pretty well. They got Hanley Ramirez in a trade, drafted Dan Uggla as a Rule 5 pick, drafted Josh Johnson in the fourth round and, even beyond Johnson, have a very young and talented starting rotation that could at some point emerge.

And the Marlins have the small-market dance down. Win a World Series, then (just when things start getting expensive) trade off everybody, lose for a while, wait for the new young players to emerge and repeat. It’s not all that romantic or fun for the fans — and the Marlins are second-to-last in baseball in attendance. But in this new world where the rich teams’ owners all read Moneyball and all know how to play around with spreadsheets, it might be the best the little guys can do for now.

Is this the path the Reds are on? Do they seem to have a plan? Would you be happy with a “World Championship, then blow it up and start over” plan? Is there an alternative that Posnanski doesn’t touch on? What do you think?

47 Responses

  1. rpa

    there is no plan. until you have a front office in place for more than 2 years at a time, you can’t execute a plan. i’m not happy with what jocketty is doing, but at this point if you fire him you just start over again.

    as far as what i’d be happy with? something that resembles competent major league baseball would be a good start. if that isn’t available, some kind of a plan that seems like it will lead to that sometime in the near future. right now, i see neither. i see a team that wants badly to have a winning record (uncle bob is worred about people saying “ten straight losing seasons” i think) and doesn’t have the money to create that team from scratch. so they are trying to win now AND later… and i think they will accomplish neither based on the moves jocketty has made since taking over.

  2. John

    The bit about winning a championship and then blowing it up…only the small market teams have to do that. The large market teams can forge dynasties. The small market teams are lucky if they win once a decade.

    That more than anything is why this sport needs a salary cap. But that’ll never happen.

  3. Glenn

    Until baseball does something about the economics of baseball, ie help for the small market teams, Teams like the Reds, Royals and Pirates can just forget about forging any dynasties. Salary cap would be great for competition but the players union would never go for it.

  4. RC

    The Marlins keep having to blow up their teams for the same reason the Rays will have to do the same in a year or two – winning is not filling their stadiums. I still believe, perhaps foolishly, that Cincinnati fans will support winning baseball the way that St. Louis fans do. They just need a reason.

  5. per14

    I don’t like the idea of a salary cap because I like dynasties. I don’t like parity. This is probably a minority position but I’m comfortable in it.

    That said, it does make it frustrating to root for a small market team. HOWEVER, I don’t think the Reds have to be a small market team. I think they’d draw big if they put a good team out there. There are lots of Reds’ fans all the way from Fort Wayne, IN, to southern KY. Indianapolis to West Va. But of course, it’s hard to put a good team out there without money. It’s a chicken and egg thing. Again, Frustrating.

    I actually like the Marlins’ model and I wish the Reds would try it. They built really strong teams, filled in the gaps with a few free agents, won a WS, and then got rid of EVERYBODY. I mean, EVERYBODY. It makes for a roller coaster, but if you win a series once every decade, I’d take it.

  6. per14

    Just so I’m clear: the Reds will never be a big market team on like the New York teams, LA, or Boston. But, it frustrates me when people cannot even imagine the Reds being at least a mid-sized market team. The fans are out there I think. They just have no incentive to show up right now.

  7. al

    i don’t think that just because the big boys may have closed one loophole (obp), that now the only thing left is wait to win then blow it up. it’s a market, someone is always overvaluing or undervaluing something.

    the key is that a small market team has to be a) really smart, and b) really disciplined.

    a great example of the reds not doing that is the bronson arroyo contract. boston had signed him for peanuts and then traded him. he wasn’t happy making 4 mil per year, but the reds had just found a very cheap innings eater.

    instead of keeping him, they felt they owed him because he was a good guy. so they gave him a huge raise out of kindness more or less. that’s really nice, but it’s not disciplined. now we’re saddled with a large contract and a mediocre pitcher.

    right now it seems like prospects are being overvalued to me, that might be one angle to look at for smaller market teams. trading 3 or 4 prospects for a guy in his second year in the bigs and locking him up long-term.

  8. John

    per14, I’ll take a WS once a decade too. They’re due for about two right now.

  9. Matt WI

    In terms of offering another point of view, here is an article from earlier this year that argues against a salary cap in baseball. It’s main point is that most caps would have to include a league minimum, and the most common ways of calculating the minimum would ironically put many small market teams at a large operating loss simply to meet the salary demands of the salary cap. Sorry, I’m not familiar enough with html to know how to make this a “live link” so my apologies if it doesn’t work:

  10. Dan

    I think Posnanski’s argument is that what’s overvalued is “now” and what’s undervalued is “later.” So the small and mid-market teams — the smart ones — need to be in the practice of trading their “now” for some “later.”

    They also then need to be a bit more patient, but that is where they can find the market inefficiency.

    I agree w/ him too.

    That’s why I can’t stand the Rolen deal — we traded some “later” for some “now” at a time when our pre-existing “now” just isn’t very good! That makes no sense at all.

  11. CoolpaJim

    I do not believe it is impossible for a so-called small market team to win consistently. Its like anything else; you need good management and decision making to be successful. But when starting from the bottom it takes time. The Reds need to get a plan and stick with it. I am not confident they have the on-field manager to be successful. It seems, as many have pointed out, that he favors older players who are past their prime. The Reds need fresh blood and have plenty of players in the minors who could do better. I do not agree, despite Bruce’s struggles, that a player will be damaged if they are brought up and struggle. That is what life is all about, overcoming the tough times and coming out on top. They have an excellent nucleus, in my estimation, and I think its time to change some things out and begin the climb upward.

  12. Dan

    I would also argue – and this is not revolutionary – that what’s ALWAYS undervalued is players who have been good at one time but have been recently bad. It’s just human nature – you overreact to the most recent information you’ve got.

    If you’re trading AWAY guys who have been recently bad (like Edwin), you’re selling low, and you’ll usually lose that deal.

    If you’re trading FOR guys who were good but have been recently bad, you’re buying low, and (if they’re young enough that they could still improve) I think you’ll often win the deal.

    Edwin – selling low at age 26

    Rolen – buying high at age 34

    This is the OTHER reason the deal just stinks to high heaven in my book. (And this doesn’t even take into account Roenicke and Stewart.)

  13. Stu B

    Does anybody know why Volquez hasn’t been placed on the 60-day DL?

  14. rpa

    Matt WI – that article hits the nail on the head. specifically here, explaining why a salary cap won’t work in mlb as it is currently structured:

    “Until recently, the NFL has been uniquely fit for this type of model, since most of its revenues have come from national television contracts. But now, with local revenues rising, small-market teams are feeling the pinch.”

    mlb’s current system is ill-suited to a salary cap. unless they find a meaningful way to share LOCAL broadcast revenue across the league, it’s no better for small market teams unless the cap is set artifically low (which the players union would rightfully reject), or there is no floor (which would not really fix the competitive balance).

    i’m not convinced the reds are a small market team, but they certainly aren’t a large market.

    in ’90-’95, this team had attendance above nl average. last 13 years it has beaten league average only twice: 2000 (winning team in ’99, griffey) and 2003 (new ballpark). not good, because that’s essentially a team already at a disadvantage leaving money on the table.

    i would guess that tv/radio ratings follow a similar trend. as was pointed out previously, if the reds get back to drawing on some of their traditional long-distance (ft wayne, indy, charleston, louisville, lexington, etc, etc.) you can put together a reasonable package for potential advertisers in comparison to other clubs. nothing like a new york, chicago, or los angeles, but certainly enough to keep up with the st louises, houstons and denvers of the world…

  15. RedBlooded

    I think you have to remember that MLB is not a sport it is a con game. If the Yankees and Red Sox have 4 and 5 times the budget of other teams in the league, they are going to the post season the vast majority of the time. And you ain’t. Period. If you think otherwise, I would like to play poker with you. And I get to keep 75 percent of the face cards. You may win a hand or two but don’t be surprised if I seem to being doing a whole lot better than you. Who in their right mind would expect anything different?

  16. RedBlooded

    There is no rational argument against a salary cap. It doesn’t happen because, and only because, the boys with the money are the boys with the power. And the rest of us accept being suckers.

  17. REDS1

    I agree a cap IS necessary.

    As stated above I don’t believe this organization has a plan which makes you wonder if the Reds will ever be competitive.

  18. Travis G.

    Actually, that article presents a compelling and entirely rational argument against a salary cap. Smaller-market teams would get pinched even tighter if they were forced to spend more on player payroll, rather than spending their limited resources on scouting, signing bonuses and training.

    The free-agent market is doing a pretty good job of correcting itself, based on the last offseason. Part of that is the economy, of course, but I think as baseball returns to its statistical norms as player’s bodies shrink and defense is re-emphasized, there’s less incentive for teams to overspend on aging boppers.

    two things I’d like to see are an improved revenue-sharing model and a worldwide draft (or at least a draft for international players). If the slotting system is enforced, then teams should be able to trade draft picks. Otherwise, the system works fine as it is.

  19. Dan

    RedBlooded, read the article that Matt linked to in #10 above. It’s pretty interesting.

    A salary cap is not as simple (or as obvious a solution) as some might want to think.

  20. rpa

    RedBlooded – salary caps only work if you can meet two conditions
    1) revenue is largely equal
    2) everyone wants to win instead of maximizing profit (alternatively: you have a salary “floor” very close to the cap).

    in baseball, the revenue picture is wildly unequal. to set a cap that is fair to the players (hey, i think the salaries are ridiculous, too, but you notice the game as a whole STILL turns a profit. and people pay to watch the players… so i think they deserve most of the revenue) it will be a pretty high cap for a team like the pirates, which makes a fraction of the money from local broadcasting that the yankees or red sox do.

    the reason it works (or worked…) in the nfl is because pete rozelle had a lot of foresight, and wellington mara realized that the league was better off if half the fans didn’t think the season was over before it started.

  21. rpa

    trading draft picks and an international draft and a rookie salary cap on the other hand… those would be huge steps in the right direction to restore some competitive balance without cutting into anyone’s money (well, except the agents… and i have a harder time feeling sorry for them than the players or the owners…)

  22. David

    Salary caps are not the way to balance the playing field. Allowing teams to trade draft picks is… Allowing small market teams to stockpile draft picks in trades (as well as prospects) prevents the large market team from having the same access to high talent. Imagine if instead of organizational prospect numbers 23 and 40 thrown into a deal, the teams 2nd round draft choice is included.

    Additionally, I am a firm believer that drafting hitters and buying pitchers is a measured plan for success. This bucks the typical consensus that top arms are the way to go. However, arms are the most volatile asset a team can acquire because of injury risks. Making them far more risky of an investment. Additionally, by the time hitters reach FA, you are overpaying for production far more than pitching counterparts.

    Just look at the top two FAs this year. CC Sabathia v. Mark Teixeira. CC Sabathia’s WAR is 3.5, making his expected value $15.6 million. Mark Teixeira’s WAR is 3.4, making his expected value $15.1 million. Sabathia signed is making $14 million, while Teixeira is making $20 million.

  23. preach

    I hate to put it this way, but this is exactly the reason I was all for trading some young pitching in the last off season to get bats like Rolen and Dye. Because there is no such thing as a dynasty even possible for a medium market team in this day and age. Stockpile what you want, but you still will only be able to afford it a couple of years anyway. I thought with our rotation and bullpen if we had a couple of real bats we could have made a run at the whole thing this season. Still feel it was the right call.

  24. mdccclxix

    Just to throw it out there: if all 30 MLB teams thought they might have a shot at success like they do in the NFL, wouldn’t the national interest go up some, thus bringing in revenues? Doesn’t really seem likely, but it would have to be I would think to justify a cap. It’s different for MLB because there are 1000’s of games, not 100’s, so it’s diluted compared to a “power packed” Sunday. Perhaps the MLB should be doing better down the stretch in September, but isn’t that when crappy new TV seasons start? We’ll see how this MLB network fares.

  25. sufferingred

    The topics.
    1. Revenue Sharing: NBA, NFL, NHL have payroll limits with revenue sharing. Kind of like our tax code. No Yankee would vote for a Democrat commish.
    2. Make do with you have: I hate the Rolen trade, but walt is the man and I’m a computer GM. I have quit going to games after the 7th straight losing season. The Rolen trade made me put away all my Reds stuff and I will freeze this winter without my Reds Coat.
    3. A plan: bad economy, dump the 11m arroyo, 12m harang, 12m cordero and maybe even Phillips with a good return. get payroll to 30m for 5 yrs and restock the farm and save that 45m times 5 yrs and use the intrest for a set up man, #3 starter or a everyday utility type player or use the intrest during bad economic times to show a profit. The Reds are more like the White House than our families budgets.

  26. REDS1

    It just too difficult for smaller market teams to compete the way its all set up. Maybe baseball should look at contraction. After Pittsburgh where do they look?

  27. Steve Price

    I think baseball needs more teams…in the big cities…which could lead to more competition in those urban areas, more baseball contracts to share, wider market to draw talent, lower priced tickets for fans, more players in the majors

  28. earl

    The funny thing is that the Yankees have dropped nearly a couple of billion in salary since they last won a world series and haven’t even been coming that close. There is something junk bond like in the Yankees business plan and I keep thinking that something is going to screw up and all the sudden that club is going to end up bankrupt.

  29. brublejr

    There is no plan, and it falls into Bob’s hands. They had a “win now” mentallity when there was little chance of that happening. Signed Cordero to a huge contract, on a small market team, they cannot afford such luxaries. The best models are the Cardinals and Twins. What it comes down to with those teams are superior coaching. They make some good moves, pick up low cost guys, and get the most out of their talent.

    A salary cap isn’t going to help because then the big market teams can’t bail out terrible contracts the small market teams give out, then have to trade. Besides, the big market teams will STILL have an advantage because of publicity. A player can get more noticed playing say, on the east coast, rather than playing anywhere in the midwest. Therefore you big market teams will bring in all the top tier talent just so they can get publicity.

    Contracts in general have gotten way out of control, but this last offseason it wasn’t as bad as in the past. The biggest difference from MLB and football is that ALL the money is guaranteed in MLB, while in NFL a team can waive a player and get cap relief.

    Personally, I would like to see where all players have a base contract and then get paid on performance. Sadly, that will NEVER happen. I just hate seeing contracts given out to some of these sad sacks, then once they get their money, you get 0 production from that player and he can laugh all the way to the bank.

  30. doktor

    I think it can be done but as mentioned by others, it takes a solid baseball organization with a plan/concept. Teams need to target those key players for longer deals(top SS, C or ace starter) and then revolving door at the other spots, hopefully at average major league ability. To steal a football example, Indianapolis Colts, they tied up thier money long term in key players, mostly offensive(Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne) and a couple defensive(Dwight Freeney0, then draft with the idea that other spots are turned over constantly, ie LB, RB, offensive guard.

    However, seems like Castellini does not want to follow that model or any of the other small-mid market operating modes and wants to win now but yet for all his business acumen, also seems not to understand the concept of capital investure, ie spend money (free agents) to make money, if he wants to bring in fans and have a winning ball club.

    Go (2010) Reds!

  31. REDS1

    St. Louis was mentioned above. They have spent way more money than the Reds have consistently over the past 10 years. Say what you want about Marge Schott but she did spend the money on the payroll and the teams were BETTER. A lot of people on here say the Reds don’t need to spend more but instead need to be smarter. When teams can’t spend more and try to lock players up for long contracts (such as the Colts)if they guess wrong (see Arroyo, Harang) it hurts. The Yankess and Red Sox can afford to make mistakes because they have so much money.

    As long as this team spends money like its a small market it is going to lose more than it wins.

  32. Steve Price

    When Jim Bowden took over the Reds, Marge Schott handed him the second LARGEST payroll in the National League (source: “Winners” by Dayn Perry), and over the next couple of years it went to one of the smallest in the majors.

    Famous quote (paraphrased) after Mark Portugal didn’t win a in a playoff game from Marge: $3 million and he’s not any good.
    Portugal: Tell her it’s $4 million…

    Marge said she didn’t understand why they needed scouts. That’s probably true if a team is willing to have a large payroll.

    But with a small payroll, they had better pay top dollar for capable scouts and coaches (capable scouts and coaches are much less expensive than capable players) and they better be turning over every rock for scouting and statistical analysis.

  33. REDS1

    And after a few years of having this cheap young talent they will get too expensive and we will have to dump them for cheaper ones. You just don’t have any margin for error.

    Its depressing because it suggests to me this organization will never get it turned around.

  34. Dan

    There is some pretty significant revenue sharing already in place, isn’t there?

  35. RedBlooded

    I wouldn’t even dignify what is going on with the words “revenue sharing.” Do you think that the present “revenue sharing” makes it possible for the Reds to have a budget of $170 Million? That’s what it would take to be in the same ballpark with the Yankees and Red Sox. Or is it $210 Million? Do you think that the Reds have an extra 100 Million or so to spend that they are just pocketing? Would you participate in a fantasy league where you had one quarter of the money to spend on players compared to several of the other participants? Would you harbor much hope of winning? Would others be justified in saying, “Dan, obviously doesn’t want to win or doesn’t know how to win?” And you want to accept what is going on in MLB?

  36. Dan

    Well, to look at it from the other angle… the Yankees and Red Sox have a lot more fans than we do, and cooler stadiums, and TV stations want to pay them a lot more to televise them.

    Also, they just have owners that are willing to spend more than our owner is. (I think I heard somewhere a while back that Lindner was richer than Steinbrenner, for example, but just was a lot tighter w/ his $$.)

    Do they deserve NO advantage at all?

    I’m not saying I’m happy w/ the current system… I’m just asking questions b/c I’m not sure what I think is the best solution.

  37. REDS1

    RedBlooded you make many excellent points. Clearly something needs to be done. If we did revenue-share would the Reds just “pocket the money”?

    Also Dan, does the Reds ownership under Castilinni et al have more money they could spend? If they did spend more money the team would probably be more successful thus putting more butts in the seats and generate all kinds of new revenue.

    I know if they continue to spend in the bottom third of MLB franchises our “good” seasons are going to be few and far between. They may continue dump salary in the offseason which may never be seen again. Needless to say I am not very optimistic.

  38. Travis G.

    According to this 2002 article, the Reds might have used their revenue sharing allowance to improve the franchise value:

    The Reds are looking forward to an on-time opening of The Great American Ballpark, with Pittsburgh scheduled for the first game in the baseball-only, downtown stadium.

    The club is responsible for paying any cost overruns on the new ballpark. It’s possible that the team will spend its $15-20 million in revenue sharing on the project, not the roster.

    Lindner wasn’t alone in this, according to
    this 2005 article by Jayson Stark
    , who argues that baseball needs a minimum payroll, or at least some requirement that teams spend their shared revenue on player salaries. This excerpt is nausea-inducing:

    (A) big three-way deal made by the Expos, Marlins and Reds almost collapsed at the last minute — over a miniscule amount of money.

    The Reds — a team that has gotten close to $20 million in revenue-sharing money over the last two years — were forbidden by owner Carl Lindner to add another $400,000 to their payroll. Not $4 million. We’re talking about $400,000.

    So the only way they were allowed to complete that trade — which brought them the Marlins’ opening-day starter, Ryan Dempster — was to throw in Wilton Guerrero and float rehabbing pitcher Seth Etherton on waivers so he could be claimed (which he eventually was, by the Yankees).

    Of course, if the Reds make the playoffs because of that deal, they could make up that $400,000 in one weekend. Apparently, we’re not supposed to notice that.

    As bad as things are now, don’t forget that they were worse not all that long ago.

  39. RedBlooded

    Dan, if you were at my poker table would I deserve an advantage because I dressed snappy and people like to watch me play? How many more face cards should I be entitled to. The Yankees and the Red Sox spend more money because they have more money, not from their owners but from basically their media revenue. The Yankees are allowed to own YES and the Red Sox own NESN. They spend a lot of money but they can stay in the black. They are spending money they have. Steinbrenner or any other Yankees owner was/is not spending that money out of the goodness of their heart. They spend it because they can. But they couldn’t charge for their games on those channels and make all that money unless they could get some teams to play them. The Reds have to play on a channel owned by Fox and there is a much, much smaller market and fan base. They would have to go deep into the red to match the budget of the big market teams who are able to stay in the black. There are just a lot more people in the New York and New England areas. It is kind of like the Harlem Globetrotters. They get some chump team to play them and then tease and taunt them. If you enjoy being the chump team, more power to you.

  40. Matt WI

    For now, the Reds need to get better at the system that is in place rather than worrying about what is fair. There are many, many, changes, including basic strategic moves on the field itself that could dramatically improve the state of the team (see: Greg’s thread on Willy T and A-Gon at the top of the order). Also, look at some of the waste in the Reds’ payroll (Willy T getting his deal, Coco’s soon to be bloated salary, AND the money they pay Dusty!) The Marlins, the Twins, and to a lesser extent the A’s stand as examples of how to get it done. I agree with the statement that small teams can’t afford to be wrong, but the Reds sure seem to get things wrong a whole lot more than one would hope for.

    The Marlins have had four winning seasons this decade (’03,’04,’05,’08). The respective payrolls in those years were ($45m, $42m, $60m, and $21m). Before you criticize, that’s four more winning seasons than the Reds have seen, plus a WS title. Two titles since ’97. While I understand that the odds are not in the small market clubs favor, it is possible to maximize your talent and your payrool. I’d live with a Marlins type model. Winning year and year, though very desirable, probably just isn’t realistic.

  41. Matt WI

    If we want to continue with poker analogies… the Marlins appear to be content to be grinders. They understand their place in the food chain and make a comfortable living, knowing they can’t always play at the no-limit table. But every now and then they make a big score. Play well within your means and you can still do well. The Reds don’t do that.

  42. REDS1

    Matt I will bet you a whole lot of imaginery cyber dollars that there was great deal of luck in that Marlin’s story.

    We talk all we want but about making good decisions. But subtracting the overpaying of a few million on Gonzalez and Taveras and a few more million more on Arroyo is not going to make this team a contender.

  43. Travis G.

    It wasn’t just luck that put the Marlins onto their current path; it was the $20 million in seed money Wayne Huizenga spent in 1997.

    They won a World Series with baseball’s fifth-highest payroll, the owner claimed he lost $30 million (disputed here) and they traded off everything that wasn’t nailed down in return for the prospects used to build another championship team five years later.

  44. Dan

    To their credit, the Marlins have done VERY well in identifying the right prospects to bring back when they do their house-cleanings. They’ve gotten good again quickly — and they’ve done it at least twice I think.

  45. Steve Price

    Our problem, in my opinion, is poor talent evaluation decisions. Right now we haven’t signed our #1 pick; Jocketty says hopefully it won’t go down tho last minute…but, we’re down to the last week now.

    Plus, wasn’t Leake shut down during the college World series because his arm was hurting?

    In the trade things I’ve written, there’s been times where our farm system has had a ton of talent; we had so much we would essentially give it away.

    We need to put money into the scouting and player development system. we can compete.

    Baseball has had the “haves” and “have nots” since the beginning of organized professional baseball team. frankly, in my opinion, it’s just whining to complain about it. I’m glad there’s a Yankees and a Red sox, a Dodgers, a Cubs, whomever, that can pay those six year veterans, who are 30 years old and getting paid more during their decline years. We need to take advantage of it.

    By the way, there’s where I think the difference comes….the large market teams have veteran benches who can play and they can survive injuries. That’s where our team comes up short, and yet another reason we need to have young teams that are less likely to be injury prone.