Originally Posted by M2
And "quality ballclub" is a key phrase. Traditionalists frequently make the mistake that chemistry and playing the game the right way are all that's necessary to get a quality ballclub. Statheads often forget that orthagonal and seemingly secondary moves are what transforms a club from a loser to a winner. Magic bullets don't exist in either realm.
This has been the area of greatest transformation in my thinking over the last year or so.
The concept that small improvements at the fringes of the roster can make big improvements was sort of a light-bulb moment. It's when I realized the number of at bats going to sub-repalcement level players that it became obvious that a savy GM could make a lot of less than sexy moves that would make a good team great. The classic example is replacing Corey Patterson sub-replacement level play with just a run nutral player to achieve a big improvement.
Along the same lines, those secondary moves can make a winning team a loser too (or at least be a drag). Freel like contracts can be an anchor that effects the team in unrealized ways.