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Thread: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

  1. #46
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    In 1993, the Aís picked up 31 year old journeyman reliever Billy Taylor as a minor league free agent.

    Then in 1999, Billy Beane traded Taylor and in exchange picked up a young reliever from the Mets named Jason Isringhausen,
    The Reds had a similiar run. They picked up Brantley and Shaw, who went from nobodies to closers. They raised up Williamson from the farm system. They picked up Graves in a trade of an expensive vet, and got a lot of good years out of him, even though they kept him too long.

    If you reach back to 1993, I think you could find other teams that were also resourceful in finding closers for a certain time spell.

    However, and this is not a knock on the A's, this does not seem to be a sustainable system.

    I think the fact that the A's had to trade for Foulke (salary) and Dotel (prospects that KC really liked) underscores the fact that it's not easy to consistently find closers on the scrap heap or by raiding other team's minor leagues.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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  3. #47
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    My fear with Cordero is the 4 year contract. The guy is 32, and at his peak. I am afraid he has only one direction to go....I hope I am wrong. He may well prove valuable for 2008 and even 2009 at the rate we are paying. My problem comes with 2010 and 2011.[/URL].
    I'm not sure I buy that there's only one direction for him to go (I presume you mean down).

    Look at this list of the current active saves leaders. The great majority of them are older than Cordero and were effective closers from age 32 through 36. Certainly there's always the risk that a pitcher has peaked, but I'm not sure recent history bears that out in this day and age.

    Code:
    1. Trevor Hoffman (39) 524 R 
    2. Mariano Rivera (37) 443 R 
    3. Billy Wagner* (35) 358 L 
    4. Roberto Hernandez (42) 326 R 
    5. Troy Percival (37) 324 R 
    6. Jose Mesa (41) 321 R 
    7. Todd Jones (39) 301 R 
    8. Armando Benitez (34) 289 R 
    9. Jason Isringhausen (34) 281 R 
    10. Bob Wickman (38) 267 R 
    11. Francisco Cordero (32) 177 R 
      Eric Gagne (31) 177 R 
    13. Joe Nathan (32) 161 R 
    14. Tom Gordon (39) 156 R
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  4. #48
    Member top6's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    I agree there is more than one way to skin a cat, and the As model isn't the only way to be successful. In fact, the As "model" is obsolete; the whole point was finding value in the market, and OBP and college players are probably over-valued right now. (On the other hand, Tori Hunter.) I was just pointing out that the Reds routinely do things that are the exact opposite of what the strategy set forth in Money Ball would suggest doing. Whether that is good or bad, well, whatever the Reds have been doing is bad, but hopefully they are trying something else!

  5. #49
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by top6 View Post
    I agree there is more than one way to skin a cat, and the As model isn't the only way to be successful. In fact, the As "model" is obsolete; the whole point was finding value in the market, and OBP and college players are probably over-valued right now. (On the other hand, Tori Hunter.) I was just pointing out that the Reds routinely do things that are the exact opposite of what the strategy set forth in Money Ball would suggest doing. Whether that is good or bad, well, whatever the Reds have been doing is bad, but hopefully they are trying something else!
    I think everyone would agree to varying extents that the Reds FO isn't the sharpest bunch of fellows relative to their peers and the organization probably wouldn't be in the top ten of a list ranking the best run mlb franchises from best to festering. Isn't this why some have been so giddy over the notion that Baker and Cordero signal a new approach?

    I agree with what you seem to be saying. Those changes do signal a new approach, it's just one that probably places them even farther behind the curve in the grand scheme of things (or in the very least should diminish hope that the Reds FO does "get it")...
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Yeah, their system is weak now, following a succession of what appear to be unimpressive drafts.
    They've got seven homegrown players in the lineup. 3/5 of the rotation is homegrown. The closer is homegrown. Most of these guys come from the supposedly unimpressive drafts you're talking about.

    Three major league regulars came from the 2002 Moneyball draft. The 2003 draft has produced one. The 2004 draft has produced two (with a third on the cusp and a top prospect lurking). The 2005 draft has already produced one, though the HS arms they collected in that draft have been a problem.

    That's pretty good production. If you can average two regulars out of every draft, I'd say you're doing quite well.

    The larger problem for the A's is one you mentioned, that Chavez/Crosby/Ellis haven't stepped up to lead the team. Still, the farm has produced more than a sufficient supporting cast.
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    I think everyone would agree to varying extents that the Reds FO isn't the sharpest bunch of fellows relative to their peers and the organization probably wouldn't be in the top ten of a list ranking the best run mlb franchises from best to festering. Isn't this why some have been so giddy over the notion that Baker and Cordero signal a new approach?

    I agree with what you seem to be saying. Those changes do signal a new approach, it's just one that probably places them even farther behind the curve in the grand scheme of things (or in the very least should diminish hope that the Reds FO does "get it")...
    Nope. They're doing fine in my view.

    How anyone outside the game -- and even many inside the game -- has enough information to pass judgment on 30 MLB front offices eludes me.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    They've got seven homegrown players in the lineup. 3/5 of the rotation is homegrown. The closer is homegrown. Most of these guys come from the supposedly unimpressive drafts you're talking about.

    Three major league regulars came from the 2002 Moneyball draft. The 2003 draft has produced one. The 2004 draft has produced two (with a third on the cusp and a top prospect lurking). The 2005 draft has already produced one, though the HS arms they collected in that draft have been a problem.

    That's pretty good production. If you can average two regulars out of every draft, I'd say you're doing quite well.
    I'm talking more like 2003-2006/2007. The cupboard is real bare right now.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  9. #53
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Those changes do signal a new approach, it's just one that probably places them even farther behind the curve in the grand scheme of things (or in the very least should diminish hope that the Reds FO does "get it")...
    You keep saying it, but it's just an empty phrase. Specifically how does the move the hurt the Reds? What don't they get? Seems to me this indicates that they actually get that their pitching was woefully insufficient. Whether they grasp the full magnitude of that insufficiency remains to be seen, but inarguably the best way to squeeze out treacherous middle relievers is by adding quality to the end of the bullpen and the rotation.

    We're not strangers to being critical of the Reds front office around here. Many of us have spent the better part of this decade bemoaning the team's moves as they've been made, but we've always been clear (and remarkably accurate) about the negative impact of those moves. Right now what I've got coming from the critics of this deal is smaller market franchise + big money closer = spooky. I need more than spooky.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  10. #54
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    One thing to remember about the A's is that Billy Beane's a genius. The A's model doesn't work as well when J.P. Ricciardi tries to employ it or when Paul DePodesta has to fight an in-house war to so much as ties his shoes.

    I've got huge respect for Beane and what he's done in Oakland. I think there's a lot other teams can learn from him (and not spending money on a closer isn't something I'd rank anywhere near the top of that list). Yet this notion that every other smaller market franchise has to mimic his every move strikes me as highly counterproductive. Not only would it cause teams to adopt highly predictable patterns (and Beane's unpredictability is one of his cheif assets), it would cause a dozen or so teams to constantly fish in the same waters, ignoring the opportunities to cast their line into more promising pools.

    Plus, the Reds aren't populated with folks who are going to employ the Oakland model. That's not their bent nor their background. Krivsky, Baker, et al will be taking a different route and the way to judge their progress shouldn't be to note that it's not the way the A's did it. Ultimately it's a meaningless comparison. We already knew they weren't going to emulate the A's. The real question is can the moves they're making net them the team they claim to want?
    I think this is a spot-on post.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    You keep saying it, but it's just an empty phrase. Specifically how does the move the hurt the Reds? What don't they get? Seems to me this indicates that they actually get that their pitching was woefully insufficient. Whether they grasp the full magnitude of that insufficiency remains to be seen, but inarguably the best way to squeeze out treacherous middle relievers is by adding quality to the end of the bullpen and the rotation.

    We're not strangers to being critical of the Reds front office around here. Many of us have spent the better part of this decade bemoaning the team's moves as they've been made, but we've always been clear (and remarkably accurate) about the negative impact of those moves. Right now what I've got coming from the critics of this deal is smaller market franchise + big money closer = spooky. I need more than spooky.
    99% of franchises+big money closer= unenlightened
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  12. #56
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    99% of franchises+big money closer= unenlightened
    Reds + Cordero > Reds - Cordero.

    Unless you want to exchange Cordero for something else (aka Opportunity Cost), the above is a no-brainer. If your something else is some undefined future possibility, well, then you're getting in to the territory of paralysis by analysis.

    The "don't spend money unless it puts you in the playoffs" concept can create a lot of teams that don't lose any money and never win more than 72 games. Sure, maybe spending money on a closer is putting the cart before the horse in this regard. However, it was pretty clear we weren't going to the playoffs on developed talent alone.

    Luckily, unenlightened teams can still make their way to the playoffs. As a wanna-be GM, I dislike the deal. In fact, I dislike a lot of what Krivksy has done and would do things differently if I were in charge. As a fan, who understands that his team's GM is not Billy Beane and never will be, I'm happy that Krivksy is at least being given the resources to execute his plan and am excited that we have a better team than we would have had than if we had not signed Cordero.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-27-2007 at 05:00 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  13. #57
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    I'm talking more like 2003-2006/2007. The cupboard is real bare right now.
    I'm talking 2003-2006/7 too. They've already produced players from the earlier drafts in those years and the 2006 and 2007 drafts are off to solid starts in the minors.

    The 2003 draft looks to be that franchise's weakest effort of the past decade. That's about as far as I'd go with that franchise. It keeps producing players.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  14. #58
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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    99% of franchises+big money closer= unenlightened
    Guess hoping for more than something trite on this was optimistic on my part. Posts like this one from RMR are hardly unenlightened. What's the counterargument?

    We've got a history of quality criticism around here - right (Milton) and wrong (Arroyo). Got to tell you, the critics of this deal are leaving something to be desired.

    I'm not saying you aren't onto something here, just that I've yet to see where that something leads.
    Last edited by M2; 11-27-2007 at 05:02 PM.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    I'm talking 2003-2006/7 too. They've already produced players from the earlier drafts in those years and the 2006 and 2007 drafts are off to solid starts in the minors.

    The 2003 draft looks to be that franchise's weakest effort of the past decade. That's about as far as I'd go with that franchise. It keeps producing players.
    Take a look at how many extra 1st and 2nd round picks the As have had in the 03-07 period. Lots. Basically they've garnered Street, Suzuki and Buck, all solid players, but they've really missed completely on a lot of premium picks. I disagree that 06 is off to a good start in the minors, and it's too soon to know on 07, though BA says their haul last year, which also included multiple high picks, lacked impact talent.

    I have a lot of respect for Beane, but I don't think he is going to draft better than most other teams most of the time. Not by a long shot.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: A smarter way to fill the closer position: The A's

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Guess hoping for more than something trite on this was optimistic on my part.
    That wasn't meant to be trite. We've both written volumes on this issue since T-day. It's probably pretty clear where each of us stands and why.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    We've got a history of quality criticism around here - right (Milton) and wrong (Arroyo). Got to tell you, the critics of this deal are leaving something to be desired.
    The standard has to be higher than "it's a good move if it makes your club better" because that standard is, I think, generally pretty impractical in the real world. There are probably a significant number of posters in the ORG (maybe even a super majority) that would disagree with that statement.

    We obviously come to the issue from different perspectives that will make it hard for us to convince the other on this and maybe some other issues. That, IMHO, is probably a good thing to have in a community like this one...
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner


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