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Thread: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

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    ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    I stumbled across this today... very interesting:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3864280

    Draft Rules
    Draft order was selected at random.

    Player salaries based on 2009 salaries. For those involved in arbitration cases at the time of the draft, the midpoint between what the player wanted and what the team was offering was taken. Players with 1-plus year of service time but not eligible for arbitration were given 10 percent raises from their 2008 salaries; those with 2-plus were given 15 percent. Those with 0-plus were given the 2009 minimum of $400,000.

    Seeding for the tournament will be based on payroll -- No. 1 payroll vs. No. 4 payroll; No. 2 vs. No. 3.

    Each team must carry 11 pitchers.

    Each will act as a National League team -- so, no DH.



    The economy is impacting everyone, baseball included. Teams are looking to build more cost-conscious rosters. But how? Is it doable? Are there enough talented, relatively inexpensive players to build a competitive roster for, say, $40 million, which is roughly the payroll the San Diego Padres hope to operate at in 2009?


    Well, ESPN.com put four of its experts on the case.

    Over a recent five-day stretch, Baseball Tonight's Steve Phillips, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark and Rob Neyer drafted their own 25-man rosters.

    All this week, we reveal their selections -- and their thoughts on each other's selections. On Monday, Feb. 9, the four teams will begin going head-to-head in seven-game series conducted by ImagineSports.com, which provides online simulation baseball games, using its Diamond Mind Baseball software.



    One semifinal will take place on Monday, another on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the winners will face off to determine a champion. Then, on Thursday, Feb. 12, our ultimate general manager will pit his budget-conscious team against the deep-pocketed New York Yankees in a seven-game series.

    ROUND 1
    1. Rob Neyer selects Dustin Pedroia (2B, Boston Red Sox, $1,500,000)
    2. Buster Olney selects Tim Lincecum (P, San Francisco Giants, $460,750)
    Steve Phillips: OK, so what's the story with the first pick coming at 12:34 a.m. and the second pick at 1:17 a.m.? Do you guys sleep? I ran 50 mock drafts and didn't want to find myself in this position. I expected Pedroia to go, but I had Buster pegged to Longoria because of the lack of depth at 3B. So now I need to regroup. Jayson, who are you taking with the fourth and fifth picks? That would help me decide where to go here at 3.

    Jayson Stark: There's a rumor I'm going to take A-Rod, but I can't confirm it.

    Buster Olney: I think there might be a mystery team involved, whenever Jayson is involved.

    Jayson Stark: My whole team is a mystery!

    Steve Phillips: OK, after much painful consideration and discussion with my front office staff
    3. Steve Phillips selects Jon Lester (P, Boston Red Sox, $484,725)
    Steve Phillips: I wanted either Lincecum or Lester -- or both -- within my first two picks. I didn't have the courage to wait for my second pick, figuring Jayson would have taken Lester next with pick No. 4 or No. 5. Tough to pass on Longoria here, but I had to.

    Jayson Stark: I was all over Lester, you bum. Why'd you have to go and fake me out with all that Longoria talk?

    4. Jayson Stark selects Josh Hamilton (OF, Texas Rangers, $456,354)



    ROUND 2
    5. Jayson Stark selects Evan Longoria (3B, Tampa Bay Rays, $550,000)
    Jayson Stark: I can't believe they were still on the board!
    6. Steve Phillips selects Hanley Ramirez (SS, Florida Marlins, $5,500,000)
    Steve Phillips: If I am going to spend the money I am going to spend it on the most talented player in the NL.

    Steve Phillips: Just for my knowledge, was anyone else going to take Hanley?

    Buster Olney: Talk to me after the draft, Sparky. Did you and Cashman share trade secrets at noon on July 31?

    Jayson Stark: What? We have to disclose all our drafting strategies now? Is this how collusion worked? An e-mail information bank?

    Steve Phillips: What's collusion? All I wanted to do is compare our most inner thoughts and strategies. And to share how we are going to spend our dollars. Is that so wrong?

    Steve Phillips: Let me show you guys how this works so far I wanted each of the players you have taken. There, I said it.

    Jayson Stark: Congeniality has always been one of your strong suits, Steve. I take it all back. Yeah, I thought about him. Is that revealing enough?

    Steve Phillips: I am not sure you realize it or not but my team is playing with an $80M payroll.

    Jayson Stark: But of course, you always were a big-budget kind of guy.

    Steve Phillips: OK, so I am a guest reader at my son's second grade class today. Big 7th birthday. So I am rolling my personnel board into my car and will have to do this from my BlackBerry. My staff is out heating up the car now and clearing a path through the snow-covered drive. Buster who you picking next?

    Commissioner: Is it possible Steve's operating budget for his front office might exceed his payroll?

    Jayson Stark: You mean kind of like Rickey Henderson's season with the Newark Bears, when his rent exceeded his salary?

    Buster Olney: You're relentless with the information-gathering, Steve. Did you do an internship under the great Syd Thrift?

    Steve Phillips: In tough economic times I believe in cutting player payroll and not executive payroll. I may run for office on that platform.


    7. Buster Olney selects Geovany Soto (C, Chicago Cubs, $441,400)
    8. Rob Neyer selects Grady Sizemore (OF, Cleveland Indians, $4,600,000)



    ROUND 3
    9. Rob Neyer selects Brian McCann (C, Atlanta Braves, $3,500,000)
    10. Buster Olney selects Edinson Volquez (P, Cincinnati Reds, $432,000)
    11. Steve Phillips selects Ryan Braun (OF, Milwaukee Brewers, $745,000)
    12. Jayson Stark takes Cole Hamels (P, Philadelphia Phillies $4,350,000)



    ROUND 4
    13. Jayson Stark selects Chad Billingsley (P, Los Angeles Dodgers, $469,500)

    Jayson Stark: You guys can't want any part of playing my team now, can you?

    Rob Neyer: I certainly don't. For some reason I figured that nobody would be working off the same draft list as me but Jayson, you seem to have nailed it exactly.

    Jayson Stark: More proof that great minds look alike.

    Steve Phillips: Wait a minute what does that make me and Buster?

    Jayson Stark: We should all join MENSA. Is there a baseball division?

    14. Steve Phillips selects Carlos Quentin (OF, Chicago White Sox, $440,000)
    15. Buster Olney selects Joakim Soria (P, Kansas City Royals, $1,000,000)

    Steve Phillips: Buster you splurged. You big spender. Darn it. I wanted him. Buster needs to spend more money. This isn't fair. He is taking all the low money guys I wanted after taking the expensive guys. He's messing up my plan.

    Buster Olney: Oh, I'll be spending money, all right. Just you wait, good sir I was looking at the list of closers and didn't want to spend big dollars on the position.

    Steve Phillips: I know he is going to draft A-Rod with the last pick. I know it.

    Rob Neyer: Would you gents like to help an apprentice BBWAA member who doesn't know what he's doing? I've already spent $9.6 million on three fine young players. Now I want to spend (approximately) $4 million on another fine young player. Is that just incredibly stupid, this early in the draft? I wish I were better with the figuring

    Buster Olney: I picked the Indians to win the World Series last year. I have no advice worthy of offering.

    Jayson Stark: Wasn't one of us an actual GM? That's your guy. I can't even balance my checkbook.

    Steve Phillips: I would just recommend avoiding Mo Vaughn, Roger Cedeno and Kevin Appier.

    16. Rob Neyer selects Zack Greinke (P, Kansas City Royals, $3,900,000)



    ROUND 5
    17. Rob Neyer selects B.J. Upton (OF, Tampa Bay Rays, $473,815)
    18. Buster Olney selects Joba Chamberlain (P, New York Yankees, $429,000)
    19. Steve Phillips selects Ricky Nolasco (P, Florida Marlins, $2,400,000)

    Buster Olney: D'oh! I was hoping to snag Nolasco down the line.

    20. Jayson Stark selects Ian Kinsler (2B, Texas Rangers, $3,000,000)

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Jason Stark is killing right now.

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Day two..... Votto comes off the board.... still surprised to see Bruce is on the board.

    ROUND 6
    21. Jayson Stark selects Ryan Doumit (C, Pittsburgh Pirates, $2,000,000)
    Jayson Stark: Pretty scary team, isn't it?

    22. Steve Phillips selects Ervin Santana (P, Los Angeles Angels, $3,962,500)
    23. Buster Olney selects Carlos Marmol (P, Chicago Cubs, $494,500)
    Jayson Stark: Hey Buster, you're going to have a lower payroll than the Trenton Thunder!

    Buster Olney: Old habits from the days growing up on the farm. We moved nickels like tractor tires.
    24. Rob Neyer selects Scott Baker (P, Minnesota Twins, $485,875)



    ROUND 7
    25. Rob Neyer selects James Shields (P, Tampa Bay Rays, $1,500,000)
    26. Buster Olney selects John Danks (P, Chicago White Sox, $460,000)
    27. Steve Phillips selects Matt Garza (P, Tampa Bay Rays, $445,060)
    28. Jayson Stark selects Joey Votto (1B, Cincinnati Reds, $429,000)



    ROUND 8
    29. Jayson Stark selects Joe Saunders (P, Los Angeles Angels, $488,750)
    Jayson Stark: I can't believe they were still on the board in the seventh and eighth rounds!

    30. Steve Phillips selects Adrian Gonzalez (OF, San Diego Padres, $440,000)
    Steve Phillips: I needed a left-handed bat between Braun and Quentin. I may score 1,500 runs.

    Buster Olney: 1,500 runs? Not against my team, you won't.
    31. Buster Olney selects Jose Arredondo (P, Los Angeles Angels, $429,000)
    32. Rob Neyer selects Nick Markakis (OF, Baltimore Orioles, $3,000,000)



    ROUND 9
    33. Rob Neyer selects Yunel Escobar (SS, Atlanta Braves, $500,000)
    34. Buster Olney selects Cliff Lee (P, Cleveland Indians, $5,750,000)
    35. Steve Phillips selects Grant Balfour (P, Tampa Bay Rays, $1,400,000)
    36. Jayson Stark selects Brandon Morrow (P, Seattle Mariners, $429,000)
    Jayson Stark: His role to be determined later.




    ROUND 10
    37. Jayson Stark selects Josh Johnson (P, Florida Marlins, $1,400,000)
    38. Steve Phillips selects David Wright (3B, New York Mets, $7,500,000)
    Steve Phillips: I just couldn't go to the other options at third, so I figured I had a shot at two more guys making some $$$. So, I just combined them for David. By the way, did I ever tell you I drafted him? Plus, Buster was going to take him and I couldn't let his strategy work.

    Buster Olney: You are right, he was among those I was thinking about. But you can't keep 'em ALL away from me, Sparky.
    39. Buster Olney selects Shin-Soo Choo (OF, Cleveland Indians, $448,960)
    40. Rob Neyer selects Alex Gordon (3B, Kansas City Royals, $466,900)

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Pretty entertaining stuff for a baseball addict. My favorite zinger:
    Jayson Stark: We should all join MENSA. Is there a baseball division?

    "Okay you guys, pair up in threes!" --Yogi Berra

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Jayson Stark: We should all join MENSA. Is there a baseball division?
    Yeah, it's called SABR...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Round 3 is up.... Bruce still not taken. I would think that Jared Burton might go at some point soon as well.

    ROUND 11
    41. Rob Neyer selects Ubaldo Jimenez (P, Colorado Rockies, $450,800)
    42. Buster Olney selects Jose Reyes (SS, New York Mets, $5,750,000)
    Steve Phillips: I like it. Did I ever mention that I was GM when he signed?

    43. Steve Phillips selects Hong-Chih Kuo (P, Los Angeles Dodgers, $450,800)
    Buster Olney: I was either going to take Kuo or Reyes with my pick But I was worried that Jayson was going to use that available cash to nab the best shortstop left on the board.

    Jayson Stark: Buster you turkey!!!!! I was going to take Reyes with my next pick, but whatever
    44. Jayson Stark selects Jonathan Broxton (P, Los Angeles Dodgers, $1,825,000)



    ROUND 12
    45. Jayson Stark selects Matt Thornton (P, Chicago White Sox, $1,325,000)
    46. Steve Phillips selects J.P. Howell (P, Tampa Bay Rays, $457,010)
    47. Buster Olney selects Rafael Perez (P, Cleveland Indians, $467,705)
    Steve Phillips: For those of us with obsessive personality disorder this draft process is killing me. I wanted to make all 25 of my picks in 15 minutes. It's affecting my judgement.

    Jayson Stark: So that's your story and you're sticking to it?

    Buster Olney: I think I have the same disorder.

    Steve Phillips: I am crazed just sitting here, foaming at the mouth.

    Steve Phillips: My wife can't wait for this draft to be over. I'm killing her explaining my next picks. She thinks I am a lunatic. I am a lunatic This is so much fun.

    Jayson Stark: Want to go ahead and draft Rob Stratton again, just for nostalgia's sake? Go ahead. We won't stop you.

    Steve Phillips: Ha! That's a blast from the past.

    Jayson Stark: I don't know about you, Steve, but my wife didn't need this draft to decide I was a lunatic. I've been laying out that body of work for years now.

    Steve Phillips: It's actually bringing back memories from Mets days for her.

    Rob Neyer: Great. The run on cheap power relievers right before it comes around to me again. Beautiful
    48. Rob Neyer selects Frank Francisco (P, Texas Rangers, $1,600,000)



    ROUND 13
    49. Rob Neyer selects Francisco Liriano (P, Minnesota Twins, $471,500)
    Steve Phillips: I was going to take him. Good pick.
    50. Buster Olney selects Mike Fontenot (2B, Chicago Cubs, $445,500)
    Steve Phillips: I was going to take him, too.
    51. Steve Phillips selects Jacoby Ellsbury (OF, Boston Red Sox, $446,000)
    52. Jayson Stark selects Curtis Granderson (OF, Detroit Tigers, $3,500,000)
    Buster Olney: I had hoped to snag Curtis down the road, but oh, well. Any team that has Curtis officially has the smartest team in the league.

    Jayson Stark: Which of you guys wouldn't want to come cover my team now, huh? If you can't wring a decent quote or sound bite out of Curtis Granderson, Josh Hamilton and Cole Hamels, you're in the wrong business.

    Steve Phillips: I had my sights set on Curtis a bit later, too. I took Ellsbury to protect my wait.



    ROUND 14
    53. Jayson Stark selects Jesse Carlson (P, Toronto Blue Jays, $429,000)
    54. Steve Phillips selects Mike Aviles (2B, Kansas City Royals, $400,000)
    Jayson Stark: Great pick for a team with no money to spend.

    Buster Olney: If you hadn't taken Aviles, then I would have.
    55. Buster Olney selects Kevin Youkilis (1B, Boston Red Sox, $6,000,000)
    Steve Phillips: I had you pegged for Prince Fielder, but I love Youk, too.

    Buster Olney: I was worried that Rob might jump up and snake Youk, so that was a good Plan B.

    Jayson Stark: I like all our teams.

    Buster Olney: [Padres GM Kevin] Towers' reaction to this draft -- "Of course you can get a great team Why wouldn't you?!!!"

    Jayson Stark: Wait Does that mean he doesn't think we're all geniuses?

    Steve Phillips: I don't care what he thinks you guys are geniuses in my book.

    Jayson Stark: Now we're talking. Let's have Steve review the rest of our picks. The heck with what Kevin thinks.

    56. Rob Neyer selects Manny Delcarmen (P, Boston Red Sox, $484,150)



    ROUND 14
    57. Rob Neyer selects Takashi Saito (P, Boston Red Sox, $1,500,000)
    58. Buster Olney selects Skip Schumaker (OF, St. Louis Cardinals, $455,400)
    Steve Phillips: What the heck, might as well go for it. Don't worry, I did the math and I have enough money left
    59. Steve Phillips selects Jonathan Papelbon (P, Boston Red Sox, $6,250,000)
    Buster Olney: The salary-cap police are staring you in the eye, pal. I guess that means Steve won't be getting A-Rod.

    Steve Phillips: No that will be when we have $200 million to spend. We need those teams, too.

    Buster Olney: Is it a felony or a misdemeanor if you go over the salary cap? If convicted, will Steve have his right to voting taken from him, or will he just be forced to vote for a Democrat?

    Steve Phillips: I will serve hard time before I vote for a Democrat. Although they are fond of bailouts and I may need one.

    Commissioner: Immediate felony. No trial, no appeal.

    Steve Phillips: I have it all mapped out. Don't worry. I wasn't going to leave money in the budget.

    60. Jayson Stark selects Brandon Webb (P, Arizona Diamondbacks, $6,500,000)
    Steve Phillips: Good pick. If I had gotten Saito I would have taken Webb.

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Skip Schumaker off the board before Bruce! ESPN!
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    Skip Schumaker off the board before Bruce! ESPN!
    Hilarious. But then again, these are the same people who said they would take Jacoby Ellsbury over Ryan Braun, Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, and others from the 2005 draft.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Does Bruce carry a lot less value than we think?

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Does Bruce carry a lot less value than we think?
    No. ESPN just employs some clueless people. Olney and Phillips are awful.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Hilarious. But then again, these are the same people who said they would take Jacoby Ellsbury over Ryan Braun, Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, and others from the 2005 draft.
    Well duh, he plays for Boston. He has to be better than those guys.
    "I can make all the stadiums rock."
    -Air Supply

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    No. ESPN just employs some clueless people. Olney and Phillips are awful.
    I agree with you about Phillips, but I actually like Buster Olney. His daily blog is a good read during baseball season.

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Does Bruce carry a lot less value than we think?
    Justin Upton hasn't been selected yet either. They haven't selected many outfielders.

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Quote Originally Posted by RichRed View Post
    Well duh, he plays for Boston. He has to be better than those guys.
    I still think it was the free tacos.
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons

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    Re: ESPN's Battle of the Budgets

    Owen (Chicago): Are there guys who you would pick if these teams actually played games, but passed on because the sim wouldn't like them?

    Jayson Stark: Absolutely. Jay Bruce would be a good example. I can't believe Jay Bruce won't be a star. But he didn't put up good enough numbers last year for me to take him, although I thought about it several times.


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