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Do GM's make smarter moves, with a limited budget?


gotbeer

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This is one of those things that I've been thinking about lately.  

 

You look at the playoff teams right now.  

Division Leaders

Dodgers #2

Detroit #5

Cardinals #10

Braves #16

Oakland #27

Rays #28

 

Those .5 back.

Boston #4

Baltimore #15

Pirates #20

 

Would Billy Beane be a better GM, if he had an unlimited or Max budget?  I really don't think he would be.  He works and stretches what he has, and knows when to sell to quickly rebuild.  

 

I think back to all the trades that people are bitching about that we made.  And every single one of them had one purpose.  To spend whatever it took to make the playoffs.  And this philosophy goes all the way to the head honcho.  

 

It just seems like our philosphy makes it look like right now, all the teams are playing chess, building a franchise, developing the minors and the majors, thinking about how this move will affect moves 4-5 years down the line.  And this team is playing checkers, quickly trying to say King me, get to the postseason at all costs, F everything else, now is the time.  

 

And now we are paying for this philosophy.  Because in the rush to get to the end of the board, and say king me, we lost all our pieces.  And it just seems like it's inevitable that our king will get swallowed up eventually.  

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How about you look at that list over the last 15 years and see which teams were making the playoffs consistently instead of one year.

Cards, Red Sox, Braves have been consistent over that 15 year span.

 

Rays and Tigers over the last 5.

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LOL Mark, I appreciate the humor in your response.

Eric, I hope you aren't implying that the Angels are one of those teams consistently making postseason over the past 15 years. I certainly don't count a 40% rate as consistent.

You don't? Seriously?

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GM's make moves based on a number of factors and budget is only one of those factors. Billy Beane may be strapped with a limited payroll and doing well, but if another GM had his skills and a little more salary room to work with, they would constantly outbid the A's for a player's services and the A's wouldn't have that talent to work with.

 

Are Watson and Cashman a geniuses because they won Championships or was it the payroll? Or Epstein because he won 2 Championships with a virtually unlimited budget? What about the Chicago Cubs GM's who have consistently had a larger budget than average yet still are mired in misery? Were Bavasi and Stoneman geniuses because they combined to get the pieces together for the Angels 2002 budget run?

 

A GM works within their means whatever those means are.

 

Having a limited budget leads to making moves at the lower levels of the organization that impacts the organization as a whole through organizational depth. While high-priced free agents cost dollars, they also cost draft picks, which is at the core of an organizations depth.

 

Stoneman was famous for the quote "We're not going to trade the farm for Player X". This also stemmed from the fact that Disney and Jackie Autry before them cash-strapped the team and forced the organization into working from within themselves. Other than Mo Vaughan, the Angels really didn't break the bank on the Free Agency Market from 88 on through until Arte Moreno bought the Angels in 2003.

 

Were they making smarter decisions during this stretch? Or were they simply working within the means given them?

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Two things about this.  Due to the limited budgets the misses don't get as much attention.  A $240 million dollar mistake gets much more press than a $10 million dollar mistake.

 

Also, expectations tend to be higher on the teams with higher payrolls.  When they fail it seems like a bigger failure.  When a small budget team fails people can at least fall back on "Oh well, if they had a higher budget..."

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