Bud Selig thought about blocking the Marlins-Blue Jays blockbuster, but Bowie Kuhn did more than think about overturning trades during his time as commissioner.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Bud Selig took six days to review the 12-player Marlins-Blue Jays trade before allowing it to stand. However, there is some precedent for a commissioner having the power to overturn trades, as Steven Goldman explained in the piece reprinted below, which was originally published as a "You Could Look it Up" column on April 24, 2006.
With his Value Pick roster all having good weeks, Michael adds another VP while looking at the roster shakeups from last week's trades and injuries among corner infielders.
The non-waiver trade deadline is almost upon us, and the most predicted corner infield swap doesn’t look like it will come to pass, but there’s been plenty of other action on my Value Picks beat, even if it has erased more VPs than it created. Take last week’s significant hot corner injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Pablo Sandoval, for example. Kung Fu Panda’s replacement will be Marco Scutaro, who’s more valuable as a fantasy middle infielder and who moves to a park that will hurt his production, and VP Eric Chavez actually graduates from the list due to A-Rod’s broken wrist. The trades of Chris Johnson and Ryan Roberts aren’t all that significant either; neither player is a good VP, for reasons you can read about in Playing Pepper. Fear not, however, since the list had a fine week, and there are still other options to help your fantasy team as the final two months of the season begin.
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Alex Rodriguez had an extraordinary prime, but he's aging much more like an average player, and that's not good news for the Yankees.
When Major League Baseball’s All-Stars convened in Kansas City earlier this week, one notable name was nowhere to be found: Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been an All-Star 14 times, more than any other active player. He leads all active players in career value, according to traditional stats (HR, R, RBI) and advanced stats (WARP) alike. Only a handful of players in history have done as much to help their teams win. But career accomplishments mean only so much. To be considered one of the best players in baseball, you have to continue to play like one. And lately, A-Rod hasn’t looked a lot like an All-Star.
Rodriguez won his third AL MVP award in 2007. Since then, his performance has declined in five straight seasons. Most players can expect to see their numbers take a tumble after an MVP season, but A-Rod’s decline goes beyond routine regression. He’s not coming back down to earth. He’s falling off the face of it.
A look at how teams structure their payroll and the merits of the different strategies.
The general manager and owner’s dilemma been around since Ban Johnson decided that it was better to pay players rather than having them play as amateurs, the dilemma of trying to balance a budget with creating the most competitive team possible. We armchair GMs like to talk about whether this deal or that deal is good or bad, often within the framework of how much a player is being paid and whether they are “worth it.” Indeed, Baseball Prospectus strives daily to provide data that works to define that conversation.
The general manager’s dilemma, however, is tougher than, say, the budget that you or I set for our household. With some exceptions, most of us have a general sense of what our income and expenses will be. We may get a modest raise and the cost of living may increase at a rate that we can see coming, so for the most part, our monthly budgets can be set and we can adjust accordingly.
A look at ever-increasing player salaries and the player best-positioned to eclipse the $300 million mark
"Professional baseball is on the wane. Salaries must come down or the interest of the public must be increased in some way. If one or the other does not happen, bankruptcy stares every team in the face." – Albert Spalding, 1881
How long have we been hearing that baseball players are paid too much? By my count, it’s been since it was decided that they should be paid. Babe Ruth was the first to hit the $50,000 mark in 1922, and Hank Greenburg hit the $100,000 mark 25 years later.
Michael looks at some expected (and unexpected) values among PECOTA projections for corner infielders in 2012
As Draft Day approaches, many owners must make last-minute keeper decisions, which are often more complex than the binary, keep-him-or-dump-him variety of decision-making. In many leagues, owners can’t keep players for free; instead, a keeper’s cost depends on his Draft Day acquisition price or his 2011 performance. For these decisions, it’s helpful to identify rebound players—those who PECOTA projects will increase in value in 2012—although owners in redraft leagues will also find it helpful to identify Draft Day bargains. When your competitors are short-sighted, as is often the case, they will undervalue these rebound candidates, and owners in snake drafts can see who might slip to later rounds as a result.
Continuing last week’s theme, I’m looking at those players whose value is projected to rebound the most in 2012, leaving out players who lost most of the season due to injury or who should return less than $5 in 2012. Because PECOTA tends to project players conservatively, it’s notable when it expects top-shelf players to increase in value for 2012. I was surprised to find some of the names below, and I expect that BP Fantasy readers will be too.
As the sad tale of Nick Johnson shows, a high on-base percentage doesn't help unless you can stay in the lineup
One of the most difficult aspects of injury projection is deciding how to deal with acute injuries. Athletes often acquire a “bad luck” label that follows them over the course of a season or a career, even if their injuries haven’t followed a predictable pattern. It isn’t much of a surprise that out of all the hitters in the last decade, one such injury-prone player, Nick Johnson, has missed the most days on the disabled list and the third-most of any player.
The New York Yankees drafted Johnson in the third round of the 1996 draft. Like all of the other players on the DL Kings list, when Johnson has been healthy, he’s been a productive player. In his first season in the Sally League, he displayed power, speed, and a good eye, only to improve over the next two years. He also got his first taste of the injury bug in 1998 when he dove for a ball, tore his labrum, and underwent surgery. He missed six weeks.
A writer who never saw Jack Morris pitch watches him in action for the first time and comes away even less convinced that the traditionalist case for his candidacy should earn him a call to Cooperstown.
The two Davids conduct a humorous dialogue on all the hot stove happenings.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
David Raposa writes about music for Pitchfork and other places. He used to write about baseball for the blog formerly known as Yard Work. He occasionally blogs for himself, and he also tweets way too much.
Before you believe everything your team's general manager says, remember these great moments in GM-speak, featuring half-truths, misdirections, and statements that turned out to be false.
Baseball fans will believe almost anything if they’re starved enough for news. No source is too far removed from the situation, no rumor too far-fetched to attract attention as long as it arrives on a slow news day and can be expressed in 140 characters. Ruben Amaro thinks Vernon Wells could be the Phillies’ answer in left field and wants to offer him an extension? You don't say. Brian Sabean is considering signing a hitter? Now you’re pushing it, but sure, it could happen. A team is talking about trading Zack Greinke for Jeff Francoeur? Okay, so no one would actually say that. (Wait—someone did.)
When a piece of information is couched in conditionals and comes to us through multiple intermediaries—a writer plus someone he knows who knows someone else—we don’t expect perfect accuracy. Anonymously sourced tidbits are generally something to discuss and dream about, not something you can count on. But surely we can trust the men whose job it is to put their clubs together. After all, who would know better what’s in a team’s plans than the man in charge of making them? Can’t we take what a GM says as gospel?