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06-05

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17

Skewed Left: The Economics of the Singleton Extension
by
Zachary Levine

04-24

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 435: The Battle of Bad First-Base Contracts
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

02-06

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7

Skewed Left: The Truth About One-Day Contracts
by
Zachary Levine

01-31

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13

Pebble Hunting: The Opt-Out Hater's Case for Opt-Outs
by
Sam Miller

11-22

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 335: Your Questions, Our Answers
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

09-17

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5

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 288: The Appeal of Year-to-Year Contracts/Ranking Contenders By Rootability
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

07-12

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7

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 242: The All-No-Bang-for-Your-Buck Team
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-29

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7

Overthinking It: How Will Josh Hamilton Age?
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-27

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 89: The Evan Longoria Extension, the Rays, and Why Players Aren't Holding Out for More Money
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-09

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 80: Could Josh Hamilton Be a Bargain?/Are the Financially Responsible Yankees for Real?
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-05

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11

Bizball: Sizing Up a Seven-Year, $175 Million Deal for Josh Hamilton
by
Maury Brown

10-18

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29

Overthinking It: Baseball's Most Immovable Players
by
Ben Lindbergh

08-08

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49

Future Shock: Considering a Trout Extension
by
Kevin Goldstein

08-07

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 15: Cat Fight
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

04-15

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21

Baseball ProGUESTus: The Scott Boras Factor: Reality or Hype?
by
Vince Gennaro

05-17

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32

Ahead in the Count: The Cost of OPP
by
Matt Swartz

05-10

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22

Ahead in the Count: If They Stay or If They Go
by
Matt Swartz

04-23

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5

Ahead in the Count: Methodology of The New MORP
by
Matt Swartz

11-23

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20

Transaction Action: Fill'er Up!
by
Christina Kahrl

02-25

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4

The Ledger Domain: Salary Arbitration Beats Free Agency
by
Maury Brown

01-21

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Transaction Analysis: Dodging the Arbitrator
by
Christina Kahrl

02-10

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Transaction Analysis: NL West and NL Catchup
by
Christina Kahrl

02-07

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Transaction Analysis: AL West Catchup and Recent AL Moves
by
Christina Kahrl

02-06

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Transaction Analysis: NL Central Catchup
by
Christina Kahrl

02-15

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Transaction Analysis: National League, December 15, 2005-February 11, 2006
by
Christina Kahrl

02-14

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Transaction Analysis: American League, December 15, 2005-February 13, 2006
by
Christina Kahrl

11-23

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Transaction Analysis: November 18-22
by
Christina Kahrl

04-12

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Transaction Analysis: March 29-April 4, 2005
by
Christina Kahrl

03-11

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Transaction Analysis: Offseason - The Centrals
by
Christina Kahrl

02-14

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Transaction Analysis: Offseason - The Easts
by
Christina Kahrl

11-29

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Transaction Analysis: November 17-22, 2004
by
Christina Kahrl

04-06

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Transaction Analysis: March 31-April 5, 2004
by
Christina Kahrl

02-11

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Transaction Analysis: January 12-February 6, 2004
by
Christina Kahrl

04-09

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Transaction Analysis: March 25-April 6, 2003
by
Christina Kahrl

02-05

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Transaction Analysis: Transaction Analysis, The Wests
by
Christina Kahrl

01-25

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Transaction Analysis: The Easts
by
Christina Kahrl

01-22

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Transaction Analysis: January 13-21
by
Christina Kahrl

01-07

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Transaction Analysis: December 2-28
by
Dave Pease and Christina Kahrl

03-31

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Transaction Analysis: March 27-31
by
Christina Kahrl

01-19

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Transaction Analysis: January 5-15
by
Christina Kahrl

01-05

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Transaction Analysis: December 19-January 4
by
Christina Kahrl

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June 5, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: The Economics of the Singleton Extension

17

Zachary Levine

Why all the incentives are aligned in favor of contracts like the Astros' new first baseman's, and how that could change.

Leave it to the Astros, a team that's spent the last few years sending fans running to the record books, to the legal dictionary, and occasionally to the therapist, to be the team that in 2014 is sending us back to economics class.

Their general manager, Jeff Luhnow, has both an undergraduate business degree and a Kellogg MBA. Their assistant GM, David Stearns, came from the salary arbitration and collective bargaining team at MLB headquarters. Down the depth chart, their baseball operations analyst, Brandon Taubman, came from the derivatives trading world. Hell, their analogue of a traveling secretary (on this team a more comprehensive “manager of team operations”), Dan O’Neill, per his bio:

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Ben and Sam banter about Josh Johnson, Michael Pineda, and more, then choose between the Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera contracts.

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February 6, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: The Truth About One-Day Contracts

7

Zachary Levine

Do one-day contracts actually exist? And should they?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (SEO Power Boost!) was even to most baseball fans the most recognizable name taken in baseball’s Rule 5 draft, and by far the most recognizable name taken in the generally ignored minor league phase.

That’s only because the biggest name available was passed over, though.

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January 31, 2014 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: The Opt-Out Hater's Case for Opt-Outs

13

Sam Miller

Do opt-out clauses favor the player or the team?

There are certain things that seem so obvious that I can’t even conceive of a counterargument. Then somebody presents a counterargument! This is why places like BP exist, to provide the counterargument to the obvious, and expose the nuance, and remind us of how often we only see one part of something. Nothing is ever so obvious as you think.

I’ve been horrified by player opt-out clauses for five years. They have always seemed to be terrible for the club, unless they come with some significant discount that the player takes to have that clause in his contract. (We’ll never know whether this discount is there, because each player’s maximum price is difference; eyeballing such deals—like Masahiro Tanaka’s, for instance—I’d argue that there’s no clear evidence of such a discount.)

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Ben and Sam answer listener emails about switching positions between batters, specialist scouts, risk-averse skippers, a team of top prospects, and more.

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Ben and Sam discuss why players don't choose year-to-year contracts, then rank contending teams by rootability.

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Ben and Sam draft the worst player contracts to see who can spend the most money for the least production.

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November 29, 2012 12:20 pm

Overthinking It: How Will Josh Hamilton Age?

7

Ben Lindbergh

The top free agent outfielder has a hitting style that should scare teams considering buying his mid-30s.

At some point this winter, a team with money to spend and an opening in the outfield for a big left-handed bat will make Josh Hamilton a very wealthy man. With the Winter Meetings approaching and some big names already off the board, the baseball world is wondering “When?” and “How Wealthy?” Hamilton’s home run totals and 2010 MVP season make him one of the most enticing talents on the market, but his age, injury record, history of substance abuse, and performance away from the hitter’s parks he’s called home give general managers plenty of reasons to think twice before committing to a long-term contract.

We can tack on yet another concern to that long list of red flags: Hamilton is not a patient hitter. Over the course of his career, he’s struck out at an above-average rate and walked at a (barely) below-average rate, despite the fact that pitchers have plenty of incentive to stay away from his power. Last season, his tendency to swing (and chase) grew much more pronounced, while his contact percentage plummeted.

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Ben and Sam discuss Evan Longoria's second extension and why players aren't holding out for a bigger slice of the revenue pie.

Ben and Sam discuss Evan Longoria's second extension and why players aren't holding out for a bigger slice of the revenue pie.

Episode 89: "The Evan Longoria Extension, the Rays, and Why Players Aren't Holding Out for More Money"

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Ben and Sam discuss whether Josh Hamilton could end up signing a reasonable contract after all and talk about whether the Yankees can commit to and compete despite their goal to get under the luxury tax threshold by 2014.

Ben and Sam discuss whether Josh Hamilton could end up signing a reasonable contract after all and talk about whether the Yankees can commit to and compete despite their goal to get under the luxury tax threshold by 2014.

Episode 80: "Could Josh Hamilton Be a Bargain?/Are the Financially Responsible Yankees for Real?"

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Will Josh Hamilton find the contract he's looking for this winter? And should be?

When the Rangers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Orioles in the AL Wild Card play-in game, Josh Hamilton sounded the part of a politician. The Ranger faithful had booed him during the game in part for his numbers during that play-in game—he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, both on three pitches—but really for his lackluster performance in the second half of the regular season (16 homers and an .833 OPS compared to 27 homers with a 1.016 OPS in the first half).

"I always would love to stay here," Hamilton said at the time of the loss to the Orioles. "They understand that. They know that. When we talked earlier in the year, we didn't get things worked out, so we said we'd wait until the year was over. They obviously get first shot. I told them they'd get first shot at the end of the year. We'll see what happens."

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October 18, 2012 11:26 am

Overthinking It: Baseball's Most Immovable Players

29

Ben Lindbergh

According to reports, the Marlins may have interest in Alex Rodriguez. Where does he rank among baseball's most difficult players to deal?

According to a report published yesterday, Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria have had a casual conversation about the possibility of a trade between the two teams involving Alex Rodriguez. While the Marlins could use a third baseman and Rodriguez has close ties to Miami, it seems unlikely that they would be willing to pay much of the money he’s owed, and although the Yankees would like to avoid the rest of A-Rod’s decline phase, they won’t want to give him away. Even if there’s little substance to this particular report, though, it could be the opening salvo in a series of A-Rod rumors that might make the rounds this winter.

A-Rod’s combination of age, salary, and disappointing performance would make him a nightmare to move, but where does his contract rank among the majors’ most difficult to deal? No contract is truly untradeable if a team decides it’s a sunk cost, but the dozen deals below would find few takers unless a team were willing to help pay the player’s way out of town. (Note: rankings mostly for fun.)

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