To catch the young D'backs for the division, the other contending teams--including the defending NL champs--will have to shift team-building philosophies.
This is the last of a six-part preview of the impending offseason. Once I hit the 'submit' button and send this article to Christina, my column output is likely to be sporadic over the next several weeks as I tend to BP2K8 and PECOTA. I'll still be pitching in on Unfiltered in the meantime, and we'll have plenty of coverage for you as the stove turns from lukewarm to white hot.
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The top and the bottom of the powerhouse division can build from within, leaving the AL East's middle class in an precarious spot.
This is the fifth of six-part preview of the impending off-season. I had been holding off on the two divisions involving World Series combatants until the games had concluded, but with the Series' hasty conclusion on Sunday--and Scott Boras' equally quick declaration that it's A-Rod Huntin' Season--now is the time to cover the AL East, where all five teams will have some very interesting decisions to make.
The first in a six-part series on the challenges and possible courses of action in each division, leading off with the AL Central's five teams.
This is the first of a six-part preview of the impending offseason, which I'll cycle through relatively quickly over the course of the next couple of weeks. While it might seem sacrilege to write about the Hot Stove League at a time when the 21 most important games of the baseball season remain to be played, I hope it will be of some interest to the 87 percent of you whose teams have now been knocked out of playoff contention. From everything we've been hearing, winter madness is going to start early this year, with a series of key decision points revolving around Alex Rodriguez and some of the other biggest names in the sport.
Rany looks past the Braves' last bargain deal with Andruw Jones to an even worse contract for a player.
And few lists are more fun to break out than the list of the worst free-agent contracts of all time. We love any excuse to mock owners for their reckless decisions; plus, as fans, we have a morbid sense of pride in having been forced to taste the bitter fruit of those moves. Darren Dreifort,
The Braves' bench looks ugly. The Dodgers make some nifty deals. The Mets inexplicably hand starting jobs to Tyler Yates and Scott Erickson. The Rangers unload Einar Diaz on the Expos. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
The Braves strike NRI gold with Russell Branyan. The Astros do what they need to do to compete in the NL Central. Everything you ever wanted to read about Eric Karros. The Padres address their chasm in center. These and other news, notes, and Kahrlisms in today's Transaction Analysis.
"Who of us would not be glad to lift the veil behind which the future lies hidden, to cast a glance at the next advances of our science and at the secrets of its development during future years? What particular goals will there be toward which the leading sabermetric spirits of coming generations will strive? What new methods and new facts in the wide and rich field of sabermetric thought will the new years disclose?" Here at Baseball Prospectus, we're not completely immune to the general fascination with the recent turn of the world's odometer. So, with this edition marking the final year of the second millennium, let's take a look forward at what the third holds for us seamheads. Our inspiration comes from a similar effort nearly 100 years ago. In 1900, a mathematician named David Hilbert addressed the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris and delivered what was to become history's most influential speech about mathematics. Hilbert outlined 23 major problems to be studied in the coming century. In doing so he expressed optimism about the field, sharing his feeling that unsolved problems were a sign of vitality, encouraging more people to do more research. The above quote is, in fact, a bastardization of the opening statements of Hilbert's speech. Hilbert referred to mathematics instead of sabermetrics and spoke in terms of "centuries" instead of "years." Given the relative youth of sabermetrics and baseball analysis compared to math, it's appropriate to use a period of smaller scope than Hilbert. The quotes that appear periodically throughout this essay are similarly taken from Hilbert's speech and altered to refer to baseball analysis.
At the end of January, I was fortunate enough to sit down and talk with executives from a couple of clubs, and reader response was heavy and extremely positive. So we've imposed once again on the executive of the AL Club who was so generous with his time back in January, and here's what he had to say as we approach the final third of the season.
Baseball Prospectus: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us again. The readers really liked the last one. I think I received over 300 pieces of mail, many sure they knew who you were.