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Our first look inside the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

This is Part 1 of a multi-part series on the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement

On November 22 of last year, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA did something that the NFL and the NBA could not: reached a new labor agreement without a work stoppage. For those that follow baseball’s labor history, it has become a miraculous run. By the time the current five-year Basic Agreement (read here) expires on December 1, 2016, it will have been 21 years of uninterrupted labor peace.

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How does a player go from being undrafted to having a 1.60 ERA in the big leagues?

The Braves’ 50th pick in the 2008 draft, and the 1493rd pick overall, was a guy named Dylan Lightell. I don’t know much about Dylan Lightell. I don’t believe he pitched professionally. I think he has a profile at an electronic dance music site, with the personal statement “all add’d out,” which I guess makes Derek Lowe a good comp for him. And I know that major-league baseball teams thought 1,492 draft-eligible amateurs, but not 1,493 draft-eligible amateurs, were better than he was in 2008.

But, in 2008, I would have known even less about Brandon Beachy, who wasn’t drafted at all. Thirty teams, 50 rounds, 1,504 picks, and Beachy was untouched. Major-league baseball teams thought that at least 1,504 amateurs were better than he was in 2008, but for all we know they thought 1,504,000 amateurs were better than him. They might have thought he was the very worst baseball player in the world. There is no limit to how bad they might have thought he was, because he was drafted just as much as a non-physical entity, like, say, senioritis was drafted. Brandon Beachy has a 1.60 ERA.

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November 2, 2010 12:34 am

Analyze This: How the Rangers were Acquired, Part II


Jesse Behr

How the Rangers acquired their pitching staff.

While the San Francisco Giants celebrate their first World Series championship since heading out west, the Texas Rangers will continue their quest for their first title in 2011. The team has the foundation to keep winning, but a lot will depend on “the winter decision,” Cliff Lee style. Armed with a superb farm system and youngsters to fill gaps, they have plenty of options. Let’s see how the 2010 pitching corps was formed:

Draft Picks

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June 10, 2010 9:44 am

Contractual Matters: The Undrafted


Jeff Euston

Though a large percentage of professional baseball players got where they are by going through the draft, some had to find their own road to the majors.

The three-day event that is baseball’s First Year Player Draft wound to its conclusion Wednesday, and now the 1,525 young players chosen face choices. For high school seniors, should they play professionally or go to college? For most college players, stay in school or go pro?

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March 15, 2010 12:31 pm

Ahead in the Count: The No Turnover Standings


Matt Swartz

What would happen if players had to stay with the teams who originally drafted or signed them as amateurs?

"Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify because the players are always changing, the team can move to another city, you're actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it. You know what I mean? You are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player, but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt! They hate him now! Boo! Different shirt!! Boo!"

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October 10, 2007 12:00 am

Future Shock: How the Red Sox Were Built


Kevin Goldstein

A closer look at how each of the four LCS teams were put together kicks off with Boston's ballclub.

With the postseason underway, now is a good time to look at the final four participants and talk about where these players came from on a scouting and player development level. Sometimes we can learn quite a bit about how a team was built, and sometimes all we have are good stories. Since rosters are not due to MLB until the morning before a series' first game, we'll go off each team's divisional series roster, and start with the Red Sox.

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October 14, 2006 12:00 am

Future Shock: Where Did the Tigers and the Athletics Come From?


Kevin Goldstein

Even Alexis Gomez came from somewhere (Kansas City). Kevin tells us how the Tigers and A's acquired the rest of their postseason difference-makers.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160846402_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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Two weeks ago, the Cincinnati Reds undid perhaps the best part of last July's trade in which they sent a broken-down Denny Neagle to the Yankees for four prospects, one of which was erstwhile college football star Drew Henson. Henson's situation illustrates a problem far more important for competitive balance than disparities in the free-agent market: the vast differences in amateur and international signing budgets.

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