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Thread: There are few scenarios where I would do it...

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    I will make the observation that the most valuable years of most players (measured from a surplus value perspective) are their pre-arb seasons. So if the concern is not wasting valuable years during non-competitive seasons, and further if you believe 2018 and 2019 to be likely non-competitive seasons, then the logic that argues for trading Freeman even more powerfully applies to Acuna and Albies. I don't agree with the premises of the argument. But if you take the premises and apply the logic, then the conclusion follows.

    Abstracting from positional need, any contending team that would love to have Freeman this year and next would love to have Acuna and Albies even more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    I will make the observation that the most valuable years of most players (measured from a surplus value perspective) are their pre-arb seasons. So if the concern is not wasting valuable years during non-competitive seasons, and further if you believe 2018 and 2019 to be likely non-competitive seasons, then the logic that argues for trading Freeman even more powerfully applies to Acuna and Albies. I don't agree with the premises of the argument. But if you take the premises and apply the logic, then the conclusion follows.

    Abstracting from positional need, any contending team that would love to have Freeman this year and next would love to have Acuna and Albies even more.
    Okay this might sound stupid but just roll with me...

    We trade Acuna, Albies, Freeman and any other value for 8-9 top 100 prospects to add to our already 9ish top 100 prospects. Out of those 17, probably 6-7 of them will hit and we can trade them for about 25 top prospects. Out of those probably 9-10 will hit then we can trade those for like 35 top 100 prospects. THEN we can rinse and repeat until we have every top 100 prospect in baseball


    THEN!!! We can trade those hundred guys for the top 300ish in baseball and literally never have to worry about our farm system ever again. Guys I think I have just life hacked roster construction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanieAntics View Post
    Okay this might sound stupid but just roll with me...

    We trade Acuna, Albies, Freeman and any other value for 8-9 top 100 prospects to add to our already 9ish top 100 prospects. Out of those 17, probably 6-7 of them will hit and we can trade them for about 25 top prospects. Out of those probably 9-10 will hit then we can trade those for like 35 top 100 prospects. THEN we can rinse and repeat until we have every top 100 prospect in baseball


    THEN!!! We can trade those hundred guys for the top 300ish in baseball and literally never have to worry about our farm system ever again. Guys I think I have just life hacked roster construction.
    Well a lot of perfectly valid arguments suffer from reductio ad asurdum.

    But Harry is nothing if not logical and consistent. I think he has always viewed a contending window where the team sits at about 90 expected wins as not something worthy of shooting for. He wants a great team, which I believe he would say is one that sits 95 or higher on the expected win curve. To accomplish this he is willing to suffer as many years in the wilderness as necessary. So this rinse and repeat process that you described rather well doesn't go on forever. It goes on until you reach a certain point on the expected win curve. That's my take on Harry's argument.
    Last edited by nsacpi; 03-15-2018 at 08:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    I will make the observation that the most valuable years of most players (measured from a surplus value perspective) are their pre-arb seasons. So if the concern is not wasting valuable years during non-competitive seasons, and further if you believe 2018 and 2019 to be likely non-competitive seasons, then the logic that argues for trading Freeman even more powerfully applies to Acuna and Albies. I don't agree with the premises of the argument. But if you take the premises and apply the logic, then the conclusion follows.

    Abstracting from positional need, any contending team that would love to have Freeman this year and next would love to have Acuna and Albies even more.
    I expect better from you.

    You conveniently leave out age. Freeman will be 30 in 2020 with only 2 years left on his contract at $22M per. Yeah, that's the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsehide Harry View Post
    I expect better from you.

    You conveniently leave out age. Freeman will be 30 in 2020 with only 2 years left on his contract at $22M per. Yeah, that's the same.
    Actually I don't think age is as relevant to the argument as you think. It is indirectly accounted for anyhow (through the aging curve) in any calculation of expected surplus value. Put another way, Albies and Acuna are going to depreciate more as assets to the club over the next two years than Freeman will. Young pre-arb players have the highest depreciation rate of any category of player. It seems paradoxical because they are still improving while older players are going downhill. The reason for it is that their production relative to cost is so high in those pre-arb years, and you never get that back as you burn through those years.
    Last edited by nsacpi; 03-15-2018 at 08:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsehide Harry View Post
    The Braves won't be competitive in 2018. It may look like they will for a while because the schedule is extremely easy early, so if they go into the All-Star break under .500 look out, but the offense is awful, likely worse than last year, the pen is completely untested and the SP is made up of uncertain youngsters and veterans held together with pins and tape. Yes, there are individual areas for excitement: the development of Albies, Acuna and Swanson, hopefully some of the young pitching, etc. But it isn't a good TEAM.

    So the hope is they begin to gel a bit in 2019. Freeman will supply about 5 WAR for that season. If you can get 2.5 WAR out of the players you received in trade and 2.5 WAR out of the money that you saved by trading Freeman, then you have covered what you would have gotten out of Freeman. Of course it's not that simple unless the players that you get your WAR out of are replacing players where you got 0 WAR the previous year, like for instance playing Tucker in place of Lane Adams or Markakis and Donaldson in place of Camargo, plus whoever plays 1B adds WAR as well in theory.

    Or you could KEEP Freeman and his 5 WAR, add Donaldson and his 5 WAR, eating up the majority of the money that you have to use, try to limp by with a replacement level OF next to Inciarte and Acuna and a catcher replacing Flowers and Suzuki, hope for a WC and watch the team get old and expensive by the end of 2021.
    I never said 2018... I said next year. Your scenario is assinine at this stage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsehide Harry View Post
    I expect better from you.

    You conveniently leave out age. Freeman will be 30 in 2020 with only 2 years left on his contract at $22M per. Yeah, that's the same.
    So that's 3-4 years of control of a star in his prime years while we are also likely to be competitive... yeah smart.
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    I also don’t think we get that much value out of Freeman. He is a great player on a pretty ok contract. But teams are not giving up three great prospect that are really close like that. Remember what people here said when the fish wanted Acuna for yelich. Yeah. That is what Houston would say if you asked for those three for freeman.
    Coppy

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    Well a lot of perfectly valid arguments suffer from reductio ad asurdum.

    But Harry is nothing if not logical and consistent. I think he has always viewed a contending window where the team sits at about 90 expected wins as not something worthy of shooting for. He wants a great team, which I believe he would say is one that sits 95 or higher on the expected win curve. To accomplish this he is willing to suffer as many years in he wilderness as necessary. So this rinse and repeat process that you described rather well doesn't go on forever. It goes on until you reach a certain point on the expected win curve. That's my take on Harry's argument.
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You're moving closer to my thinking but missing the totality which is that a 90 win team with limited resources has little chance to win anything of substance AND has little chance to pull itself into a different realm of resources. It reaches a high water mark then recedes quickly back because it doesn't have the resources to put itself over the top NOR keep itself close for long.

    BUT, a small market club with limited payroll CAN pull itself out IF it commits to a long term vision, and creates waves of inhouse young talent and spends its FA dollars wisely. It happened for the Braves of the early 1990's because the team was good and young (people point to Ted's wallet but he really didn't open it wide until the team became successful and started drawing big - but he didn't need to either). Once there, smartly run teams can stay there a long time even without unlimited payrolls. Look at the Cardinals.

    People point to aberrations like Kansas City and say "see it can be done." My position was that they were a good team that got extremely lucky AND got hot at the right time, a true long shot. And now they are heading for a rebuild (or should be). The Pirates are the same, except without the WS. Tampa. Oakland. Those teams use payroll as an excuse, which is a factor. But they also build for short term mediocrity with hopes of being competitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zbhargrove View Post
    I never said 2018... I said next year. Your scenario is assinine at this stage.
    Your opinion. Small mind. Small worldview.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsehide Harry View Post
    Your opinion. Small mind. Small worldview.
    Lol... you started off okay then went into typical HH tactics because I don't have your same opinion... which no other person in the world does
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsehide Harry View Post
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You're moving closer to my thinking but missing the totality which is that a 90 win team with limited resources has little chance to win anything of substance AND has little chance to pull itself into a different realm of resources. It reaches a high water mark then recedes quickly back because it doesn't have the resources to put itself over the top NOR keep itself close for long.

    BUT, a small market club with limited payroll CAN pull itself out IF it commits to a long term vision, and creates waves of inhouse young talent and spends its FA dollars wisely. It happened for the Braves of the early 1990's because the team was good and young (people point to Ted's wallet but he really didn't open it wide until the team became successful and started drawing big - but he didn't need to either). Once there, smartly run teams can stay there a long time even without unlimited payrolls. Look at the Cardinals.

    People point to aberrations like Kansas City and say "see it can be done." My position was that they were a good team that got extremely lucky AND got hot at the right time, a true long shot. And now they are heading for a rebuild (or should be). The Pirates are the same, except without the WS. Tampa. Oakland. Those teams use payroll as an excuse, which is a factor. But they also build for short term mediocrity with hopes of being competitive.
    You do realize the early 90s teams had tons of holes with a few players that played out of their minds for like the only 2 or 3'yesrs of their careers, right? Rafael Belliard, Lemke, Blauser, Lonnie Smith, etc... even Pendleton... those guys sucked offensively except for one or two Chris Johnson type freak years.
    Enscheff is the most brilliant baseball mind of our time. No seriously. he's fantastic and really remarkable. You're going to love him. Magnificent. Really great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsehide Harry View Post
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You're moving closer to my thinking but missing the totality which is that a 90 win team with limited resources has little chance to win anything of substance AND has little chance to pull itself into a different realm of resources. It reaches a high water mark then recedes quickly back because it doesn't have the resources to put itself over the top NOR keep itself close for long.

    BUT, a small market club with limited payroll CAN pull itself out IF it commits to a long term vision, and creates waves of inhouse young talent and spends its FA dollars wisely. It happened for the Braves of the early 1990's because the team was good and young (people point to Ted's wallet but he really didn't open it wide until the team became successful and started drawing big - but he didn't need to either). Once there, smartly run teams can stay there a long time even without unlimited payrolls. Look at the Cardinals.

    People point to aberrations like Kansas City and say "see it can be done." My position was that they were a good team that got extremely lucky AND got hot at the right time, a true long shot. And now they are heading for a rebuild (or should be). The Pirates are the same, except without the WS. Tampa. Oakland. Those teams use payroll as an excuse, which is a factor. But they also build for short term mediocrity with hopes of being competitive.
    You and I are actually similarly ambitious in terms of what we think a team with the Braves resources can accomplish. For me it is more about being ruthlessly efficient, which I think would allow the Braves to stay at 85-90 wins over a 10-year window. For you it is about aiming higher. But I think it is virtually impossible to reach what you are shooting for and stay there for anything more than 3 or 4 years. Neither of our approaches guarantees anything about winning a WS. It is not clear to me which approach maximizes the chances of a championship over a ten year period.

    I do think my approach is more realistic in terms of what the club as a business feels it can ask for from an impatient fan base in a fickle market.
    Last edited by nsacpi; 03-15-2018 at 08:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    Actually I don't think age is as relevant to the argument as you think. It is indirectly accounted for anyhow (through the aging curve) in any calculation of expected surplus value. Put another way, Albies and Acuna are going to depreciate more as assets to the club over the next two years than Freeman will. Young pre-arb players have the highest depreciation rate of any category of player. It seems paradoxical because they are still improving while older players are going downhill. The reason for it is that their production relative to cost is so high in those pre-arb years, and you never get that back as you burn through those years.
    There's a difference in the whole. You don't trade Albies and Acuna because their abilities (and value) are ascending and should be through the early stages of a window of contention whereas Freeman's value is descending with his peak being before the window of contention. You can't trade either Acuna or Albies right now for the package that you would get back for Freeman because they are relative unknowns at this time with inexpensive promise being their best asset. Non contending teams would never trade you the equivalent of Tucker, Whitley and Celestino for Acuna OR Albies. But Houston might make that trade for Freeman because they are firmly in their window of opportunity and he well could lead them to another WS title. Sure, they likely would view the package as an overpay but Whitley is tarnished by the PED bust, Celestino is a long way away and they don't have a current opening for Tucker and have other alternatives. Freeman is known and known to the Astros may be more valuable to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zbhargrove View Post
    Lol... you started off okay then went into typical HH tactics because I don't have your same opinion... which no other person in the world does
    That's an assinine (sic) response

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsehide Harry View Post
    There's a difference in the whole. You don't trade Albies and Acuna because their abilities (and value) are ascending and should be through the early stages of a window of contention whereas Freeman's value is descending with his peak being before the window of contention. You can't trade either Acuna or Albies right now for the package that you would get back for Freeman because they are relative unknowns at this time with inexpensive promise being their best asset. Non contending teams would never trade you the equivalent of Tucker, Whitley and Celestino for Acuna OR Albies. But Houston might make that trade for Freeman because they are firmly in their window of opportunity and he well could lead them to another WS title. Sure, they likely would view the package as an overpay but Whitley is tarnished by the PED bust, Celestino is a long way away and they don't have a current opening for Tucker and have other alternatives. Freeman is known and known to the Astros may be more valuable to them.
    Yes but one of the big drivers of winning is "free production" from pre-arb players. The more of that you have the more you can concentrate your spending on the remaining holes on the team. Right now the Astros have so much free production they can bring in guys like Verlander and Cole and hypothetically Freeman. But that window snaps shut very fast. Especially if they empty out the farm for someone like Freeman. They didn't waste any of the free production that guys like Correa and Bregman are giving them. If you are right about the 2018 and 2019 outlooks, we would be wasting a lot of free production from Albies, Acuna, Gohara and others.
    Last edited by nsacpi; 03-15-2018 at 09:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    You and I are actually similarly ambitious in terms of what we think a team with the Braves resources can accomplish. For me it is more about being ruthlessly efficient, which I think would allow the Braves to stay at 85-90 wins over a 10-year window. For you it is about aiming higher. But I think it is virtually impossible to reach what you are shooting for and stay there for anything more than 3 or 4 years. Neither of our approaches guarantees anything about winning a WS. It is not clear to me which approach maximizes the chances of a championship over a ten year period.

    I do think my approach is more realistic in terms of what the club as a business feels it can ask for from an impatient fan base in a fickle market.
    That's is certainly a consideration and may be true. However, I would say that winning, especially in the Braves market, is the best way to win and keep fans. Even then, if you don't win it all at some point, Braves fans will drift away just as happened during the "Dynasty." I think the Braves FO has the perfect opportunity to do something like this since they had the scandal offseason. They could arrive, say that the rebuild is going well but delayed longer than was stated by the previous regime (which can't be disputed) and ask for patience while they clean up the debris left behind and finish the rebuild.

    The illusion of greatness only lasts so long in a market like Atlanta IMO. Sure, they can feed the masses the idea of competing for championships soon, but if they don't then they will be looking at a lot of empty seats quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsacpi View Post
    Yes but one of the big drivers of winning is "free production" from pre-arb players. The more of that you have the more you can concentrate your spending on the remaining holes on the team. Right now the Astros have so much free production they can bring in guys like Verlander and Cole and hypothetically Freeman. But that window snaps shut very fast. Especially if they trade for someone like Freeman.
    And that would be the case for the Braves of the future UNLESS they have established waves of talent where they could move expense and replace with new young talent. Houston could do the trade I proposed and STILL have a pretty significant farm to fall back on. Keep in mind that Houston, like Atlanta, is in a large market but historically has positioned its payroll as mid tier mostly - they finished 2017 with the 19th highest payroll according to COTS. They could (and Atlanta could) theoretically move their payroll into the top 10 or even 5 as they ride the wave of their run. Or they could rely on low cost influx from their farm. I think they will do a little of both. The Braves should follow Houston's example (hopefully learn from their mistakes) not Pittsburgh or Tampa's example.

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    The time has passed to trade Freeman, and I was one that was all for it. I don’t think you could ever get even equal value for what we would be giving up at this point....and if you trade Freeman...it better be a slam dunk win (like Vlad JR +).

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    Houston is not making that trade. They could just have easily signed Hosmer, Santana, or JD Martinez at similar rates and stuck them at 1b while giving up zero prospects.

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