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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Billy Beane insists A’s committed to major rebuild

“Really, what’s been missing the last 20 years is keeping these players,” Beane said. “The frustration isn’t that we’ve had success, the frustration is that after success, we haven’t kept them, and we need to change that narrative by creating a good team and ultimately committing to keeping them around, so that when people buy a ticket, they’ll know that the team is going to be there for a few years.”....

“First of all, we have to take a look at where we are - we’re in last place. And the direction we’re heading is we’re going younger. We need to be disciplined with it, particularly with what we’re trying to do in the community as far as a stadium. There’s only one way to open a stadium successfully, and that’s with a good, young team.

“We’ve never really committed to a full rebuild. ... I will say this, and I’ve had a lot of conversations with ownership: there is a real commitment to finding a stadium. That’s not just lip service at this point, you’ve seen it.”

Asked again about his commitment to a rebuild, Beane said, “Absolutely, no doubt about it. The important end of the sentence is rebuilding and keeping them. This is my 20th year on the job. There are only so many cycles that I can go through before I get as exasperated as everybody else. Finding players has never been an issue for us. Keeping them and ultimately keeping the faith and commitment from people who follow the team, that’s got to be done by keeping them around. Again, I’ve been assured by ownership that that’s what we’re going to do as it parallels with the stadium.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2017 at 10:19 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, billy beane

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: July 16, 2017 at 11:57 PM (#5494511)
If only they had more talent to trade away in this rebuild.

Have to disagree with "finding players has never been an issue." Over the last 15 years or so, they've had a lot of trouble finding star players or even promising young players who don't pan out. As he says, they've never gone all in on a rebuild ... which also means that they've too often traded one good player for three prime-aged average ones.

A's 1st round picks since Moneyball and their career WAR (DNP means they never made the majors ... or haven't yet):

Quintanillo 0
Snyder DNP
Sullivan DNP
Street 14
Putnam 0
Robnett DNP
Powell 0
Buck 3
Pennington 11 (7 for the A's)
Brown 0
Doolittle 5 (only because he switched to pitching)
Simmons DNP
Weeks 1
Green 0
Choice 0
Gray 11 (and counting ... or traded)
Olson 0
Robertson 1
Russell 10 (none for the A's)
McKinney DNP
Chapman just made the majors

That's 56 WAR (about 42 for the A's) from 21 1st or 1s picks with Gray and Chapman still going. Given drafting position that may not be that much worse than expected but it's definitely not good. Whether the issue is the draft, an unwillingness to spend in the draft or poor development I don't know but there's just no way that a team like the A's can succeed generating only 3 WAR per year from their first round picks.

Here's a list of 4+-WAR position player seasons since 2002:

2003: Chavez, Tejada
2004: Chavez, Kotsay
2005: Chavez
2006: none
2007: Ellis, Swisher
2008: none
2009: none
2010: Daric Barton (right), Pennington
2011: none (nobody even made 3)
2012: Reddick
2013: Donaldson, Crisp
2014: Donaldson
2015: none
2016: none
2017: none (Lowrie has a shot)

Swisher was on a cost-controlled contract but got traded away right after that season. Reddick they held on to until just before becoming an FA. Crisp they held on to until the bitter end. Donaldson of course they traded in a terrible trade. It's not like holding on to Donaldson or signing Reddick as an FA would have made much of a difference.

That's also pretty much a list of the only consistently good players they had. Crisp, Reddick, Chavez, Ellis were all pretty productive for 3-5 seasons. But outside of that, you get the occasional 3 WAR season from guys like Vogt, Norris, Suzuki, Bobby Crosby or those "big" years from Barton and Pennington but that's mostly surrounded by poor seasons from those same guys.

So on the position player side, in terms of established players they wish they had held onto, it's basically Donaldson. His presence is unlikely to have changed things substantially but that was entirely a self-inflicted wound. For 2015-17, he has cost $33 M. They spent nearly that much on Billy Butler, not to mention the mediocre relievers, Rajai Davis, Matt Joyce, etc. The main return on that trade remains Franklin Barreto who made the majors earlier this year and could become a star (he's only 21) but he's stalled out in the prospect rankings and has put up solid but unspectacular minors numbers the last couple of years.
   2. Cargo Cultist Posted: July 17, 2017 at 09:43 AM (#5494534)
They should have held onto both Donaldson and Russell.
   3. Cargo Cultist Posted: July 17, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5494537)
So Billy Beane just traded two proven relievers for a broken one and a couple of lottery tickets. #%^*+=!!!

I used to think Beane knew something, but then he threw away Donaldson and Russell and started making trades like this.

He has become so bad at trading that he reminds me of the bad management of the old Kansas City Athletics, which used to routinely trade away anyone who had any talent or promise.

I congratulate the Nationals on what looks to be the trade of the year so far.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 17, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5494549)
So Billy Beane just traded two proven relievers for a broken one and a couple of lottery tickets. #%^*+=!!!

FWIW, the Pirates have done quite well picking up supposedly "broken" relievers from Rizzo and then letting them straighten themselves out in a slightly less hysterical environment. That's how they ended up with both Joel Hanrahan and Felipe Rivero.

So I can see the underlying appeal of that part of the trade.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 17, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5494558)
Street 14

Only about 6 of those were with the A's.
   6. Bote Man Posted: July 17, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5494578)
So the lesson from the Athletics is that even though Beane has been moving around the deck chairs quite a bit, the Titanic is still sinking.
   7. Cargo Cultist Posted: July 17, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5494585)
The lesson from Beane is that he should let someone else handle the trading.
   8. bfan Posted: July 17, 2017 at 12:25 PM (#5494607)
once you have been portrayed as a brilliant innovator (by Brad Pitt, no less) in a movie, it is all downhill from there.
   9. The Duke Posted: July 17, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5494682)
Beane was good at developing the technique of exploiting market inefficiencies. He just wasn't much good At anything else and now the market has equalized on his one strength. It's the story of America. Adapt or die

His trades lately have seemed just awful though - hard to believe he is that bad
   10. Khrushin it bro Posted: July 17, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5494789)
Beane has made some bad trades lately but I doubt this is the one that will haunt the A's. Doolittle has a bum shoulder and Madson is pretty good but also old. Treinen seems like he should be decent for the A's to replace Madson and Doolittle is a lottery ticket just like the prospects he brought back.
   11. Bote Man Posted: July 17, 2017 at 06:51 PM (#5494930)
So Beane was good in the beginning, but then...
   12. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: July 17, 2017 at 07:39 PM (#5494949)
Beane deserves respect for being the pioneer he was. It's also true that, but for the wonderful fortune of coming up with three ace pitchers at the same time and having them all stay healthy through their cheap years, he would probably have been fired from his also-ran team by about 2004 and who knows what direction his life may have taken then.
   13. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 18, 2017 at 12:23 AM (#5495061)
If I detach my emotional affection for Doolittle, I can almost see how this makes sense for the A's.

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