Caught up with A’s GM/part-owner Billy Beane in the stands during the A’s-Dodgers game here today.
Lots of sun. Lots of chatting. Beane was revved up and relaxed.
...-Q: Did you need to rebuild the farm system because you’ve had a fall off in your drafting over the last five or six years?
-BEANE: The highest pick we’ve had since the ‘90s is 10—Choice was 10. In baseball, there’s a big difference between the top three picks and the ones after that…
We haven’t had the premium-premium picks in a long time. And a lot of the small-market teams are built on them, those first and second picks in the draft.
The reward… excuse me, the problem is, when you’re drafting first and second, that means you’ve probably lost 100 games, which we haven’t come close to doing. Not that we’re going to or are trying to do that.
But you can pay for mediocrity as well. And we haven’t had a lot of extra picks because we haven’t lost free agents.
-Q: Because you keep trading them before they’re free agents.
-BEANE: Yeah, the thing is, as the cost of salaries goes up, the time that you’re allowed to keep them is less and less.
If you look at the sequence, it used to be guys would go through free agency, the Giambis, the Tejadas. Then the Hudson, Mulders were four-plus, five-plus. Then the Harens, the Swishers were three-plus.
And now you’re going zero to two. So it just keeps shrinking and shrinking.