Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bad Year May Force Red Sox In Right Direction

Bill James (USA Today)
In a fascinating piece on the FanGraphs website, Dave Cameron lays out a convincing case that the new "valuation" culture on Yawkey Way may be the wave of the future. In the past, Boston would target players based on talent evaluation, and then pay whatever the market would bear to get those players. The new reality—hinted at by the inimitable Bill James—is a more complete player valuation that factors in cost as well as talent. Frankly, this doesn't seem too dissimilar from the MoneyBall that Billy Beane started years ago, but what do I know? In any event, the awful 2012 season may have forced Boston to be a leading-edge player in this new orientation. As Cameron points out, the huge increases in national TV revenue will swell the coffers of even the most marginal franchises—pushing up the cost of free agents for everyone. Big-ticket free agent signings have been—and will likely continue to be—a bust. So, this new "valuation" method should stand a much better chance of success. This Winter will be the first test of this new paradigm. And that paradigm had better deliver a playoff team next October.