FanPost

AA's Unwillingness to Spend - I'm Fine with it

I'm getting tired of reading people say that the Jays should spend large sums of money.

I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Listen to The Jays Talk and it won't take you long to hear a few opinions that you think are worthless. I expect that a few of you will find what I'm about to say worthless.

If AA doesn't spend wisely, we could easily end up with a payroll well north of $100 million and still not be winning more than 85-88 games, which won't get us into the playoffs. Without a realistic chance of making the playoffs, they won't be putting fannies in the seats or getting the ratings needed to justify the spending. Ultimately, whether you want to believe it or not, Rogers MUST show a return on their investment. It is a public company that is responsible to its shareholders.

The mandate that AA has been given is to build a competitive teams that fans will watch - either in the stadium or through the media. Playoff revenue streams help justify this spending. Alex will spend, but be sure of this, he will spend wisely.

To spend $125MM on Darvish for 5 years means that you have to expect him to put up 5 WAR/yr on average over his contract. That's more than Verlander over the past 5 years but about 1 WAR/yr less than Sabathia.

How about Prince Fielder? Over the past four or five years he's averaged 4 WAR/yr, and it won't be long until he's just like Big Papi - no good for anything but DH'ing. In his age 28 through age 35 years, Ortiz has averaged 3.64 WAR and only 2.2 over his last 4 years. I'm very comfortable with the Jays sticking to their "5-yr max" contract policy. (All WARs I am quoting are from BR.)

Free agent signings are to baseball what mergers and acquisitions are in business: on average you overpay, on average they're bad decisions, on average there's more downside than upside. Why? Quite simply, the "winner" of the bidding is the one with the highest perception of value - this is what we call "The Winner's Curse".

Add to this is the perception - which may have been proven by someone, but I'm not aware of the study - that players have a tendency to perform really well in the free agent year - creating an even more misleading impression of what the value of a player is.

So I'm going to sit back and chill. I don't expect to see AA to make moves just for the sake of "doing something" to appease a restless fanbase. I'm going to be patient and expect Anthopoulos to make mostly good moves that will, on balance, create surplus value. That will mean that he will have the slack or flexibility to be able to make a move or two or three when the opportunity is there and the time is right. In business, we call these options, and they are valuable. And that is how you create a winner.

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