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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 9/11/18

The Athletics’ bullpen as a miracle; the questionable Josh Donaldson trade; Statcast fielder role models; Alex Anthopoulos and TINSTAAP

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MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jeff Sullivan: The Oakland Athletics have the highest bullpen WPA of any team since 1974. Not only are the likes of Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen a miracle in of themselves, but the real miracle is how the squad gets better and better as leverage increases, especially considering how poor they were from 2015-17.

The Athletic | Ken Rosenthal ($): Was the Josh Donaldson trade legal? It’s a question that is being thrown around among teams that competed for his services, largely because the belief is that if the player is injured, then it should not have been approved by the commissioner's office.

Tangotiger Blog | Tom Tango: I very much recommend wrapping your head around what Tango has been working on with fielder roles, because there’s a good chance it’s the frontier of future defensive stats using Statcast. As always I’m not going to pretend to try to explain this and his “naive models,” but I recommend engaging with it.\

Baseball Prospectus | Matthew Trueblood ($): Alex Anthopoulos is the ultimate TINSTAAP executive, valuing major league ready pitchers over prospects, and putting prospects on to the big league club immediately once ready. He has since gone on to the Braves to pout that philosophy into motion, and he has been largely successful. It’s a shame that the fading Blue Jays did not give him more time to rebuild.