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Economics of Baseball

MLB Payrolls and the Cost of a Win

An in-depth analysis of how teams are spending their money and the returns they should expect going into 2014.

The real cost of a Mike Trout deal

Mike Trout is rumored to be about to sign a long-term deal. What is the real cost of such a deal, and what will he have to do live up to it?

Dayton Moore and the division of baseball theories

If the Royals think they've built a core poised for a breakout, why didn't they employ the same type of extension strategy as the Atlanta Braves this winter?

Which comes first, payroll or wins?

There is a correlation between higher payrolls and more wins, but which is the cause and which the effect?

The Fairness of the Qualifying Offer System

In the two offseasons since the qualifying offer system was put in place, a handful of players have been greatly impacted -- but that doesn't necessarily mean the consequences of QOs are unfair or unexpected.

Should you build your team with money or talent?

Do high payrolls really lead to winning more games? Do strong farm systems build consistent winners? Take a look at some multi-year trends in baseball and decide how you would build your ideal team!.

What's Next for the Australian Baseball League?

Major League Baseball has a controlling interest in the Australian Baseball League, but although it has several options, what MLB should do next with the ABL is not so clear.

Replacing the draft with an auction

Could changes to the current draft system make things a little more interesting?

The Likely Financial Benefits of Signing Tanaka

In signing Masahiro Tanaka, the New York Yankees are likely to benefit from increased revenue from Japan -- but not as much as they enjoyed by signing Hideki Matsui.

MLB Salary Trends

Clayton Kershaw will be paid $30+ million a year--is there a limit to baseball salaries?

Are elite GB% relievers undervalued?

Part of what makes a high-GB% reliever valuable is the increased likelihood of double plays. But how much value does that add?

A DH compromise

Rules harmony does not require one league to adopt the DH (or non-DH) rules of the other. Hybrid solutions are feasible -- and linking the DH to starting pitchers would keep many of the best aspects of both kinds of baseball.

Baseball 2015--A Bill James Essay Re-Visited

Bill James wrote an essay titled "Baseball 2015" in his New Historical Baseball Abstract. This post reviews some of his points and how they've developed in the intervening 10+ years.

Saves Are Distorting Arbitration Salaries

Closers are receiving inflated salaries in arbitration but some teams can and should take advantage of the situation by keeping young pitchers out of the ninth inning

Why teams still shouldn’t be paying for relievers

It is a common refrain for sabermetric writers to complain about how teams spend significant money on free-agent relievers. With that in mind, I built a bullpen out of the remaining relief options in free agency and see just what is still out there.

Baseball 2015--A Bill James Essay Reviewed

Bill James wrote an essay titled "Baseball 2015" around 15 years ago. How did what he wrote turn out?

To spend or not to spend...on an ace

At this point in the offseason, many teams have big needs but limited resources. Often, the most common need for a team is starting pitching. But is it worth it to spend on an ace, or would signing two mid-level guys be more efficient?

Surveying the market: Outfield

Rounding out our free agent preview with a look at the available outfielders.

Fielder, Kinsler, and moving those giant contracts

With the Tigers moving one of baseball's biggest contracts, is it time we start to think differently about what those massive deals really represent?

Surveying the market: Shortstops

As the offseason signings really start to heat up, we continue a preview of the market by looking at the available shortstops.

Surveying the market: Starting pitchers

There may not be many elite starters available this winter, but add in the pitchers who could be dangled out on the trade market and a certain Japanese star, and the starting pitching market does have some intrigue.

Surveying the market: Third Base

If your team is in the market for a new third baseman this offseason, who are the players they should be targeting?

Surveying the market: Second Base

While we know that there is one standout second baseman available this offseason, the rest of the free agent and trade market offers plenty of excitement as well. Which players will be the best bargains, which will be the busts, and where are they al

Surveying the market: Relief pitchers

Relief pitchers are among the most misunderstood players in baseball, and the market treats them no differently. Here's a peak at this year's market for relievers.

Surveying the market: First basemen

First base has traditionally been a position of power, but recently it's become a position of bad contracts. This free agent market is not strong, so teams will have to be creative to add value at first base.

DIPS, Springsteen, and why offense is declining

The run environment in baseball has been in free-fall over the last few years. Is the broadening acceptance of sabermetric ideas to blame?

Qualifying offers and options: hitchhiker's guide

The pre-free agency period sets the tone for the free agent market. Here's a guide to the theories and numbers that go into making those decisions.

On trading Scherzer and the cost of a win

The discussion of how much a win is worth has sprung up in recent days. I'll add some food for thought to that discussion while looking at how the discussion impacts the possibility of the Tigers trading Max Scherzer.

How Much Does a Win Really Cost?

It is commonly accepted that a win costs around $5 million on the free agent market. That's wrong. A win really costs around $7 million.

Would you, could you, trade for Price?

David Price is already the hottest name swirling in trade rumors. I look into whether trading for him is a good idea and what exactly he is going to be worth.

The moves that shaped the postseason

The off season preceding the 2013 MLB regular season helped shape the current postseason landscape. This post breaks down how the different moves impacted each roster.

How the Pirates built a winner

The Pittsburgh Pirates have put an end to 20 years of losing by winning their 82nd game of the season. Through intelligent building and managing of assets, they have build a squad that is built to win now and in the future.