Tag Archives: Billy Beane

How Valuable is Yoenis Cespedes?

Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics have long been known for acquiring undervalued players. Some recent examples of this are Chris Young (11.7 WAR, 103 OPS+ from 2010-12), John Jaso (6.1 WAR, 115 OPS+ from 2010-12), and Brandon Moss (1.9 WAR, 160 OPS+ in 2012).

They’re also equally known for selling high on replaceable assets, like, for instance, trading Andrew Bailey (7.04 ERA, 63 ERA+ in 2012) for Josh Reddick (4.5 WAR, 110 OPS+ in 2012), Miles Head (.333/.391/.577/.968 line at Advanced-A/Double-A), and Raul Alcantara (wasn’t good in 2012, but who cares).

But when the A’s signed Cuban-import Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $36MM deal last off-season, it was surprising. It was surprising because the signing had nothing to do with the usual peripheral analysis, and market inefficiency recognition. No, the A’s signing Cespesdes was a pure scouting move–something the A’s rarely tap into. And it paid off, big time. Continue reading

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How Are the Oakland Athletics Winning?

The Oakland Athletics were not supposed to be good in 2012. During the off-season, the A’s traded three-forths of their starting rotation (Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, and Guillermo Moscoso) and closer (Andrew Bailey), and even let their best statistical hitter (Josh Willingham) sign with the Minnesota Twins. Heck, they even lost star starter Brett Anderson on June 5, 2011 (he’s only pitched 20 IP in 2012) to Tommy John surgery, and still haven’t seen Dallas Braden pick-up a baseball in 2012 at all. Yet, it’s September, and the 76-60 Athletics are only trailing the Texas Rangers by five games, and are currently one of the two Wild Card leading teams. With their payroll a franchise-low since 2008, and incredibly, the second-lowest in the Major Leagues this season (about a million more than the Pittsburgh Pirates), one truly has to wonder, “How are the Oakland Athletics winning?”

On the surface, the answer is simple: extremely diligent free-agent signings and perfect trade returns. But let’s take a closer look… Continue reading