The Mets don't understand economics

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Via Matthew Cerrone’s MetsBlog is word from Newsday’s Ken Davidoff that “According to a Mets official, if the team fails to secure [Jason] Bay, it will
strongly consider raising its offer to Molina.  But if Bay signs, the
Mets will hold a harder line with Molina.”

Which is profoundly stupid.

Bengie Molina is probably not even worth what the Mets have already offered him, but even if he was, how would Bay not accepting his offer suddenly make Bengie Molina more valuable? Did Omar honestly sit down in November and decide that his free agent budget is $X, and it will be spent on as many or as few players as possible?

It’s one thing to have an overall offseason strategy, but any one player’s value should be arrived at independent of what you’re doing with another player.  We already know that Omar Minaya is, well, limited as a GM, but if this report is true, someone should relieve him of command like he was Captain Queeq in the typhoon, because this destroyer is about to founder.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?