It was reported a couple of months ago that a well-known former major leaguer was being investigated for insider trading. As it turns out, it’s Orioles Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, and he’s been charged with earning $235,314 in illegal profits.
As it turns out, Murray got his tips from former Orioles teammate Doug DeCinces, who was charged last year and, along with three associates, paid the SEC more than $3.3 million after making about $1.7 million in illegal profits.
Murray, likewise, has paid the piper:
The SEC alleges that Murray made approximately $235,314 in illegal profits after Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories Inc. publicly announced its plan to purchase Advanced Medical Optics through a tender offer. Murray agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying $358,151
Murray played in the majors for 21 years from 1977-97. He spent his first 12 years with the Orioles, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1977 and five times finishing in the top five in the AL MVP balloting (without ever winning one). He also played for the Dodgers, Indians, Mets and Angels. He finished his career with a .287/.359/.476 line, 504 homers and 1,917 RBI. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2003.
One of the game’s highest-paid players during the second half of the 1980’s, he made approximately $33 million in his career, judging from Doug Pappas’ data at Baseball-reference.
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).
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?