June 25, 2003

Who's going to return Billy Beane's phone calls now?: After the success of Moneyball, will other GMs think twice before making any trades with the A's?

posted by corpse to baseball at 11:43 AM - 12 comments

I'm guessing JP Ricciardi and Theo Epstein, for starters. What does it say about the skills of a GM who is afraid of being robbed blind by Billy Beane? Not talking to him because you hold a grudge over The Book is different, I guess.

posted by mbd1 at 01:32 PM on June 25, 2003

I haven't read this book, but judging by the linked article it doesn't sound so much like Beane is robbing other teams blind. It seems like he's making very intelligent trades and finding decent to good players where his team needs them. People shouldn't be afraid of trading with Oakland due to fear of getting ripped off. If other teams are afraid of why they want a particular player, they may not trade them due to fear that it'll work out too well in Oakland, but that seems to be the only concern that I can see other teams having.

posted by Ufez Jones at 02:37 PM on June 25, 2003

I don't think any smart GM will think twice. A deal is a deal regardless if the other GM thinks he is ripping you off.

posted by therev at 03:52 PM on June 25, 2003

I agree with the other posts. I think he might only have trouble trading within his own division since those are the teams that would face him on a regular basis. The other GM's would probably take too much heat from turning down a good looking trade for no real reason.

posted by Wallzatcha at 04:49 PM on June 25, 2003

I agree that no pro GM should be "afraid" of trading with anyone. However, I was asking myself the same question throughout the book. It's not so much that Beane is making "intelligent trades"; it's that Moneyball suggests he only offers players he has no interest in keeping.

posted by yerfatma at 05:06 PM on June 25, 2003

Beane's reputation has to be hurting him with some of the other GMs, in the same way that Jimmy Johnson's brilliant trade with the Minnesota Vikings scared NFL execs for years afterwards. It was much easier to say no to Johnson than to say yes and risk making a very public mistake.

posted by rcade at 05:17 PM on June 25, 2003

The NY Times magazine got the ball rolling on Beane a few months ago, and if anyone has read the article you'd know Beane plays dirty, calling other gms telling them that so and so isn't interested in a certain player anymore, and then talking up another player he offered to another team, but really he wants to dump the player, and steal the first player at a bargain rate. If I was a GM I'd be very careful dealing with Beane, but I wouldn't cut him off.

posted by jbou at 08:04 PM on June 25, 2003

Beane is hardly the only guy in the league who uhhhhh, doesn't fully disclose his intentions to other GMs. It's part of the game. A guy who plays things straight gets worked over like a case of cheap beer at a Friday night frat party.

posted by mbd1 at 09:18 PM on June 25, 2003

And don't forget, the best trades are those which benefit both teams. No matter what Lewis wrote, nobody who knows the business of baseball (and Joe Morgan doesn't qualify) will be the least reticent to deal with Beane and/or Oakland. Rare is the GM not salivating over Tejada, and striving to put together the equation that can make the deal happen.

posted by Scottymac at 12:37 AM on June 26, 2003

Right. All of you. And furthermore, most (although this number is sure to decrease) don't have Beane's budget constraints and therefore don't have the need or the desire or the acumen to create a team the Billy Beane way. Most GM's will still rely on the traditional measures of assessment, so Billy Beane's junk can still be another GM's gold and vice versa.

posted by vito90 at 07:54 AM on June 26, 2003

I read Moneyball and I agree with the slew of ya's. But my question is who's going to be foolish enough to take Jermaine Dye off Beane's hands in exchange for anything at all? It's going to be a very different trading season this July.

posted by diastematic at 09:07 PM on June 26, 2003

Moneyball was a great book (I went through it essentially in one evening). From what I can tell through the book as well as the actions of GMs throughout the last few seasons, other GMs (with the exception of Epstein, Riccardi, and perhaps even Shapiro, who probably learned something from his dealings with Beane) will still think that they are getting the better of the A's through trades, because they will still appreciate the things that Beane cares not for, and vice versa. His being able to get rid of a player that he never, ever wanted (in Bonderman) will continue to take place until the A's organization is filled with players that Beane or his disciples personally chose. As far as worrying about being robbed by Beane, the players that would be offered to them would be so enticing (through their value systems) that they still would be unable to avoid making the trade. And I am telling you, somebody is going to want Dye, just as he was wanted by the Royals and Braves before. His physical makeup and ability to mash the ball will be too much to pass up.

posted by avogadro at 09:54 PM on June 27, 2003

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