Billy Beane will never spend a king’s ransom for Pitchers on long-term deals or for big $$ because of injuries like Tommy John crippling your salary infrastructure for the whole time a player may be out. Especially with smaller market teams, having too much invested with your pitchers can be catastrophic. Even though Jarrod Parker were out for a couple of years each with TJ surgeries the club was not hampered long-term financially by their injuries. It hurts yes, but not as much as it could have. He was forced into realizing the effects from losing Mulder, Zito and Hudson because the team couldn’t afford to re-sign them a decade ago. But as you will read, it was a blessing in disguise.
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):
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This has been an organization that has thrived on brilliant drafting of young arms. But in saying that. Billy Beane is a manager that will never throw out big dollars to retain Starting Pitching once the club has past the Team Controllable years.
In the early 2000’s, the team featured three ace pitchers in Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder.
Billy Beane had to let each of them leave Oakland (in the winters of 2004 – Hudson/Mulder, and 2006 winter – Zito) because they couldn’t pay them the kind of dollars needed to secure them long term.
It was a decision that looked dire to start with while the team struggled from 2007 – 2011, but it also paved the way for a new run at AL West Division supremacy from 2012 to current.
Lets take another look at the decision on how it has worked out since then. Read the rest of this entry