Today the Chicago Cubs announced that they’ve partnered with Bloomberg Sports, the sports analytic technology arm of Bloomberg, to develop a “state-of-the-art player evaluation system.”

From Theo Epstein (in the official press release):

“We are excited to partner with Bloomberg Sports and benefit from their world-renowned expertise in Analytics and Information Management” said President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. “The management and analysis of data, whether it be scouting reports, statistics, medical information or video, is a critical component of our operation. We look forward to developing a customized program that utilizes the most advanced and efficient technology available in the marketplace today to facilitate quicker, easier and more accurate access to all the sources of information we use to make baseball decisions.”

In short, Bloomberg Sports will help the Cubs actually implement the technological requirements for their overall scouting/player evaluation/player development/player health system. Beyond that, there isn’t a whole lot of “news” here. The Cubs were going to need to satisfy the tech side of things somehow. Bloomberg Sports is that somehow.

The real news, of course, is the simple fact that the Cubs’ front office continues to move in a more … robust technological direction. I’m sure they always had a system in place, but I doubt it was this advanced.

I know a little bit about Bloomberg Sports, having been to the Blogs With Balls conference there this summer (the site of my ill-fated award hopes). Bloomberg, as you may or may not know, does a number of things, but is most closely associated with developing analytical tools used by financial firms. Taking the step to professional sports, then, is actually not much of a leap. Bloomberg Sports aims to leverage its technological and analytical know-how into custom and proprietary systems for professional sports teams. It is, in some ways, outsourcing the “numbers” side of the business to super smart folks who needn’t really know much about the team. Bloomberg Sports has been soliciting interest from teams for some time in these custom solutions, and my understanding is that they are not cheap.

The press release reads exceptionally PR-y, so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Cubs were cut a bit of a break on the costs associated with developing the technology in exchange for some positive publicity.



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