Jed Hoyer stated yesterday the change in GM's valuation of a team's prospect in relation to trading current MLB players, where he reportedly said that: in Muskat Musings
“they were never that close to making a deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.”
He went on:
“The good thing is we feel we were incredibly productive this month,” Hoyer said. “We made a lot of deals and feel we got better as an organization this month.”
But then Hoyer gave a deeper, long term knowledge of how the CBA 2012-2016 has changed the landscape, most notably how teams now value their prospects even though as Muskat reports that the Cubs’ plan is to continue to acquire assets.
“One thing is obvious from today if you look around the league is that people hold really tight to their young players,” he said. “We need to get a lot more of them. That part won’t change. I’d love to be in a situation where we’re on the other side of the conversation next year and years going forward.”
What changed in the CBA that changes the value. In short it is how Rule 4, Qualified Free Agents are treated in compensation, meaning teams lose their top draft choice if they sign a Qualified Free Agent if they finish in the Top 20 in winning percentage. Then there is the signing bonus slots assigned to draft and signing bonus limits for International Free Agents. In short teams are limited how they can retool or rebuilt their minor league inventory. It is similar how both free agency and then arbitration changed the valuation of players and managing a team's roster and player development. Front offices that take advantage over teams that don't adapt or stay in the past. We also saw how hard it is to move a bad contract like Soriano or Marmol so smart front offices will keep as much flexibility as possible.
Furthermore, what organizations do and not what they say publicly actually provides more information than anything. How and why they spend their money is the most telling of all items. In the last two years Cubs under Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod have spent $40.01M on prospect bonus signings, salaries not included, ($21.08M in 2012 and $18.93M to date in 2013). Comparably speaking the Cubs spent $15.14M on what was considered a e spending spree in Hendry's final year as GM before he was relieved following the 2011 season, a 40% increase in spending from 2011 to 2012 and a decrease of 10% this year. (Note that extra $1M not spent this year from last could be the budget to pay the overage fine for international free agents). But of course there is much more to merely increasing spending to get desired competitive results, it is how you spend your money that makes all the difference. In short, money always talks, it places transparent value on any and all transactions, therefore despite the abstract values or ratings placed upon prospects what is more revealing is how much money was spent in acquiring the talent.
All he Cubs prospects that I could ascertain since 2011, a year that the Ricketts Family took control and ownership of the club. This provides the final year of Hendry's regime and approach and two years of Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod perspective. At the time of this writing there is so much revealed that becomes apparent when laid out like this, for instance where many of the prized trade prospects concentrated, (150's) or over (300 to 500) when signed OR some form of former high prized prospect falling fast due to injury, ie Vizcaino and Olt. The other is that the top four prospects on everyone's list are in the top five bonus babies, Conception excluded. The last point is that the Cubs now are taking risks on international free agents than US draft or high school draftees, Ror example Hendry took risks with high schoolers Baez, Maples, Vogelbach, Dunston, DeVoss and Gretzky with two international risks of Malave and Del Valle while Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod have taken risks at the very top with Bryant and Almora but then with international youths of Conception, Jimenez, Torres, Tseng, and Paniagua. The other note is that out of 75 acquisitions that Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod had made, 45 are pitchers.
The upshot of this reveals that an organization to be successful under the new rules they must have an over abundance of prospects in that both they are the talent but also the currency to acquire talent.
I wish I could import the spread sheet but it does not format I will need some help