Moneyball is still going strong. The Oakland A’s are the most efficient high-performers in baseball (#2 in Power Rankings and #28 in Payroll Rankings). Is it a good thing for fans? Only in the present moment. Conversely, the San Francisco Giants are #2 in payroll and #20 in power rankings.
The A’s play smart, but don’t invest for the longer term. The emerging stars come and go to more lucrative markets. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox build dynasties at a much greater cost. The Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs have joined this elite company by investing in talent.
The top teams know that the Oakland A’s will have to start over next year, since their talent will come knocking on their doors. The Bay Area fans keep their fingers crossed, hoping some Oakland players will migrate over to join the San Francisco Giants.
The A’s are brilliant in finding talent. The coaching is almost second to none. However, the passion and commitment to long-term success is unclear. Spreadsheets don’t win championships. Operational efficiency only gets you so far.
The management team should execute a longer-term strategy by:
1. Signing its underpaid stars to long-term contracts.
2. Building a new ballpark for its long-suffering fans. It’s hard to play on a football field. The Raiders will be gone soon.