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Friday, January 09, 2009
The majors and the minorsOur good friend Pete Toms doesn't just shoot me links and make sharp insights in the comment threads. He writes stuff too, and today he has a piece over at The Biz of Baseball about the relationship between the majors, the minors and the independents. Pete wouldn't stand for me calling him a blogger, but let's just say that he assembles a boatload of links to related articles on the topic of the changing player development landscape and ties them together with a general theme that results in a piece that is greater than the sum of its parts.
I call that blogging, but since it's Pete, let's just say that he's extending the conversation or something.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:12pm
Pete Toms said...
You make me laugh ( and plenty others ).
Posted 01/09 at 06:24 PM
I would have liked to have seen a more substantial discussion of the effect and role of the independents, rather than a throwaway line at the end.
For example, what Mark Shapiro is describing at the end of the piece is also known as the “The Atlantic League,” which has not only provided a parking lot for 4A players, it’s been a major player in the stadium game, building facilities that meet NAPBL standards versus the more common practice of moving into facilities that had been grandfathered (e.g. Yale Field) before the 1990 standards were set.
Another example is how affiliated teams have been using the indys as stop-gaps. For example, acquiring an indy veteran to fill a AAA hole so that a “true” prospect isn’t promoted too fast (e.g. John Kelly, Tacoma in 2004, keeping Felix Hernandez put). Wirz, et al like to talk about how many players have been sold back, but it’ll be more impressive when it’s more than just pitchers and catchers (or casualties of the strike).
Posted 01/09 at 06:27 PM
I was intrigued by some of the run-down on how many teams around the majors owned their minor league affiliates. Given the emphasis put on the Phillies buying one of their affiliates, I’m surprised that you didn’t make more of the Braves owning all of their affiliates.
Does this structure allow the more control than the average team? It seems it should. How much revenue can they pull in combined, and is it currently enough to make any dent in the major league org? I’d like to find those numbers. It might not be much, considering that none of the Braves’ MiLB teams are in the national top 20.
It seems that the Braves are forward-thinkers on this, but the effect is not entirely clear.
Also, considering this $11 mill that every team is spending on average on their minor league personnel, mostly spent on paying minor league salaries, must be due to the rise of major league contracts given in the first couple rounds of the draft. Or am I misunderstanding? Are all minor league players paid by the major league team? I’m embarrassed that I don’t know this.
You have opened a door into some of the business machinations going on in baseball that I know very little about, thank you very much. I do want to know more now, though!
Posted 01/09 at 07:19 PM