Small market teams vs. large market teams
During Thursday’s episode of MLB Tonight on MLB Network, the Analysis were discussing how small and large market teams can succeed, despite the huge difference in payroll.
They discussed how one bad draft can effect a small market team for four, five years down the road (Pittsburgh Pirates anyone?). Here is what they had to say:
Matt Yallof: “Money doesn’t guarantee anything. It doesn’t guarantee winning, but, if you have a lot of it, it can help ease the blow if you make some mistakes.”
Larry Bowa: “There’s no question about that. The Yankees in 2006 signed a pitcher from Japan named Kei Igawa. The total package was $46 million over five years. $26 million of that was for negotiation rights, to get him over here. Now, we all know everybody makes mistakes in this game. I don’t think anybody can say, ‘I was perfect.’ The point I’m trying to make here is when you are a big market team and you make a $46 million mistake like that, nobody hears about it…When you’re a small market team and you make a $46 million mistake like this, you’re paying for three, four, five years down the road. I think it makes a big difference what market you’re in.”
Mitch Williams: “You’re handcuffed. You’re absolutely handcuffed if you’re a small market team. What it does, you can not make mistakes. If you go down to Tampa and you look: Evan Longoria, first-round pick in 2006, David Price, first-round pick in 2007. Their scouts got it right. If they make that mistake, they sign both these guys and neither one of them pan out, they can’t recover from that. You can not make mistakes if you are a small market team…You have to have very knowledgeable scouts and they better know what they’re looking at and be tremendous evaluators of talent.”
Harold Reynolds: “Back to Larry’s point, you look at $46 million and you say that to Tampa or to Pittsburgh, and say, ‘You’re going to make a $46 million mistake’. They’re done. They’re sunk…We’ve seen it happen with the Red Sox, we’ve seen it happen with the Yankees, we’ve seen it happen across the board with big market teams. You just move on down the road and continue on…It’s not just one year, two years, for the small market, you may lose for five seasons before you’re able to recover. And people wonder why are the Pirates so bad the last 17 years? Well, they’ve missed it in their scouting early on. Now in the last four years they’ve put it together and all of a sudden everybody saying, ‘Oh. The Pirates are heading in the right direction.’ But before that, if you go back and you look at the first-round picks they made –They missed ‘em. And that was the end of them…You can’t miss. It’s a total different game when you’re a small market compared to a big team.”