FG on Fox: The Playoff Team You Could’ve Built for Absolutely Nothing

I have a little theory I choose to believe because it keeps me warm when times are cold. That theory is that, in every offseason, there’s a championship team to be built, and to be built reasonably, without costing an unrealistic amount. It’s not something that can ever be proven, and it’s not even necessarily interesting if you consider an offseason has virtually infinite possibilities, but I like to think the pieces are always out there, no matter how bad a team might’ve been the year before. It allows for hope, independent of circumstances. If it wasn’t your year, it could be your year.

We can at least try to support the theory with numbers from 2014. On the one hand, we can’t say anything about winning a championship, because you can never predict how that’ll play out. But to compensate for that, why don’t we take the idea to the extreme? Let’s say the idea is to build a good team. Nevermind building a good team through a reasonable sequence of moves. How about building a good team through an impossibly cheap sequence of moves? How about doing that without any kind of foundation already in place?

The idea, in short: construct a good 2014 baseball team out of players that would’ve cost nothing or almost nothing to acquire before the season. I’m not going to worry about getting 25 guys; I’ll just fill the important spots. The theory holds up to some extent, as the team you see below would, statistically, be about as strong as the best in the league. The obvious caveat is that, under different circumstances, maybe these players don’t put up the same performances. Maybe they received particular instruction from their 2014 employers, that maybe they wouldn’t get in the hypothetical organization we’re running. Totally valid! And maybe Troy Tulowitzki would’ve busted had he been drafted by the Mariners. We can never really know anything, so let’s just keep things simple and have some fun before we’re all dead.

Read the rest on Just A Bit Outside.

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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Dee Gordon but no Josh Harrison? The pirates started the season with him in the Minors behind Pedro @ 3rd and Snider/Tabata with Polanco waiting at RF. I think he would have been almost free.

Jeff Sullivan

Probably very fitting!


For another Pirates breakout, the sample is really small, but Holdzkom has looked like a back-of-the-bullpen guy, and he started this season in the Independent League. You probably could have him for a handshake.