Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball, covered the Oakland Athletics’ franchise in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is likely the most widely read baseball book that utilizes the concepts of statistical analysis as its main pulse. But what is “Moneyball?” Too often the term moneyball is confused with on-base percentage (OBP), because that was the primary statistic the Athletics emphasized during the Billy Beane era. Moneyball can more accurately be described as pursuing specific talents that are both valuable to a baseball club and undervalued on the market. Basically it’s cheap productivity: high marginal product per additional labor dollar, to the economist.
The Mariners franchise, under the leadership of GM Jack Zduriencik, is orchestrating it’s own form of moneyball. Only this version is exploiting a new inefficiency in today’s market. This SI article highlights what the Mariners are doing to win games. Enjoy!