July 27, 2014
Billion-Dollar Billy Beane (BENJAMIN MORRIS, 7/24/14, 538)
Posted by Orrin Judd at July 27, 2014 11:26 AMBeane has been a godsend to the frugal A's, enabling them to achieve top-tier performance at bottom-tier prices. For this, the A's have paid him fairly modestly4 -- but since we don't know how much winning is worth to the A's organization, it's hard to say exactly how much Beane has been worth to them.For a team like the Red Sox, however, the picture is much more clear. Over the last 15 years, they've happily spent over $2 billion dollars in the pursuit of wins -- and because they're one of baseball's most successful franchises, no one in Beantown is complaining.From a strictly economic perspective, not offering Beane however much money it took to get him may have been one of the Red Sox's poorest decisions since letting Babe Ruth go to the Yankees for next to nothing. And I mean that literally: Over the past 15 years, Billy Beane has been nothing less than the Babe Ruth of baseball GMs. The Red Sox offered Beane $2.5 million per year,5 but even $25 million would have been a bargain.Finding Beane's potential dollar value to the Red Sox is relatively simple: It's the amount the team spent under general managers Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington, minus the amount it would have had to spend for the same performance with Beane as GM.6To show this, we first we need to figure out just how many A's wins Beane has been responsible for, and how much those wins would cost on the open market.