Around The Web: TV Contract, Dodgers Risk, Stan Kasten Interview, Prospects/Veterans

If you are what you say you are…

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Dodgers Now: Bill Shaikin reveals that the Dodgers are no longer exclusively talking with Fox, as they’ve met with Time Warner now.

The Dodgers and Time Warner Cable have met to discuss a potential deal for the team’s television rights, according to two people familiar with the talks but not authorized to comment on them.

The Dodgers are considering at least three options for their next television home: the Prime Ticket cable channel owned by Fox Sports, the SportsNet cable channel owned by TWC or a new channel owned by the team.

Not sure whether this is a positive or a negative in terms of potential television money, but I figure competition rarely generates a lower return.

Baseball Prospectus: Maury Brown had an interview with Stan Kasten at the Winter Meetings.

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Los Angeles Times: Bill Shaikin warns about the perils of long-term big-money contracts.

But…

They do take players to 2017, and beyond. If the Dodgers win in 2013, well, who cares?

…that’s always the rub. If they win, even if the players start to implode in the context of their contracts, it’s justifiable. Flags fly forever, after all.

But they have to win.

FanGraphs: Jeff Sullivan reminds us that even if the Dodgers literally had an unlimited payroll and bought every top player they could on the free agent market, it still wouldn’t have resulted in a division winner in 2012.

Smarts still matter. The limit though becomes roster spots.

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FanGraphs: Dave Cameron questions why people assume prospects are always unknown quantities but are fine assuming that veterans always provide consistent results.

Wil Myers is a risk, but so is James Shields. So is Albert Pujols. So is Justin Verlander. So is everyone.

When we start using labels like “prospect” or “proven veteran” to describe players, we lose that reality. Myers and Shields both have the chance to be good, bad, or anything in between. Let’s not let the terms we use to describe player types obscure that fact. The Royals didn’t trade a lottery ticket for a paycheck; they traded a few lottery tickets for a scratch-off card. They probably did reduce their overall performance risk for 2013, but it didn’t go to zero. Let’s not pretend that we know so much about projecting the future of Major League players that we create an artificial divide where one does not exist.

Prospects come with uncertainty, but so do Major League players. Everyone is a risk. You weigh that risk against the potential rewards, and you figure out which trade-offs are worth making. Once you cross over into treating some players as non-risks, though, you’ve stopped evaluating players properly. And then you make trades like the one the Royals just made.

This is precisely how I’ve thought since I started blogging. Everybody has a percentage of relative success, and things can always go against that, but what you want to try and do is play the odds as best you can and hopefully the cards go your way.

About Chad Moriyama

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