Saturday, March 07, 2015

Consider the Source

One of Buster Olney's confidential sources
Consider the source.

Heading into what will almost certainly be a lost season for them, the Phillies have themselves a very valuable asset in the form of Cole Hamels. Hamels is a very good pitcher who is rather expensive but not outrageously so, and a great many teams would be improved by having Hamels in their rotation. [Assume I've just done a lengthy bit on marginal wins here, and trust me that it's not worth it for a team like the Phillies to keep him around instead of flipping him for young talent; 70 wins + some prospects who could help you win next year > 75 wins.) 


Of course, if you read about the situation, you'll hear guys like Buster Olney talk about how everyone in the industry agrees. The Phillies, they say, need to trade Hamels now for whatever they can get because they're never going to get as much as they're going to get now and every successive second off the clock is going to provide a worse return.
This technique should be familiar to anyone who has, say, tried to buy a used car, or real estate. Now is the best time to buy; the thing you want will only get more valuable, while the thing you're trying to dump will only get less so. 

Why do I say such an uncharitable thing? Because the industry sources doing their best Mad Man Mooney are exactly the guys trying to trade for Hamels. Of course they're going to say the Phillies need to take what they can get. They're the ones trying to pay Yugo prices for a Mercedes. 

So, the next time "industry consensus" says that something's overpriced, consider the source. And then jack up the price.
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