If your team didn’t make it to the playoffs, this is a tough time of year. You can’t watch your guys play, and your club can’t start making major moves to improve until after the World Series. But fret not, while your buddies rooting for teams still in the championship hunt are concentrating on the playoffs, you can bone up on the upcoming action in the hot stove league with my new book Hot Stove Economics: Understanding Baseball’s Second Season.
The final out of the World Series marks the beginning of baseball’s second season, when teams court free agents and orchestrate trades with the hope of building a championship contender. The real and anticipated transactions generate excitement among fans who discuss the merit of moves in the arena informally known as the “hot stove league.” In Hot Stove Economics, economist J.C. Bradbury answers the hot stove league’s most important question: what are baseball players worth? With in-depth analysis, Bradbury identifies the game’s best and worst contracts—revealing the bargains, duds, and players who are worth every penny they receive. From minor-league prospects to major-league MVPs, Bradbury examines how factors such as revenue growth, labor rules, and aging— even down to the month in which players are born—shape players’ worth and evaluates how well franchises manage their rosters. He broadly applies the principles of economics to baseball in a way that is both interesting and understandable to sports fanatics, team managers, armchair economists and students alike.
Table of Contents (The Preface and Chapter 2 are available online as free previews.):
PART I. GETTING STARTED
1 Why Johnny Estrada Is Worth Kevin Millwood: Valuing Players As Assets
Hot Stove Myth: Every Trade has a Winner and a Loser
3 A Career Guide From Little League To Retirement: Age And Success In Baseball
Hot Stove Myth: Players Peak at 27
PART II. TRANSLATING PERFORMANCE INTO DOLLARS
4 Putting A Dollar Sign On The Muscle: Valuing Players
Hot Stove Myth: Replacement Players are Cheap and Abundant
5 Deals, Duds, And Caveats: What Do The Estimates Reveal?
Hot Stove Myth: The Size of the Free-Agent Pool Affects Player Salaries
6 Winning On A Dime: The Best- And Worst-Managed Franchises Of The Decade
Hot Stove Myth: General Managers can Buy Low and Sell High
PART III. PROJECTING PERFORMANCE
7 Is C.C. Sabathia Worth $161 Million? Valuing Long-Run Contracts
Hot Stove Myth: Player Salaries Raise Prices at the Gate
8 You Don’t Need A Name To Be Traded: Valuing Minor-League Prospects
Hot Stove Myth: College Players are Better Draft Bets than High School Players
The book will be released tomorrow, and the e-book version is already available for purchase. There are links to the book’s pages of several online sellers on the right sidebar. You can get more news about the book on it’s Facebook page and by following me on Twitter.
During the offseason, I’ll be writing quite a bit on the topics discussed in the book as they apply to current events. If you have any topics relating to the book that you’d like me to write on, please let me know.