Fishplatter

How many years do a baseball team have to keep a title window post-1990s Yankees?

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We will probably never see another 1996-2001 Yankees dynasty again, in the era of parity to see more competition and more teams win championships other than the 27-time World Champions. 

 

Teams tank, then long rebuild/retool, then a brief window of title contention. 

 

How many years does a baseball team have to compete for a championship? Look at how fast the 2014-2015 Royals faded. Look at how fast the 2016 Cubs faded. 

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2 minutes ago, Fishplatter said:

We will probably never see another 1996-2001 Yankees dynasty again, in the era of parity to see more competition and more teams win championships other than the 27-time World Champions. 

 

Teams tank, then long rebuild/retool, then a brief window of title contention. 

 

How many years does a baseball team have to compete for a championship? Look at how fast the 2014-2015 Royals faded. Look at how fast the 2016 Cubs faded. 

Well the redsox seem to win every 5 years or so and I’d say that’s close as it gets beside the giants who had a stretch where they won every other year. It’s just a matter of having good scouts and player evaluation and enough money to constantly retool and you’re able to have fairly regular success. Baseball is a sport though that is probably the most unpredictable and hardest to consistently be good. Just look at the redsox at the beginning of this year where despite being roughly the same team and coming on strong after the first month.

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15 minutes ago, Fishplatter said:

How many years does a baseball team have to compete for a championship? Look at how fast the 2014-2015 Royals faded. Look at how fast the 2016 Cubs faded. 

 

Those aren't in the same universe

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I'd say 4-5 years, based off of Cleveland, who are a mid to small market team. The window opened in 2014 and is closing after this year if they can't keep Lindor. For teams like Boston, the Yankees and the Dodgers the window can stay perpetually open since they have the money to pay players that all of the other teams cannnot commit to indefinitely.

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There's never going to be a certain specific answer for this question. It all depends on the core that the team builds around and if they have the money to keep them and the supporting cast around. If your core is young and you can afford to acquire talented players to play around them, it'll last several years (90's-00's Yankees). If your core is old and you don't have the players around them, it'll be shorter (2015-2016 Blue Jays). 

 

Also, have the Cubs really faded? I wouldn't say their a contender, but they certainly aren't comparable to the Royals. At worst their on the same level as Cleveland (in the playoffs, but not a serious contender).

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Totally depends on when your core comes of age and how much foresight a GM has to restock while on top rather than rebuilding once the core fades. 

 

The 07-11 Phillies won 5 straight divisions, and from 08-11 were legit WS contenders - arguably the favorites. They had an amazing core, and added guys like Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay and Oswalt along the way. They also traded their top talent, gave untradable contracts, and stayed loyal to guys a year or two too much, so once they declined, the window not only shut, but slammed. 

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Every team in baseball has a three, five, and a seven-year plan at their disposal.

 

It's not difficult to plan for the future when you're winning or losing 100 games a year. Its when you're playing around .500 ball that things get tricky.


But to answer the question, in theory, I would say a team could stay competitive in baseball forever. It's not like basketball or football where losing your star player may mean having to rethink your strategy for winning games. In baseball, often it's just next man up because there isn't much of a team element to the sport. It's more or less just a summation of individual skills. You can't say, our third baseman isn't that good, so we'll shift some of his defensive responsibilities to the right fielder to make up for it. It's not even an option.

 

You can kneecap an NFL or an NBA team just by taking away one player. A baseball team isn't going to go from winning 95+ games a year to being lucky to win 70, just because they lost their #1 starter.

 

The LA Dodgers have won 90+ games for the last six years in a row. The only key players still on the roster from their 2013 team are Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. That means the Dodgers turned over 90%+ of their roster in that timespan without missing a beat. It's all about planning, luck, and the ability to add pieces your farm system can't produce. No matter how good or bad you may get, that never changes.

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1 hour ago, pmoehrin said:

Every team in baseball has a three, five, and a seven-year plan at their disposal.

 

It's not difficult to plan for the future when you're winning or losing 100 games a year. Its when you're playing around .500 ball that things get tricky.


But to answer the question, in theory, I would say a team could stay competitive in baseball forever. It's not like basketball or football where losing your star player may mean having to rethink your strategy for winning games. In baseball, often it's just next man up because there isn't much of a team element to the sport. It's more or less just a summation of individual skills. You can't say, our third baseman isn't that good, so we'll shift some of his defensive responsibilities to the right fielder to make up for it. It's not even an option.

 

You can kneecap an NFL or an NBA team just by taking away one player. A baseball team isn't going to go from winning 95+ games a year to being lucky to win 70, just because they lost their #1 starter.

 

The LA Dodgers have won 90+ games for the last six years in a row. The only key players still on the roster from their 2013 team are Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. That means the Dodgers turned over 90%+ of their roster in that timespan without missing a beat. It's all about planning, luck, and the ability to add pieces your farm system can't produce. No matter how good or bad you may get, that never changes.

Cleveland looks capable of refuting that theory with Kluber out. 

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55 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

Cleveland looks capable of refuting that theory with Kluber out. 

Kluber has arguably been the Indians' fifth-best starter this year.

 

Semantics aside, though, the point's absolutely correct — the difference between winning 95 and 70 is 25 games. No pitcher is going to realistically start more than 35 games. You'd have to be talking about the difference between a pitcher whose team would go 30-5 in his starts and replacements that would go 5-30, which are clips (in both directions!) that aren't feasible.

 

The Indians are going to struggle to win 80 games this season for a lot of reasons, none of which are an injury to one arm. Some of those reasons:

  • Their 2018 MVP candidate just recently got over the Mendoza line and is roughly a replacement-level player
  • Their two-time Cy Young Winner and 2018 candidate who they're paying $17 million was playing below replacement level before he got hurt
  • Their other 2018 Cy Young candidate who they're paying $13 million has massively regressed, his FIP going from 2.44 to 4.09
  • The starting second baseman that makes nearly $15 million has been well below replacement level
  • They traded one of the breakout players in baseball this offseason for a guy who's also well below replacement level
  • They let the guy who's probably been one of the 20 or 25 best position players this season walk and replaced him with scraps

 

There is underperformance from highly paid players going on here at the same time when ownership decided to significantly cut payroll in the middle of a contention window. That's a bad combination.

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I think the other issue that's being overlooked when it comes to an MLB team's window is having ownership who can afford to pay, and not be all that concerned by the luxury tax.  Allows you to keep your core as long as you want/need, and pay for better (in theory) complimentary pieces.  

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I guess I'm biased, but I'm not greedy. NLCS in 2015, 2016 and 2017, playoffs in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and a World Series title in 2016 with 2019 TBD. (They were in first place a couple of days ago.)

 

If this is a fade by the Cubs I'm here for it. Right now, being eliminated by back-to-back one-game playoff games in 2018 is a fluke in my mind, not a fade -- when NLCS is the worst result otherwise. And if we're only counting World Series titles -- then the Dodgers haven't accomplished anything, and I don't see that as true. (Only a Yankee deals in absolutes.)

 

I would have taken just getting to the World Series three years ago if you offered it to me. Now I've seen a title, I don't need a dynasty, but their five-year run stacks up pretty well so far.

 

And for the Royals to go to back-to-back World Series and win one? That seems peak Royals to me. Maybe not peak Yankees, but even they are in another 10-year drought.

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