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Paying young players more may break the A’s model for success and that’s OK

For the Oakland A’s, the art of winning an unfair game — as the subtitle to Michael Lewis’ famous book goes — has relied on identifying undervalued assets. Buried in that approach, however, is one assumption most Americans would probably disagree with — not paying people what they are worth. While the game has long moved past the details presented in Moneyball, it remains true that a low-budget team needs to win by paying less for the same, or more, value on the field.

In the 20 years since the publishing of Moneyball, the knowledge gap that allows for identifying undervalued assets has largely disappeared.