FanPost

Angels Offseason and the Use of Deadlines



I'm sure most of you are more interested in looking at Spring Training photos and players who are in the best shape of their lives than in reliving the offseason. But, I came across an interesting interview with Theo Epstein and how the Red Sox landed Carl Crawford. In it, he suggests that the Angels deadline played a key role:

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Did you just say, “Here’s our offer, this is it?”

No. We stumbled into it. We took the approach that we were going to be the kind of good guy team that was always open to talk. “Let’s get to know each other. When you want to talk numbers, here’s an offer. It’s not a final offer. Here are some things we’re flexible with.” Just kind of be the good, accessible partner. The one thing we were scared of was if it dragged on and the Yankees missed out on Cliff Lee, it would create a market that was difficult for us. And we were scared of the predetermined move to the Angels. It kind of played right into our hands.

It seems like the Angels gave him a deadline before the Cliff Lee negotiations reached their conclusion, and that played right into our hands. We had spent so much time thinking about it. We had ownership on board. We had to get a hold of them in England, but they moved very nimbly and we were able to wrap it up in a matter of hours when it all came together. We thought it was kind of dormant and we were just going to stay in touch, and five hours later, it was done.

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Of course, this is not the first time that the Angels have used the deadline maneuver. Strategically, I'm not quite sure of the pay-off. Sure, you might avoid getting jerked around and getting involved in a lengthy negotiation process. In this case, though, it worked in favor of a rival.

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