An Alternate Approach to Expansion (Part 2)

May 20, 2019

We’re opening with the fifth-place 1963 Cincinnati Reds’ roster below:

 

REDS 15 PROTECTED

REDS 25 UNPROTECTED

Mets pick (#)

Colts .45 Pick (#)

1

Leo Cardenas

Don Blasingame

 

 

2

Gordy Coleman

Harry Bright

 

 

3

Johnny Edwards

Jim Brosnan

 

 

4

Sammy Ellis (AAA)

Jim Coates

 

 

5

Tommy Harper

Ted Davidson (AA)

 

 

6

Joey Jay

Gene Freese

 

 

7

Deron Johnson (AAA)

Hank Foiles

 

 

8

Jim Maloney

Gus Gil  (AAA)

 

 

9

Billy McCool (AAA)

Jesse Gonder

 

 

10

Jim O'Toole

Gene Green

 

 

11

Tony Perez (AAA)

Tommy Helms (AAA)

 

 

12

Vada Pinson

Bill Henry

 

 

13

Frank Robinson

Ken Hunt (AA)

 

 

14

Pete Rose

Jerry Lynch

 

 

15

John Tsitouris

Marty Keough

 

 

16

 

Bobby Klaus (AAA)

 

 

17

 

Eddie Kasko

 

 

18

 

Miles McWilliams (AA)

 

 

19

 

Charlie Neal

 

 

20

 

Daniel Neville (AA)

 

 

21

 

 

Joe Nuxhall (4)

 

22

 

Jim Owens

 

 

23

 

 

 

Don Pavletich (3)

24

 

Wally Post

 

 

25

 

Bob Purkey

 

 

26

 

 

 

Mel Queen (AAA) (2)

27

 

Chico Ruiz (AAA)

 

 

28

 

 

Art Shamsky (AAA) (1)

 

29

 

Bob Skinner

 

 

30


Daryl Spencer   

 

 

31

 

Sammy Taylor

 

 

32

 

Ken Walters

 

 

33

 

Al Worthington

 

 

34

 

Dom Zanni

 

 

 

The Reds spent most of the 1963 season dealing off their players, and acquiring few, so they have the smallest 40-man roster I’ve found so far—there’s only about 28 guys who played for the Reds in the 1963 season who are still on the team at the end of year, meaning I’ll have to identify the 12 minor leaguers to make up (as in "constitute" or as in "invent") the rest of the 40-man roster. Twelve is a very large number, especially for a team as good as the Reds.

Or, I should say, "as recently good as the Reds." They won 87 games, so they weren’t a bad team by any means, but many of the veterans who had played key roles on the 1961 NL champion team were fading, and it’s a tough call to pull the plug on them. Are they done or did they just have a bad year or two?  Bob Purkey, for example, who had a good year pitching for the 1961 team, had an even better year in 1962 (23-5, 2.81) but then age 33, he slipped to 6-10, 3.55. Or Joey Jay, the 25-year-old ace of the Reds staff in 1961 who went 7-18, 4.29 in 1963. Do you just decide guys like this are done, or worth protecting?

As elsewhere, I let "age" dictate most of my close calls. As to which players to "promote" from AAA and AA to the 40-man roster, I had to be careful to restrict my thinking to the known facts in October 1963. It might seem otherwise, since I let my knowledge that Sammy Ellis and the 18-year-old Billy McCool (who would become 1964’s star rookie pitchers) make the easy choice to put them both on the 40-man roster. But it really wasn’t that privileged knowledge as much as it was the spectacular years each of them had pitching for the Sandy Eggo Padres in 1963. McCool (and how cool a name is that?) pitched in only 4 games for the AAA Padres, but he won all four with an ERA of 1.04—and he had had a very weird but mostly good season before that, pitching for the Tampa Tampons, going only 5-13 but with a nifty 2.01 ERA. Plus, he was only 18 years old—did I mention that? Did I mention that he was a lefty? Did I mention that in 174 IP for both minor league clubs in 1963 he struck out 179 batters? How are you going to keep McCool down on the farm after he’s pitched like that?

The Mets pick first this time, and it’s a tough call—the most attractive properties are nearly identical 21-year-old outfielders for the Padres: Mel Queen (.783 OPS) and Art Shamsky (.787 OPS). Both bat lefty, and both had had strong power-hitting credentials in the lower minor leagues. Queen is a little bit younger, about six months, which would be dispositive if he’d also shown a little more than Shamsky in the lower minors, but Shamsky actually had a bigger year in 1962 on the Macon Babies roster than Queen had (.930 OPS vs. Queens .761) so I’m going to have the Mets draft Shamsky #1, which I really didn’t want, since Shamsky was a member of the Mets 1969 World’s championship (with a 50-year anniversary book just published, in fact) and I’ve already used up my allotment of cute picks.  But I think the Mets would have seen Shamsky’s upside.

So it’s Shamsky to the Mets, and then Queen to the Colt .45s. On the next pick, it seems the Colts have to make a categorical choice: to go with untested youth, or to go with a veteran who may be losing his skills (or may be ready to bounce back from an off-season). In the latter category, they could take either of the veteran starters, 33-year-old Purkey or the 34-year-old Joe Nuxhall, coming off two seasons for the Reds where he had 38 starts and a 20-8 W-L record. Putting it like that, I’d say they’d take Nuxhall of the two veteran arms. But how about veteran position players Marty Keough and Gene Freese? Both 29, both about the same power and OBP, I’d think they’d pass on both of them: too old for a bounce-back, and there’s not that much height to bounce back to.

Better to go with one of the kids?—24-year-old Don Pavletich hadn’t shown much on the MLB level yet, but he had hit well in AAA. Still, a 24-year-old catcher/first baseman in the Cliff Johnson mold (not smooth enough behind the plate, not quite enough power to play 1B) is a gamble. AAA middle infielders Bobby Klaus, Chico Ruiz, and Tommy Helms rank in the precise order of their age: Klaus is best but 25, Helms the weakest stick but he’s only 22, and Ruiz ranks in between them at 24. I’ll have the Colts pick Pavletich (in honor of Cliff Johnson?) and then the Mets will gamble on Joe Nuxhall’s arm. They could also gamble with Macon reliever Ted Davidson, I suppose, but it’s all a wash—neither will do very much from this point on anyway.

In the bounceback category, I noticed that Ken Hunt is lingering down in AA for the Reds in 1963 as well, and not doing particularly well there (6-8, 4.34,  53 K 9n 83 IP)—but he’s only 24 years old, and had (as detailed here https://www.billjamesonline.com/mamas_dont_let_your_babies_grow_up_to_be_ken_hunts/?AuthorId=23&am​p;pg=6 ) a big first half in 1961, and then flat nothing since. You’ve got to wonder with careers like Hunt’s if they actually lost something physical, or if (like the shortstops I was discussing before) they just turned in a flukey couple of good months, the best months they would ever have where everything fell into place, and then everything didn’t. It must have been tempting to place a bet on young players like Hunt, especially when given a free shot as here, in this expansion draft. We know now that it would have been a wasted gamble, of course, but it might have seemed worthwhile at the time.

So far, this isn’t looking like an experiment that’s working out exactly as I’d planned—am I giving the expansion teams too little credit for their scouting abilities, the chance to tell talent beyond the stats at the moment? I don’t think so. I just think picking winners from the margins of a big-league roster is very, very, very tricky. Even knowing what we do today, these choices can seem limited. I mean, I’m struggling to choose between Joe Nuxhall and Ted Davidson, the too-old guy and the too-young guy, but we all understand from a vantage point of 55 years later, that neither one did very much in MLB past 1963, so it really doesn’t matter.

Am I not exposing enough talent to be drafted here? Perhaps not. I had wanted to make more talent available than expansion clubs historically have had a shot at, but so far the talent the teams are drafting seems comparable to the level of talent such teams have gotten. Maybe a skosh more talent, but a skosh isn’t what I was aiming for. The talent is only going to get less impressive as we get deeper into the second division here, so maybe I needed to stock the expansion teams with an even more radical type of draft? Maybe.

I did opt to put a few players who would have big years in the near future on the 15-man protected list—perhaps I shouldn’t have? After all, guys like Leo Cardenas, who had a pretty bad season in 1963, might have been left exposed to the draft. Cardenas would go on to have much better seasons in the near future, 5 All-Star teams, a 20 HR year.  And why did I protect Deron Johnson, who was 24 years old, and had never played a game in MLB? Does that seems a little weirdly prescient?

Deron Johnson, after all, at this point in time, had played parts of three seasons with the Yankees and the KC A’s and had a BA of .206 (and an OPS of .587) in 325 ABs.  Pretty sad, right? Why would he have been picked out by the Cincinnati brass for special star-level protection? He would be the Reds’ starting first baseman in 1964, and in 1965 he would drive in a league-leading 130 runs and place fourth in the NL’s MVP voting, but how could they know that in the fall of 1963?

A couple of reasons. The Cincinnati Reds were a little weak at 1B in the 1960s, until Lee May came along. Their current 1B man, Gordy Coleman, wasn’t terrible (and I did have the Reds protect Coleman) but he wasn’t quite the offensive force they wanted at 1B—he and Johnson platooned out of spring training, and then Johnson took over the spot the second half of 1964. Johnson made the Reds’ squad on the basis of a monster year at AAA in 1963: 33 HR, 91 RBI,  that really wasn’t that much better than the numbers he’d been putting up in the Yankees’ minor league system, His first five years in the minors, from A ball to AAA, he’d hit 24, 26,27, 25, and 27 HRs. His big year in San Diego in 1963, I think, would have pushed him into protected territory if the Reds would have needed to protect their 15 most valuable properties.

I am being a little conservative here in having the established teams protect some of their future stars, Maybe Cincinnati would have risked losing Cardenas or Johnson, or maybe the Giants would have felt that this Gaylord Perry kid hadn’t shown them much so far and they could risk losing him. I’m wondering whether Cincinnati in the fall of 1963 would have protected Tony Perez—he’d had some good years, but most in the low minors, and wouldn’t break through until he put in a good first half of 1964 in AAA. Maybe I am being too mindful of these guys’ later performances. Maybe they would be available in the fall of 1963—but I plan to provide a corrective for that, if that is indeed the case.

Pronto, Tonto, onto Toronto!  Or rather onto the Milwaukee Braves, whose AAA affiliate in 1963 was located in Toronto.

 

 

BRAVES 15 PROTECTED

BRAVES 25 UNPROTECTED

Mets pick (#)

Colts .45 Pick (#)

1

Hank Aaron

Tommie Aaron

 

 

2

Frank Bolling

Gus Bell

 

 

3

Rico Carty

Ethan Blackaby

 

 

4

Tony Cloninger

Wade Blasingame

 

 

5

Bob Hendley

Carl Bouldin AAA

 

 

6

Mack Jones

Lew Burdette

 

 

7

Lou Klimchock

Ty Cline

 

 

8

Denny Lemaster

Del Crandall

 

 

9

Eddie Mathews

Don Dillard

 

 

10

Lee Maye

Hank Fischer

 

 

11

Denis Menke

Frank Funk

 

 

12

Gene Oliver

Len Gabrielson

 

 

13

Bob Shaw

 

Dick Kelley (3)

 

14

Warren Spahn

Norm Larker

 

 

15

Joe Torre

Roy McMillan

 

 

16

 

Bubba Morton

 

 

17

 

Ron Piche

 

 

18

 

 

Claude Raymond (2)

 

19

 

 

 

Dennis Ribant AAA (1)

20

 

Bob Sadowski

 

 

21

 

 

 

Chico Salmon AAA (4)

22

 

Amado Samuel

 

 

23

 

Dan Schneider

 

 

24

 

Hawk Taylor

 

 

25

 

Bobby Tiefenauer

 

 

26

 

Bob Uecker       

 

 

27

 

Woody Woodward

 

 

                               

The Toronto roster appears strangely bereft of big-league talent, event potentially. Most of the good players played during the 1963 season for Milwaukee, so they’re already on the 40-man roster, and just a handful of other Maple Leaves had good years. (I know, it’s "Maple Leafs"—don’t you think with my last name, I know that plural exception?)  We’ll put a 23-year old pitcher named Carl Bouldin on the roster (he went 10-8 in 150 IP)—the other pitchers were either unimpressive or elderly. A 27-year-old outfielder, Lou Jackson, who’d been through several organizations already, was probably Toronto’s best hitter, which isn’t saying much.  Maybe we’ll have to include him on the 40-man roster just to make 40, but it’s not a strong AAA squad.

Fortunately the Braves had another AAA team in Denver, with a few more younger and better players on it.  Their best pitcher was Dennis Ribant, who would soon be pitching for the Mets IRL: at 21 years old, Ribant went 14-9 in 166 IP (his ERA was a mile-high 5.10, but we’ll attribute that to the altitude). The Denver club’s best ERA was 4.20, by a 23-year-old named Dick Kelley, who struck out 108 men in 105 IP, so we’ll put Kelley on the 40-man as well.  Ethan Blackaby, a 22-year-old outfielder who’d had a sip of coffee with the Braves already, could be added to the roster, as could another 22-year-old named Chico Salmon, who had a good year in Denver.

We’re into the second division of the 1963 NL here, but the Braves are still an above-.500 team thanks to the Mets and Colts 45s. The Braves still rely on the mainstays of their great late-1950s teams, but many of those mainstays are getting old, and they don’t have much to replace the failing parts with.  I was hard-pressed to come up with 15 men whom the Braves would certainly protect. I had to include the 42-year-old Warren Spahn, who was still their best pitcher (he wouldn’t be, starting in 1964, but the in the fall of 1963 he seemed virtually ageless). Their only pitcher under 30 who was any good was Denny Lemaster (and maybe Bob Hendley), and neither of them was very good in 1963. The only hitter of note under 30 was Hank Aaron. All the others were either at the beginnings of their careers (Joe Torre, Mack Jones, Rico Carty, Lee Maye) or had past the point of stardom (Roy McMillan, Del Crandall, Frank Bolling). Eddie Mathews at 31 still had a few good years left in the tank, but most of the Braves were not worth protecting. I put young players like Carty, Cloninger, Mack Jones, and Lou Klimchock on the 15-man protected squad because they’d shown a few glimmers of potential, but they’re weak players to be listed among a team’s 15 best players. Cloninger, for example would go on to average 19 wins per year over the next three years, 1964-66, but he’d averaged only 8 wins from 1961-63. 

Klimchock might need a word of explanation—he had just had a big year in AAA: at age 23, he’d batted .352 in a pretty full season at AAA, and he’d had minor league seasons like that before. At 18, he’d had a 1.054 OPS in class C ball, and he was primarily an infielder, so I’m thinking maybe the Braves would have considered him valuable enough to protect, but it’s a stretch. I’m really grasping at straws here.

The frequency with which I find the Mets and Colts glomming onto players who eventually (like within a year or two) actually became Mets is a little curious—Klimchock, Ribant, McMillan, Amado Samuel, Hawk Taylor off the Braves’ roster, Shamsky and Klaus off the Reds’, Kroll, Hamilton and Dallas Green off the Phillies’, etc all lead me to think that this isn’t exactly an odd coincidence: these are the sorts of marginal players who wore out their welcomes with one team and became available for a deal with the Mets who had precious little to offer. (LeRoy "Precious" Little, a 28-year old corner outfielder who once slugged .605 in a Class B league.) If someone wasn’t quite good enough to cut it as a regular on a good ballclub, the Mets would give him a shot, and these players, the 16th-to-20th best players on good teams are what we’re dealing with here. Some of them prove themselves, most prove why they didn’t cut it with the good team.

So here I’ve got the Colt .45s taking Dennis Ribant with their first pick and Mets taking Claude Raymond with their second pick, putting a little reverse English on the ball. In reality, each pitcher went to the other team in 1964, and each was just about as good as the other. The third pick by the Mets is of Dick Kelley and the fourth by the Colts is Chico Salmon—all four put in careers in MLB but none could be described accurately as stars.

With the Cubs we’ve descended to seventh place in 1963 but, astonishingly, we’re still above .500—barely, 82-80, but still above .500.

 

 

CUBS 15 PROTECTED

CUBS 25 UNPROTECTED

Mets pick (#)

Colts .45 Pick (#)

1

Ernie Banks

 

 

Ken Aspromonte (3)

2

Dick Bertell

Tom Baker

 

 

3

Lou Brock

Cuno Barragan

 

 

4

Bob Buhl             

John Boccabella

 

 

5

Billy Cowan        

 

Steve Boros (1)      

 

6

Dick Ellsworth

 

 

Jim Brewer (2)

7

Glen Hobbie

Freddie Burdette

 

 

8

Ken Hubbs

Leo Burke

 

 

9

Larry Jackson    

Ellis Burton

 

 

10

Cal Koonce

Don Elston

 

 

11

Nelson Mathews

Alex Grammas

 

 

12

Lindy McDaniel

Hal Jones (AAA)

 

 

13

Andre Rodgers

Don Landrum

 

 

14

Ron Santo

Dick LeMay

 

 

15

Billy Williams

Phil Mudrock

 

 

16

 

Billy Ott (AAA)

 

 

17

 

Paul Popovich (AA)

 

 

18

 

Merritt Ranew

 

 

19

 

Jimmie Schaffer

 

 

20

 

Barney Schultz

 

 

21

 

Gordon Seyfried (AAA)

 

 

22

 

Sterling Slaughter (AA)

 

 

23

 

 

Jimmy Stewart (4)

 

24

 

Paul Toth

 

 

25

 

Jack Warner

 

 

26

               

Bob Will

 

 

 

35 Cubs on the 40-man roster at the end of the season, so only five more to supply from the minors, but the minors are bare. Virtually every half-decent player on the SLC Bees under 35 years of age has been called up at some point during the 1963 season, meaning that all of them are on the 40-man roster already, so we’ll have to look at AA and possibly A ball to find these 5 bodies.

I had to dig really deep to find bodies capable of propping up and looking lifelike in a Cubs’ uniform: when a non-entity like Nelson Mathews (lifetime OBP of .288 in 1076 PA) is protected on your 15-man roster because you don’t have anybody better and he’s still in his twenties, you are knee-deep in doo-doo and it’s piling higher and higher.  They’re not going to miss the four players who get drafted off their roster here too badly—they’re going to suffer losses when their second baseman dies in a plane crash this winter, and they suffer from the Giants and Phillies giving up their future catcher and centerfielder in the earlier rounds of this draft, but they’ve got very little to give up in this draft.

It really didn’t matter which players the Mets or Colts chose at this point—pretty much every Cub beyond their first six or seven protected players was awful so once you get past those no-brainers, whoever you pick is going to be a future no-body with no-career. If you dig WAY down deep into the Cubs’ farm system, maybe you’ll come up with a future star, but why would you be digging that deep, either as a Cub evaluator of talent to pluck out for your 40-man roster, or as a Met or Colts scout to gamble a pick on? (I can’t type out the words "Cub scout" without some clarification.) For example WAY down deep, in a town you will rightly suspect me of making up, the 1963 Cubs had Glenn Beckert, who would in a few years be their All-Star second baseman, but now is just a 22-year-old in A ball with the 10th highest OPS on the Wenatchee Chiefs roster. (Look it up if you think I’m pulling your leg.) They just had nothing in the whole system, major-league or minor-league, to be worth discussing, much less drafting. I decided to have the Colt 45s draft Ken Aspromonte for the dubious pleasure of reuniting the Aspromonte boys for the first time since, well, forever. The older (much older) brother had compiled a .330 OBP while starting 319 MLB games at second base, and while he was effectively finished as a major leaguer, he was only 31 and like I said, they Colt .45s really didn’t have a lot of better options.  I suspect this problem will only get worse when move on to the eighth-place Pirates.

They did have some players with funny names, I’ll give them that.  The silliest name of any baseball player I’ve seen recently is Phil Mudrock, who I swear is not a typo.  The name "Murdock" is a normal name, right? And someone just switched the "d" and "r" around and came up with Mudrock, right? No, that really is the guy’s name. The first words ever spoken by a human, perhaps, invented by a guy 200,000 years ago, who needed to describe the objects he was grasping in his hairy prehensile paw: "Mud," he spake. "Rock. Rock? Mud! Mud fill rock? Rock fill mud. Phil Mudrock."

They also had some very famous people playing in their farm system, like shortstop Jimmy Stewart, who batted, fielded, and was young enough for the Mets to draft him with their fourth pick above, and whom I imagine getting into constant disputes over billing, co-stars, and contract with his teammate Jack Warner. Or astronaut John Glenn, in the re-entry stage of a pretty futile career as an outfielder.  Or Bob Will, who at age 31 had a spectacular year for the Salt Lake City Bees, and a better one for the Texas Playboys. In 1963, Will (not Wills, I know) had one of the worst OPSes in the major leagues I ever saw (.382) and one of the best I ever saw in the minor leagues (.985 in 103 games), but he was 31 and at the end of a long string.

OK, now for the final established NL team, and the only one to play under .500 ball in 1963, your Pittsburgh Pirates:

 

 

PIRATES 15 PROTECTED

PIRATES 25 UNPROTECTED

Mets pick (#)

Colts .45 Pick (#)

1

Gene Alley

Ron Brand

 

 

2

Bob Bailey

Bob Burda (AAA)

 

 

3

Don Cardwell

Smokey Burgess

 

 

4

Roberto Clemente

Tom Butters

 

 

5

Donn Clendenon

 

 

Steve Blass (AAA) 1

6

Roy Face

Larry Elliot

 

 

7

Bob Friend

Earl Francis

 

 

8

Bill Mazeroski

 

Joe Gibbon 3

 

9

Al McBean

 

 

Julio Gotay 4

10

Jim Pagliaroni

Fred Green (AAA)

 

 

11

Dick Schofield

Harvey Haddix

 

 

12

Don Schwall       

Pancho Herrera (AAA)

 

 

13

Willie Stargell

Rex Johnston AAA

 

 

14

Bob Veale

Vern Law

 

 

15

Bill Virdon

Charles Leonard (AA)

 

 

16

 

Dick Lines (AAA)

 

 

17

 

Johnny Logan

 

 

18

 

Jerry Lynch

 

 

19

 

Orlando McFarlane (AAA)

 

 

20

 

 

Manny Mota 2

 

21

 

Tom Parsons

 

 

22

 

Elmo Plaskett

 

 

23

 

Bob Priddy (AAA)

 

 

24

 

Ted Savage

 

 

25

 

Tommie Sisk

 

 

26

 

Bob Skinner

 

 

27

 

Tom Sturdivant

 

 

                           ​                         ​           

In some ways, the Pirates’ situation resemble the Reds’: a former (1960) pennant winner, now in decline, some heroes of 1960 have gone over the hill, and the question is whether there’s even a glimmer that they will come back. I’d guess that the 8th place below-500 Pirates would be more realistic than the Reds, but only because a year further from their championship, and would expose Vern Law, Smokey Burgess and some lesser 1960 luminaries to the draft.

I have the Colt .45s taking Steve Blass as their #1 pick. They’re not being particularly brilliant or far-sighted in picking Blass, who won’t have his first really successful year in MLB until 1968, nor are the Pirates particularly dim-witted in placing him on their 40-man roster in the fall of 1963 (assuming they did). Blass has already had some big years in A ball and in AA and just finished a winning year (11-8) at AAA at age 21. I think they’ve got to protect him by putting him on the 40-man roster and I think they’ve got to risk losing him by not putting him on the 15-man protected roster.

The strategy of picking younger players in the expansion draft is more uncertain than picking vets, but even if more than half never work out, that’s really the way to go. It really makes very little sense to pick a non-star much over the age of 28 in an expansion draft—the upside of them improving is very little, the downside of them crashing is very high, and it’s all a crap shoot anyway, so why not gamble on a young player fulfilling his potential and much more?

Anyway, the Mets draft Manny Mota #2 and Joe Gibbon #3—Gibbon had a good year in 1961 at the back of the Pirates rotation, and not much since, but he’s only 28 and might bounce back. The Colt .45s end this draft by picking perennial prospect Julio Gotay.

The second-division part of the expansion is a little less good than the first-division part:

 

Steve Boros 3B

Ken Aspromonte 2B

Joe Gibbon P

Steve Blass P

Dick Kelley P

Jim Brewer P

Manny Mota OF

Julio Gotay SS

Joe Nuxhall P

Don Pavletich C-1B

Claude Raymond P

Mel Queen OF

Art Shamsky OF-IB

Dennis Ribant P

Jimmy Stewart SS

Chico Salmon OF

               

Where this secondary draft of 1963 would have been successful is increasing the parity of the NL considerably—the original eight teams would have been marginally harmed, the more successful perhaps more than the weaker teams, and the two expansion teams certainly would have helped by the addition of a few competent major leaguers to their roster.  Where it fails, however, is in raising the stature of the Astros or the Mets: both expansion clubs would have still been the weak sisters of the league, perhaps finishing more like 67-95 than 61-101 with these added players, maybe finishing in 6th place in their best year rather than 8th, but not significantly more competitive than they would have been without this extra draft. The flaw here was in not going far enough to make the Mets and Astros closer to equal.

 

Part III of this series tomorrow, with synoptic results, what I learned from doing this exercise, and a possible way to improve this model of expansion drafting methods.       

 
 

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