Smizik: Avoid Sano

Bob Smizik on Miguel Angel Sano:

In an era when the most sophisticated scouting by the National Football League cannot accurately predict the success of 22 and 23-year-old men and when the best talent evaluators in Major League Baseball miss way too often on college, let along high-school age, players, it makes no sense -- none -- to spend millions on a sophomore in high school.

Leaving aside the question of whether a sportswriter who consistently misses the boat on just about everything has any business questioning "talent evaluators," the problem here is that the Pirates don't need to be certain that Sano will play in the big leagues for him to be a good investment. If they did, no one would ever sign draft picks or Latin American amateurs. Or veterans. No investment in the future is certain.

The issue is the chance that he'll be successful. If the Pirates pay Sano $4 million, it is certainly true that he could discover American food and gain 100 pounds, or never adjust to American culture, or simply never get better, and if any of those things happened the Pirates would get nothing for that $4 million. But the Bucs have to weigh that possibility against the chance that Sano will become a star in the majors, in which case they'll be able to pay him far below market value for six years. If that happened, the Pirates would get as much as a tenfold return on their initial investment of $4 million.

Smizik is obviously right that the Pirates should be cautious here. But this is the same person who argued last year that Xavier Nady should be given an extension, presumably for far more than $4 million. His risk-reward calibrator is obviously way out of whack. Veterans aren't automatically safe bets, and risky bets aren't automatically bad ones. 

* * *
Very busy week for me. I'll be updating more starting tomorrow.
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Join Bucs Dugout

You must be a member of Bucs Dugout to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucs Dugout. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker