Oakland A's GM Billy Beane would love to have more money to spend on his team.
However, as the executive explained to CSN Bay Area back in spring training, for now he has to live within the means of the organization:
“At the end of the day, having more money to invest is good...But until that point comes, we have to operate very much like a business, where we spend what we have, and no more.”
In 2013, Beane has been quite the businessman. His club won 96 games, and locked down the AL West title for a second straight season. The 96 wins are second best in the AL and tied for third most in all of baseball.
According to ESPN, the team's $60 million payroll ranked fourth lowest in MLB. For reference, the Texas Rangers' payroll was $112 million and the third-place Los Angeles Angels' tab came in at $127 million.
So, how exactly do Beane's club not just compete with, but beat teams with payrolls twice the size of Oakland's?
By making every dollar, and every move count.
More specifically, however, Beane is the master of finding discarded or undervalued players—from supposedly washed-up veterans to minor leaguers nobody has ever heard of. Along with manager Bob Melvin, Beane consistently puts those players in positions to thrive. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have the magic touch when calling up prospects.
There has been a lot of roster shuffling along the way to a second straight AL West title, and the team's best record since 2003.
So, here's a break down of the five most pivotal transactions made by Beane in 2013.