Tired of Chasing Astros, A’s Look Forward to a ‘Level’ Playing Field

MESA, Ariz. — As memorable titles go, it is hard to beat “Moneyball,” the catchy name of the Michael Lewis book that chronicled the unlikely rise of the Oakland Athletics early this century. Few recall the very telling subtitle: “The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.”

“The Astros are probably the best team I’ve ever played against in my life these last few years — they’re amazing,” Matt Chapman, Oakland’s star third baseman, said on Thursday at Hohokam Stadium. “I haven’t played against the Nationals or the Dodgers, but the Astros are as good as anybody. And whether it’s banning technology or whatever it is, I’m just happy the playing field has been leveled 메이저사이트.”

This season, at least, the A’s can go back to competing on the uneven turf they understand and accept. Their payroll will be a franchise record — about $92.5 million, according to Baseball Prospectus — and the Astros will spend more than twice as much. The Astros have eight players earning at least $10 million this season, and the A’s have two: designated hitter Khris Davis and shortstop Marcus Semien.

“All these things are expensive on the market — power, on-base — and defense is now expensive, too,” General Manager David Forst said. “The fact that we developed two Gold Glovers out of the draft who are both making around $600,000 this year is a hugely important part of why this team can be successful — and Marcus’s emergence.

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