Last season we did a little table that showed the "Major" (Type A and B) talent flows, expressed as numerical totals, between divisions.
As a reminder to the vets and intro to the newcomers, here's what we did:
We assigned a value of 1 to the Type B's, a value of 2 to the Type A's, and a value of 4 to the Type Super-A's (just a thing I made up for this little game). If a team lost a Type A, that was -2 for that division.
So we just added up all the A and B free agents and Type A and B players (estimated) moving in trades, by division.
A year later we can ask, "Did that mean anything...did it predict changes in wins and losses to any degree?"
Well, let's see:
Looks like it predicted the direction of wins correctly in 6 of 8 divisions. AL East and AL West broke counter to the prediction.
The other question is whether big talent flow changes meant big changes in wins. It did in the AL South (+7 talent flow, +28 wins) and NL East (-6 talent flow, -37 wins), but missed on the AL West (-6 talent flow, +6 wins). And the NL South and NL West had big jumps in wins without significant talent inflows.
Obviously, we're not picking up all the talent movement - we ignoring the vast bulk of free agents and trades, all the rookie promotions, and everything that happens after the start of the season.
We're just tracking the big-name, pre-season movement. And while it's not a great predictor, it at least gives some indication of which divisions are going to improve win totals.
With that in mind, here's this season's pre-season talent flow table:
What's striking this year is all the activity in the NL East...lots of coming and going and a lot of players changing teams within the division.
Type Super-A's for this were Caballero, Adams, Torrealba and Casey. Gutierrez obviously would have been a Super-A, but since he didn't change teams I didn't include him.