cyben5150: As a rule I try to keep my payroll as efficient as possible. If I don't have a serious WS contender there is little reason to spend $4 mil re-signing a guy who will provide only a marginal upgrade over what I have in the minors or can find on waivers.
At some point I figured I had a squad of great defenders so I could skimp on pitching and still put up respectable numbers, saving millions in the process. My staff at the pinnacle of this strategy had 4 starters making minimum and one making ~$5 million. Bullpen topped out at one guy making ~$1.5.
Great in theory, but in practice? Well, my staff posted an ERA of 4.20 helped in large part by my two "best" starters posting ERAs about half a run and a full run better than their career averages. This season resulted in a grand total of 69 wins.
Over the course of this strategy my team was generally mediocre and good for wins in the mid 70s to 80s; too good to get a high draft pick, too low to make the playoffs causing the franchise to stagnate for a short period.
Now, the failed strategy here? It wasn't the skimping money per se, rather it was trying to force a strategy onto my team when I didn't have the make up to support it. Looking back I wasn't getting high draft picks and had few potential superstars in the organization. This was most apparent in my pitching where I was at this point churning out mid rotation starters and fringe relievers.
This meant that I wasn't centering my staff around a couple stud pre-arb guys and filling it out with league average arms, rather I was centering my staff around league average arms and surrounding them with more of the same.
I have gotten the low payroll pitching to work (3.49 ERA, only guy over minimum made $710K), but the low payroll came organically via a couple solid draft and international classes coming up together and being better options than the guys that would have been making more money. When forced upon a roster however, it was an unmitigated failure.
Blanch13: I arrived too late at $20MM for the "Supersoldier Medical Bug," which is apparently no longer in effect.
With $20MM medical, you used to be able to put any injured player on the 60-day DL and get super-normal ratings improvements as he recovered from injury, even surpassing previous ratings by big amounts (if you could keep them on the DL a long time and get a lot of cycles).
I finally got up to $20MM medical last season, and Tony Baerga blew out an elbow after only 2 starts. I kept him on the 60-day DL the whole season and he only got 1 injury recovery cycle. WIS even kicked him off the DL during the offseason (you used to be able to keep those guys on the DL over the offseason and they would roll up even more ratings improvements).
Bye-bye, $20MM medical bug.