Good stuff here from Tom Verducci....
Before the playoffs began, I asked A's general manager Billy Beane what he liked best about his club. "Baseball teams are very mathematical," he said. "You can have a star player like Mike Trout and completely nullify his performance if you have two players that are really bad. We don't have bad players. All 25 players are very specific players with very specific roles.
"We're a mutual fund, and we're a value fund. We've got a bunch of equities earning three to nine percent. We don't have a 20 percent and we don't have a negative 20 percent."
Oakland was one of just 10 teams last year that did not have a player qualify for the batting title with an adjusted OPS of 100 or less. Six of those teams made the playoffs. The lesson is to avoid the negative-20-percenters. Don't give too much playing time to lousy players, which can negate the advantages of your very good players -- and if you do have such a problem, fix it.
The 2013 playoff field was filled with teams that smartly found a remedy after getting the worst output in their league at a specific non-pitching position. For instance, after ranking last in the AL in OPS+ by rightfielders in 2012, the Tigers signed free agent Torii Hunter and then zoomed to fifth in the league in 2013.
Read More: The worst positions in baseball -- and how to fix them - MLB - Tom Verducci - SI.com