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Courtesy of Courtesy of 3E Company

The Oakland Athletics are on to something. Despite having one of the lowest payrolls in major-league baseball, the A’s have qualified for the playoffs in each of the last four years. The only other teams to accomplish that feat are the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves, who have spent an average of 63 percent more on player salaries in that same time period than Oakland. In 2003 alone, the Yankees spent $100 million more on player salaries than the A’s, yet won only five more games—that’s $20 million for each additional win. Which team gathered the better information about players and made the wisest decisions?

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