Sarris: How many good young players does a team really need in order to compete?

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on December 19, 2018:

With​ so many​ teams selling their players in order​ to​ field the next​ core, it’s​ a great time to​ try​ and​​ unpack what, exactly, makes one. How many good young players does a team need to be ready to compete?

The word ‘young’ here does double the lifting in the age of arbitration and free agency. Young is pre-peak, meaning the players are likely to get better before they get worse. So we’ll use 26 years old — the consensus for peak age these days — as the marker between young and old, even if most of us would rather not believe that as the case in our personal lives. But young also means cheap, which is important for teams trying to manage their money while building the rest of the squad.

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Originally published: December 20, 2018. Last Updated: December 20, 2018.