At no point should it be a bad thing to be considered the smartest guy in the room. Being smart (I assume) is awesome. Alex Anthopoulos is clearly a smart guy, with many other smart guys around him to ensure smart, savvy, decisions get made.
Occasionally "the smartest guy in the room" is a pejorative volleyed at those who believe they can outsmart the system and conventional schools of thought. I don't think Alex Anthopoulos and team are to this level yet, but a couple errant arbitration hearings might take the shine off his recent tidy bit of business.
One concern I can't shake, however unfounded, is the powerful players union turning his angry eye towards these manipulations of the system. Exploiting the avarice of professionals with a 12 year earnings window is the exact thing union simultaneously promotes and attempts to protect its members against.
It is a shame that AA can't wryly brag during a conference call about swiping a draft pick from the Rockies, he has to play the game and say All the Right Things, as compiled by the fine Jordan Bastian:
No, and I've been reading a lot of that today. There's a lot of components with that. We didn't talk about the players that we pursued last offseason. When we signed John Buck, we were really agonizing over -- at the time -- Miguel Olivo and John Buck. ... Collectively, we elected to go with John BuckI wonder if that has to do with John Buck being relatively awesome and Miguel Olivo being, uh, less so. The PA won't stand by and have players market value submarined by the draft pick compensation to the point that they players are worth less than the potential pick. When club options built into deals are sold as an incentive to players, savvy teams are going to decline the options almost every time; independent of that player's performance.
Anthopoulos and crew know this and they plan to make the most of it. The opportunity to bring back Kevin Gregg and Jason Frasor on the cheap is a good one for the team (for now), a less than ideal one for the players. Hopefully the clever machinations of the Jays exceedingly-competent front office doesn't attract the wrong kind of attention. Or give the Orioles any ideas. The AL East doesn't need any more well-run teams, thank you very much. Perhaps they should consider the Sabean Approach. I heard it works wonders!
Image courtesy of Padre Steve