As for the A's... the core principles of their approach have been appropriated by every other team in baseball, including teams with a lot more money, so no surprise that they haven't been winning. Edges only exist for as long as you're one of a few (or better yet, the only one) exploiting them. Which is one of the many reasons why I'm keen to see Everton ditch the reliance on "proper football men" and move on to a more efficient mix of analytics and traditional/video scouting.
Even when they were the only ones exploiting them they weren't really winning anything though. Because other teams could spend. Look, Money Balls a great movie and all, and Bill James' work works wonders in the game of Baseball. I'm a huge fan of it. But I think analytical stats are really overrated in other team sports. It matters who plays with who, and where players play, and what systems players play in in other team sports(Take Keane for example). Baseball is an individualist team sport. To an extent The numbers are the numbers no matter where the player plays.
IMO If you want to build a whole team around analytics over in Europe(especially the PL) you run the risk of being relegated to lower divisions. Especially when you're in the top flight of the country where teams spend big.
As I said before, it's possible to do so in NA sports as there's no risk to relegation. There's actually rewards to coming last.
It's also possible to do it in the Championship and finish mid table... I get what you're saying with the limited budget and all, but not really a ringing endorsement.
Saying all that, I definitely agree we need to start getting more bang for our buck when we buy, and we need to find some unknowns on the cheap. If that means bringing in some nerdy analytics kids then I'm fine with that. The more people helping the better. I also believe, even more, we need to start building a team
through the transfer market and not just arbitrarily buying players that we think are good.
Honestly, i think we should be looking to the bundesliga for our talent.
Geiger, cuisance, havertz, Arne maier, etc. etc.