Mystery MLB Team Recently Spent At Least $US500,000 On A Supercomputer To Use During Games

Cray Titan Supercomputer
Cray Titan Supercomputer Getty Images

While electronic devices are banned from Major League Baseball dugouts, that won’t stop one mystery team from using a supercomputer during games to direct strategy.

Cray CEO Pete Ungaro recently told The Economist that an unnamed MLB team purchased a Cray supercomputer with the intention of being able to analyse large volumes of information in a very short amount of time.

Specifically, the supercomputer will allow the team to process information during a game quickly enough that they will be able to use the information to influence strategy during the same game.

While Ungaro did not reveal which model was purchased, Cray supercomputers range in price from $US500,000 for the XC30-AC which is targeted at business customers, up to $US60 million for the Cray Titan.

There is one clue to the identity of the mystery team.

The Economist says Ungaro described the team as one that “exemplifies an organisation that, five years ago, most people would not have dreamed would need, or even want, a supercomputer.”

This would seem to eliminate small-market Moneyball teams such as the Oakland A’s or the Tampa Bay Rays, two teams that would not surprise people if they wanted to use a supercomputer.

Rather, it sounds more like a big market club that has recently been successful without a heavy Sabermetrics reputation.

One thing we do know is that this is just further proof that there is no price too big for some teams when it comes to gaining any advantage.