Originally Posted by Chip R
Not that I'm in favor if it but Josh can go down to the minors next year.
And you send down the 26 year old hitting .288/.367/.547 who costs nothing so that you can pay a 33 year old 12M+ to hit .270/.340./460 and save you an extra 5-10 runs in the field? Ok....
A Hamilton/Hopper platoon is a lot cheaper and more productive than any FA. The added defense is not worth the loss of Dunn or the demotion of Hamilton.
I fully support a trade of Dunn or Junior given a good return as a way to open up CF for a better option. However, if you have Hamilton in LF, you don't need Ichiro in CF. If you lose one of Dunn or Junior, you play Hamilton & Bruce in RF & CF and play the veteran in LF. The current problem is the combination of a mediocre CF with two significantly subpar corners. You don't need a superior defensive CF and the loss of our corner guys to address the problem -- particularly not at the cost of offensive prowess and financial flexibility.
Given the FA market and our current distribution of talent, it really does come down to player development. Our biggest holes are the production of our corner IF. Those positions easily have the most room for growth and we supposedly have the talent to do it -- it just needs to grow.
As for the pitching, look at all the playoff teams. How many of them are winning based on the strength of FA pitching? It's trades (using developed talent) and developed talent - Beckett, Peavy, Penny, Webb, Sheets, Sabathia, etc.. Of the guys who were FA signings, most of them were ones we can't hope to replicate (Schilling, Pettite, Glavine). There are just a small handful of FA signings which we could hope to mimic -- Paul Bryd -- and even then, a larger number of mistakes which we couldn't survive.
Bottom line, on an $80M budget, you can't win with a team that gets a lot of production from FA signings. FA production is simply too expensive. You have to develop your production to win and there's no getting around it. If Bailey/Cueto don't develop, if Bruce & Votto are busts, this team won't win. Yeah, it's sort of fatalistic, but it's true. There's no offseason silver bullet which will change that.