Originally Posted by red-in-la
Another good plan is to follow the Braves/Rays plan. Be the laughing stock of baseball for 10-15 years, build a farm system full of top draft choices and hope you don't stay the laughing stock of baseball (ala the Pirates and Brewers (bucket heads?)).
Teams like the Rays, Marlins, Pirates, As, Royal, Twins, Brewers, and Reds have no other choices
(alternatives) other then to emphasize recruiting, scouting, and building through the farm systems. The don't have the financial resources to get into a "spending war" with organizations like NY, Boston, Chicago, who, when they want to fill a need can simply go out and acquire it. They can even take risks on contracts because of those financial resources available to them.
IMO... the Reds, as far as yearly payroll (73 mil), are in the middle of the pack. They are not like the top tier organizations (100+ mil/yr) or the bottom feeders (30/40 mil/yr).
(high payroll) does not guarantee success. Take a good hard look at the current Seattle Mariners (115 mil) for example. Or the Baltimore Orioles. You have to be able to identify and spend the money wisely
But since the days of Branch Rickey, a team's success was rooted in the strength of their farm system
. It always has been.
And the current economic situation (disparity) that has evolved in MLB over the last 15 years validates that point even more IMO.
The Reds, over the last decade or so, have struck out in both of those points..... bad spending and a bad farm system. That is a recipe for disaster.
We spend (commit) huge amounts of our yearly payroll on a few players, and round out the rest of the roster, due to whats left within the payroll budget, with whatever we can scrounge up. Its why we are trying to make starters (everyday) players out of guys like a Freel, Hairston, and a host of other "rejects" from around baseball.
The Oakland As have a comparable payroll to the Reds. Yet how are they able to consistently compete?
An organizational structure/system that not only emphasizes developing young talent; but also has the people in place within that structure that KNOW how to do it.
I think the Reds were starting to head in that direction in the last few years, as far as the farm system goes.
But turning around a farm system is not something that is accomplished overnight. Especially when it's been pretty barren to begin with, with few bright spots (a Dunn here, a Bruce there).
You have to get it to the stage where it's a consistent source. And not just a source of supply for your roster alone; but ALSO as a source of sund trading chips when needed.
Again - the Reds don't have that.
The Brewers just acquired (rented) Sabbathia, and gave up some prospects to do so. One was LaPorta. Now some my be on either side of this deal; but my point is this.....
If your farm system is sound enough to begin with, then it can withstand or hold up from such a trade. Especially if that trade (rental) gets you into the post-season.