Re: It's never going to be perfect
What a small market team like the Reds should do:
1. have a farm system that continually cranks out major league players. Not just stars but decent position players, role/bench players, BOR starters & middle relievers. young players don't cost a lot of money which is key.
just look at guys who are expected to be role players in 2009 and ask what they would get if they were free agents (Hanigan, Dickerson, Masset,etc). a LOT more than $400-500K.
2. get two TOR starters, two late inning relievers & three stud position players. then try to fill in the rest on the cheap. this is what the Cardinals did for years.
3. build a quality defensive team, especially up the middle.