Originally Posted by MikeThierry
I wasn't really comparing the payrolls of the Cards and Rays. I was comparing the approach. The Cardinals have a little bit of flexibility to spend but they have to be smart. They've also rebuilt the minor league system in recent years and seemed to rely more on their farm like the Rays do. The point I was making is that small and mid-market teams are forced to be smart with their money, both of which the Cards and Rays do.
Cards have really only rebuilt their minor league system over the last few years.
They also consistenly spend in the bottom of the top third of money in the majors.
The Cards built their teams in the 2000's mostly with trading for free agents to be, such as Edmonds, Rolen, Renteria,etc, or signing FA's, such as Encarnacion, Vina, Furcal, Carpenter, Lohse, Izzy etc. They were certainly not a team that was built through the draft.
I think you are confusing what they may become over what they have been.