Originally Posted by PuffyPig
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.
How did they trade for their players though? Many times they traded minor league players or players they developed through the system to get that talent (IE Edmonds aquired by trading Adam Kennedy, Rolen aquired by the Cardinals trading Plácido Polanco, Mike Timlin, and Bud Smith). They got Waino through trading JD Drew, who the Cardinals drafted. The point is that they developed those players and put them in a situation where they could trade. There's multiple ways to skin a cat, which the farm system is for. You can either hold onto talent or trade for it. Reds fans know this first hand with the moves they've made the last two years. You wouldn't have been able to do those moves if you didn't have the farm system in place.