Originally Posted by MikeThierry
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.
But this issue wasn't whether the Cards (like the Rays) had decent farm systems.
The issue was whether the Cards and the Rays were following the same model.
The Cards model in the 2000's was to trade for or sign expensive FA's or FA's to be, sometimes using prospects to aquire those players.
The Rays model was to rely upon cheap, young talent, and trade them away when they got expensive for cheap, young talent.
The Cards and the Rays approach was actually the complete opposite.