I agree with ya TT.
The vast majority of MLB owners/organizations are in the same boat as the Reds are. Even teams with payrolls in the 70-80 Mil range (some, not all) were mediocre teams with won-loss records that were nothing to brag about.
It tells me there is more to it, and may have alot to do with your organization's infra-structure, and having the right personnel in the right places to scout, develop, make those "key" baseball related and on-field decisions, and yes, at the right times, make acquisitions.
And I will agree that this may very well be the area where this organization has huge weaknesses.