Originally Posted by traderumor
If these signings of our most talented youngsters don't show folks what a waste of time and money it is to turn to the FA market for costly underperforming vets, nothing will.
I've said this before but I think it bears repeating, with the current system, a team that can keep bringing through young talent to replace old talent getting ready to not be able to even come close to matching salary demands with production (see the Oakland model yet again, as I swallow a bit more of that tasty crow, pass the salt, please) is the one that can either win with a modest payroll or make a mint by keeping payroll costs down while yet winning.
A shrewd owner would quit paying millions to the Eric Miltons, Jeff Weavers, Jerrod Freaking Washburns, et al and make the top talent evaluating GM and his right and left hand men very comfortable, plus pay for an aces guy to oversee player development, the guy would make a ton of money in MLB. He or she wouldn't have to hold taxpayers hostage, they would have enough cash rolling in that it would be fun writing checks for the ballpark. The first thing I would do if buying a MLB franchise is pay Billy Beane, John Schuerholz, or Walt Jocketty about $5M a year and their buddies could make about $1M apiece (which is cheaper than one crappy veteran FA pitcher) because I know they'd make me at least tenfold of that by just being better than everybody else at the game.
Good point about building around quality leadership. That's a corporate concept that often seems lacking in professional sports.
But I've been turning over the idea of Jeff Weaver in my mind of late and I'm starting to think that he might be worth a one-year flyer. No way I'd want him for more than that, but the Reds have some spending room in the budget (or at least they should) and Weaver's probably looking to prove himself on a one-year deal at the moment. You probably could whip-saw him on price because he'll cost you a second rounder (though hopefully pick up something better than that at the trade deadline or next winter).
Weaver's got his downside and it's significant, but whoever gets him on a one-year deal gets him at what should be his most focused and in his prime. You might be able to steal a year with the guy, kind of like what Cleveland did with Millwood. The Reds can offer lots of offensive support and if he falls flat he's off the books soon enough.
Not that this idea thrills me, just that it's not as unappealing as a lot of other options facing the club at the moment. Who knows, maybe bringing in Weaver would get Dunn, Harang and Felipe talking LTC.