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.
Last edited by dabvu2498; 01-07-2013 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Language
Unless you don't believe in "BABIP", that's as logical as it gets.
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.
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.