Reflecting on the last two posts by Zambonir and jdp, yes, for a recently-turned-50 year old phan, this is another way in which "the new way of doing things" is a bit jarring. I guess the standard that I had grown accustomed to is that a rebuilding team accumulates good young talent by scouting and developing it and acquiring it in trades of veteran players. Over time, a young core emerges and that young core grows and develops together while we, the fans, grow in our familiarity and ability to identify with them through the years. Of course, other players come from the outside. Some home grown players are traded for more useful pieces. Some free agents are signed. Some are astute waiver wire pickups or rule five players. But, the team we see develop has some semblance of a core which is constant. That's what happened with the first golden age team that Paul Owens built and what happened with the second golden age team that Ed Wade built and Pat Gillick and RAJ consolidated. Both of those teams had long windows of opportunity and, even though each only reached the mountaintop once, the gave us many years of good baseball and good days/nights at the ballpark and seasons that were filled with excitement hope and anticipation.
Nowadays, however, it appears that modern day GM's play chess with assets with a focus on maximizing the window of opportunity at that moment. Everyone is an asset. I guess I had expectations that we would be able to see the likes of Herrera, Crawford, Alfaro, Kingery, Hoskins, Nola and ultimately, Sanchez all grow and develop together as a winning core which would enjoy a long window of opportunity similar to the long windows of opportunity that both of the aforementioned golden ages had. A good trade and free agent signing here and there would fill out the rest of the squad. Yeah, you can't help but wonder if Klentak was around 17 years ago, he would have treated Rollins, Utley, Hamels, Howard, Hamels or Ruiz as mere assets to maximize the window of opportunity in the period of say 2003-06 but ultimately at the expense of 2007-11. As a fan, getting to grow in familiarity with the team as it grows at the Major League level always had some kind of an appeal. Now, the new rule seems to be constant roster volatility in the name of constantly trying to maximize value. Maybe we'll enjoy winning baseball--and, heck, maybe even a championship if things work out--but we'll never really get the chance to "know" the team and I wonder if this effort to maximize opportunities is narrowing the windows for them. Does "the new way of doing things" build championship contenders that are lasting or just go for it for maybe three years? Heck, there's already talk that the Cubs may blow things up after 2019 and start rebuilding again. Now, the rule seems to be "tear down, tank and rebuild, get assets, leverage them for the maximum chance at a championship for particular period, tear down, tank and rebuild, cycle repeat". Heck, that's not just MLB anymore though.
Or, maybe, this is just the reality that despite years of poor teams since 2012, we've managed to build a mediocre farm system and, as a result, Klentak has to build a team in this manner. I don't know.