But, it's far more than being smart with talent development and acquisition. Of course the difference is that we don't have to unload our plus/star players when they start to become expensive. We can spend $120-150 million on our own becoming expensive guys plus star youngish FA. If the team is doing well, most stars are going to have to come as FA, because we won't have good first round draft position.
But, while we don't want to trade every single player once they become expensive, the Phillies need to break the sentimental Philadelphia habit of hanging onto fan heroes when they are both too expensive and obviously fading, while you can still get something for trading them.
Part of the focus on young players is not to shunt them aside and delay their development in deference to older vets. The Phillies have done far too much of this. Kingery should have been allowed to establish himself as a 2B. Utley should have been brought up a year earlier. The plus young players should be nurtured.
We also need to winnow out the scouting/development staff, giving $ and more say in draft selections to the talented guys who get it right and unsentimentally waving goodbye to those who don't. We need a steady focus on what we are looking for in a draftee/international 16-year old player. It's good to look for different things in different $ ranges (later in draft it makes sense to look for guys who can develop into middle relievers and bench players) but be consistent year to year and on same page across the organization.
The Phillies project as a sloppy-thinking organization which doesn't know what it believes and is buffetted by the winds of the latest fad. They aren't even a good second-follower team.
The Phillies aren't ruthless in self analysis. There are things they consistently do extremely poorly. They need to find what's wrong and fix it or just stay away from those things. We can't find and develop OFs. We can't find and develop H.S. position players. Yet, how many H.S. OFs have we wasted #1 picks on, getting no better results than we achieve with later round H.S. OF picks. Either find somebody who can do it or use the first rounders on college players and pitchers, whom we have a better record with.
Of course we want to spend at the lux tax cap limit every year.