Yeah, that's my point, don't clear the decks to go out and spend like a drunken sailor in two years for more FA "names." Just keep patching while you rebuild the farm system, yes it helps to pick top ten, but Moniak and Haseley aren't turning this organization around. Good scouts find players later in the 1st and often in the first 3 rounds, a good LA group finds players, both big bonuses but also $10K signings. Good trades (Eflin) can make a big difference, bad trades (Hamels) just prolong the agony.
Patches can keep this team competitive, but to get to the next level, you need a half dozen young players to step up, maybe not Bohm level, but better than what they've done so far.
We've gone the "name" route and it just ate up our cap room. And I think it distracted Middleton for a few years from addressing the organizational rot. You want a winner, draft well and trade well and FA is merely the icing on the cake.
The 2008 team (really 2008-2012) was built over a period of years. They were 65-97 in 2000, but had Lieberthal (28), Burrell (23), Lee (25), Rolen (25), Abreu (26), Wolf (23).
Next year add Rollins (22), Estrada (25), Duckworth (25), Padilla (23), along with Glanville (30), Mesa (35), Bottalico (31) and win 86 games.
Then added Myers (21) but slipped back to 81 wins.
Then added Polanco (27), Byrd (25), Millwood (28) and Bell (30), signed Thome (32) and back to 86 wins despite Mesa imploding.
2004, Utley and Madson join the show, but the pitching can't keep up with the lineup.
Point is they rebuilt from 2000 to 2004, but a better GM might have been the difference.
Byrd was traded for zilch in May 2005
Polanco was traded for zilch in the summer of 2005.
Abreu was traded for zilch in the summer of 2006.
Wolf was allowed to walk after 2006
They trade Thome to make room for Howard, get Rowand and Gonzalez, then package Gonzalez and Floyd for Garcia after the 2006 season.
They got lucky when Ruiz came out of nowhere at age 28, smart picking up Victorino (rule 5) and Werth (street),
But it makes you wonder how good they could have been from 2007-2012 if they had been more patient with their players, had they at least landed a few good pitchers the deals might have made sense, but they dumped a lot of talent for nothing - and smarter moves meant they wouldn't have had to strip the farm system for a five year run.