In order for teams with heavy budget constraints to compete, they MUST, MUST, MUST cash in on cheap talent.
If you are given the choice between a high prospect that MIGHT produce nicely for six cheap years, and a star who will almost SURELY produce nicely, BUT AT A COST EQUAL TO HIS VALUE, for any amount of time, we MUST side with the prospect 90% of the time.
For example, if the Royals would trade us Greinke for Teheran straight up, we should say no. Sure, Greinke would give us a certain value for 2 years, but it would cost 27 million dollars. Teheran, even by only becoming a #3 pitcher (and he should do more) will dwarf that value by giving us six years for less than 20 million all total.
Same for Gonzo versus Freeman.
The place to spend money is where you have no hot prospect. Following this simple method keeps you with the MOST chances to cash in on cheap talent. Because, I repeat, if we fail to cash in on cheap talent, we will run out of money, period.
By spending big money only where you don’t have any in-house options, and hanging onto your top prospects, it’s like loading the little lottery-basket with more ping pong balls. Every prospect, even the hot ones, will not work out. But it’s suicide to subtract many of the ping pong balls when you know you MUST cash in on at least 3 or 4 of them every 10 years to have a chance.
It’s not that we should never hire premium talent. But it should be like Uggla, who both cost us almost nothing in terms of cheap impact talent (nothing he won’t demolish, value-wise, in his very first year), and does not block any prospect from producing for us cheaply.
Blah blah blah. That’s so long and rambling, even I am not going to read it. And God knows I love reading my own posts….