How else can this be understood?
That was my suggestion for how they should proceed right now…not how they should proceed at all times. If you think you should make the playoffs and make noise there, of course you don't deal talent for prospects. But if objective analysis has you playing for third or fourth place in your division, that might be a more appropriate time to rebuild.
It was admittedly a very long post, so here's the clarifying remark I made later in the post:
"If they were stocked with younger talent and ready to contend, I'd have a different view -- those moves may be more appropriate in that context. But within the context of where they stand compared to their division rivals, I don't think this is the effective way to build a team."
I like El KB's response. I completely agree that others may have a different perspective on whether the window to contend has closed or not. My only hope is that if this season is going nowhere, you cut bait quickly with these guys and get value rather than convince yourself next year will be different. I'll also second the getting rid of Seid vote. He is my Dom Capers of baseball.
2 picks after Jungmann? Jose Fernandez.
MLBTR's look at it
I think there are two things at play here.
1. How do you define rebuild? Are the Houston Astros rebuilding? Is Miami rebuilding? I don't buy into the thought that you get rid of every MLB worth a damn and trade for prospects. Trade some, sure, especially when you are Milwaukee and won't be able to resign guys like Fielder.
2. What I've seen out of Milwaukee the last several years I would think meets your objectives exactly. The farm system was in decent shape for a bit. You had Lawrie, Odorizzi, Jeffress, LaPorta, Brantley - guys that looked like they had potential. in 2008, when the opportunity to "go for it", as it were presented itself, they made a move with those assets. It paid off extremely well as the Brewers made the playoffs for the first time in 26 years, and provided one of the most exciting weekends of sports I've seen with that last series vs the Cubs. Again in 2011, they traded some farm guys to make a run. Then just like you are advocating, once it was obvious they weren't competing, they turn Greinke into Segura.
I don't think I'm philosophically that far off from you, as you may think. I honestly just don't see how you don't see the Brewers doing exactly what you are advocating. They made a very solid move to try to compete. If the Brewers regress back to the mean, their SP from last year should be better, now add Garza, and this is a solid rotation. And I am confident that should the first half look bad, they would move Gallardo and Lohse for sure. And restock the farm system, just like they did with Greinke.
The biggest problem right now, is the Brewers scouting department is not good. They miss consistently on pick (see above post on Fernandez vs Jungmann), they draft a kid they didn't know had diabetes. They do virtually nothing to scout Latin America. So, until they start drafting better, they have to make do with what they have.
That said, I'd rather compete with the roster as is through September and beyond vs hoping they suck and trade guys to restock the system.
I've said it multiple times - but go look at the guys the Brewers gave up for Sabathia, Marcum, and Greinke. Those teams were trying to restock as you describe, and really all those teams have to show for it are a replaceable CF and a weak hitting 2B with roid rage.
Why scout Latin America when you are nearly alone scouting untapped Canada?
I don't think I'm philosophically that far off from you, as you may think. I honestly just don't see how you don't see the Brewers doing exactly what you are advocating.
I agree that what we're saying is probably more aligned than not. I think there are several points of agreement, including:
1) The Brewers did the right thing leading up to that NLCS run
2) They've done a consistently lousy job of drafting/developing since that core reached the majors, especially at pitcher and internationally
3) They did a nice job flipping Greinke for solid assets
Post-NLCS run, here are the things I don't like (some of which you may agree with and some of which can just be an honest point of disagreement among fans):
1) Trying to plug pitching rotation holes with FAs. In 2008, I'd love an aggressive move for Garza or Lohse. But now...I don't fully get it. Even though we suck at drafting, I'd prefer we fix that with the front office than forfeit a pick for a guy like Lohse. Lohse is a fine pitcher, but in the large scheme of things, it's highly unlikely he or Garza are enough to even get this team in the playoffs, let alone do anything when they get there. I'd rather see what are young arms can do then invest $ or give up picks for FAs.
2) Obsession with veterans who don't contribute that much. Obviously Yuni. This year, why bother with Overbay or Reynolds or Francisco at 1B? Just give the job to Morris and see what he can do.
3) Not dealing veteran assets. The Greinke deal was great. Not clear why we never dealt Hart or Weeks or Ramirez when we had the chance. I'd add Gomez to that list now as well. Again, those are all players I'd hold on to if I was close to contending, but if we're not drafting well, we need to get talent somehow, and these are the guys I would look to deal.
So while I loved the investment and philosophy Mark A and Melvin had leading up to the NLCS (and the fans deserved that by the way), I feel the success of that run has paralyzed their thinking. Likely they don't want to take a hit at the box office. Or perhaps they realized it workd in the past for going for it, so they think they can do it again even though the circumstances are different. Whatever the reason, I think their current approach may lead to another dry spell for Milwaukee. Teams like Oakland and Tampa have shown how a smaller market team can compete -- and it's not by trying to make noise in FA. Pitt has caught on as well. On the flip side, you've got big market teams like St. Louis and the Cubs in your division that have just gotten much smarter about how they spend their massive resources. So the Brewers need to be smarter to compete in the future and I think they are investing in the wrong area (Lohse, Garza) rather than in gutting and building out a first class scouting department
Just going to address the Morris comment.
I'd love Morris to be 2012 Morris more than anyone, but in his (short) career, that one is certainly the outlier.
Reynolds as your full time 1st base bothers me. Francisco as your full time 1st base bothers me. Those two as a platoon has the potential to be adequate. The can both back up third, which we will likely need at some point.
I get wanting Morris, but it isn't like the investment in the other two is that high. If Morris has hit the ball better last year, he could have forced the organizations hand. He's kinda like Gamel, instead of getting hurt, he just found the worst possible time to be mediocre.
First base sucks in this organization right now, but I happier they invested in another starting pitcher than first base, as pitching has been keeping this team down more than offense. And Yuni isn't playing first.
Overbay is likely in the mix at 1B as well.
And, Robin I'll one up you, I would have tried (not to say they haven't) shopping Gomez this winter. I could be wildly wrong, however, I believe 2013 will be viewed as an outlier in his career when it's all said and done. His value will never be higher. I want to be clear though that I would need to be blown away for him at this point, I'm not giving him Gomez at his apex for "hope" a prospect exceeds expectations.
And, finally I was never a big fan of the Lohse deal and giving up the pick, but regardless of what happens, I think the Garza move has little downside other than injury. If we are in it, he's a great pitcher to have, if we aren't, he's got a great contract that contenders could easily absorb.
I honestly don't think Overbay has a chance.
I agree Gomez may be at his peak, but he makes his money being a defensive stud. Even if he can keep up his OPS of 770 in 2012, he is worth every penny. I fairly confident he doesn't sustain the .843 OPS he carried last year. I'd need to be blown away to make a move with him.
Is "DL guy" the new moneyball guy? I agree, all things considered, I'd rather roll the dice with injuries and Garza than lower (but more consistent) performance from Nolasco. The only thing missing might be that I suspect Garza will also age throughout this contract.
I have to say, I'm surprised they got him to sign this contract.
4 million reasons to work out and stay healthy.
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