With Theo and Cashman aiming a little more at the future than in the present, will the Red Sox and Yankees only get more dominant?
If they both stick to the logic of building through the farm system then these two teams may become even more dominant down the road. Without a salary cap the money is going to be there. These two teams have the highest payrolls by far when compared to the rest of baseball. But in recent years they have mostly focused on "building to win now" and less on "building to win later." They would trade away good, young prospects in order to obtain veterans that would help immediately, some being half-season rentals.
Imagine if they keep all of these young prospects rather than trade them. The Tabata’s, the Ellsbury’s, the Buchholz’s, Phil Hughes, etc. Then eventually all of these prospects will develop, and in the meantime they will be able to compete because they still have the unlimited funds flowing out. They can of course sign free agents to fill holes while some of their young guys are riding on the bus, learning how to play at this level.
But what happens, in say six years, when they seem to be back on track with their farm systems? And from what I hear both have pretty talented systems as of now anyway. They will have an abundance of prospects, and will still have more money to spend on the free agent market than anyone else. It is very possible that these two teams will only be harder to compete with. I mean we could be looking at the Oakland A’s with $200+ million dollar payrolls. Ludicrous! They probably will not have quite the young talent that the A’s have year after year. But the young talent they have down the road will definitely exceed what they have had the past five years or so.
No salary cap will only mean more problems. Teams such as the Devil Rays should be very good around 2009 when their young pitching finally develops. The difference with them and the two AL East juggernauts, is that if the Devil Rays need a $20 million position player or pitcher to fill one weak role on their team, they may not be able to afford it. The Red Sox or Yanks will be able to snag that player though.
Players like Josh Beckett, Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, and others will or would have been available eventually through free agency. And with so much money to spend these two teams have a good shot at getting them if they desire to. Teams just have to be patient. Theo has to hold on to his top prospects, trading only those who are decent if possible. He should not touch any high ceiling players. Guys like Hanley Ramirez. Especially when he does not have a superstar SS blocking him. If the Mets had a superstar SS waiting behind Reyes then it would make sense to move him for another piece. But only a few teams have a good enough SS to do this.
Hold on to the talent Theo. It will be much better in the long run.