Re: Soriano Signs With The NATS......
posted at 1/17/2013 12:20 AM EST
...they haven't signed any guys that will handcuff their ability to spend money in the future.
The future is now. We are already close to the luxury tax limit. We have Victorino signed until 2015. Certainly his $1`3M/yr is going to effect who we can sign the next 2 winters. Dempster will do the same for one more winter. Naps may or may not depending on the final resolution.
Sure, when compared to CC, Beckett and AGon's long term commitments, the new ones we made are not as bad looking on the surface due to shorter terms, but they will "handcuff" us for the next year or two. Neither SV or RD are likely to net us a draft pick when their term is up, and neither is so good that they will "block a prospect" (I love this silly one!), but the overall view is that nobody we signed this winter look to significantly help us get over the top in 2014 or 2015. Their best attributes, according to some posters here, are that they will be gone soon and we didn't lose any prospects to get them.
Their skill level seems secondary to some here, and the pink glasses used to view our signings are quickly taken off when judging alternative plans put forth by some of us that are not too excited by the overall direction this winter has taken us. For example, Justin Upton has been torn to shreads on this site, while Shane V has been glorified to no end. Posters point to no lost prospects and how we are looking good for 2014 and beyond, but then bash the notion that we could have gotten some nice prospects for players we will be losing anyways after the lost season of 2013: Ellsbury, Salty and Breslow. Holding onto these 3 guys should fly in the face of "the youth movement" and the "great longterm plan", but instead some posters are clinging to the hopes of a 2013 miracle as a reason to not trade these guys, while at the same time blasting anyone with a plan to trade a couple prospects or players who will be walking soon for a player that helps us now and maybe the next 2+ years as well (as in Upton or Myers). I'm just seeing a lot of selective reasoning that flips and flops to match up positively with whatever Ben move was made. If Ben had traded for Upton, the some of the same guys bashing the suggested trades to get him would have been hailing it as brilliant had he made the move 5 weeks ago.
I realize there are many posters here who will bash Ben for everything he has done, is doing and will do, but there are also several who do exactly the opposite. I am neither. I am giving Ben a chance to prove me wrong, and I hope I am wrong.
I was so happy after the Dodger trade. Perhaps, I let my hopes get too high, and I don't mean in the sense that I expected to seriously compete this year, in fact, it was quite the opposite. I had hoped for a total rebuild that would have made us better in 2013 (perhaps only slightly), but would clearly had made us look to get stronger as we neared 2015. That hasn't happened, despite the pleas that not trading any kids has somehow made us stronger. At best, it kept us the same looking forward. The flip side could have been to make 1-2 bold big splash signings and try to at least have a legitimate sliver of hope in 2013, while locking up a player that rates to be helpful in 2015 and 2 more years afterwards, even if on a decline in productivity. I understand the risk, but at least it would have given us a real chance this year, without effecting the future negatively any more than what has been done this winter already.
Ben has played it half way, and in my opinion he did neither enough to win now or to help us win later. I will say the players he signed could all come together and give me a shock in 2013, or perhaps they could even help more than I project in 2014 and 2015, but I can't help but think we could have done more with all this money we spent.
We chose the weakest FA market in memory, the most overpaid FA market in memory to make the most signings in memory. What part of that makes sense. No amount of rationalizing that they are "short term deals" takes away from the stark reality that we spent like never before at the worst time ever. That's the bare bones reality of this winter. Pleasant surprises may occur, and I'll be rooting for them to happen every pitch of every game, but I have to stay true to my beliefs based on realism and facts and my philosphical baseball positions that are largely based on breaking some paradigms, building a strong starting rotation, and having a superb fielding SS as the foundation of building a team that can compete for years and years. All is not lost; our kids can rise up like Lynn & Rice and shock the world. A future trade or signing may tip the balance to the good. A bunch of little things can all come together to creat a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, but to tell you the truth, I'm tired of wishing on 15 miracles to all happen at once, and trying to minimize the fact that we have not addressed losing Schilling (or Pedro) and Manny, and until we make steps in that direction, we will not be taken seriously by objective baseball people.