Building for the future and other mistakes
Interesting how so many fans are so concerned about trading prospects for established talent. This time, it involves acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect.
I do it in a second because (1) a reason you build your farm system is to have players to trade and (2) If you are a small-money club, you don't get chances to win every year. The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter, finish 3rd or 4th, win about 80 games; trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer.
I look at prospect-hoarding like this: You save your whole life for retirement. You sacrifice when you're young, so you can take it easy when you're not. Then when you retire, you become sick or infirm and all that money you could have spent when you were young enough to enjoy it just sits there.
Blanton is a proven winner, a guy who threw 230 innings last year, gave up only 16 homers in the AL and walked only 40 hitters. Cueto is. . . is. . . we don't know. Same for Votto and Bailey.
Do you want to win after 8 years of losing? Or do you want to brag about the prospects? Spend your money now, while you can? Or hoard it, for an uncertain future that might never arrive?