by Hangouter: Frobby
I find myself vacillating as to whether the O's should try to build on the current core, or "blow it up." It often depends which side of the bed I wake up on.
I've realized that part of the reason is the relative youth of the team. If most of the guys we were talking about were 30+, the decision would be easy. But they're not. In 2012:
29: Hardy, Johnson
28: Markakis, Reynolds, Reimold, Andino, Berken
26: Wieters, Jones, Davis, Arrieta, Bergesen, Patton
25: Matusz, Hunter
24: Britton, Tillman
It's not like there's no upside in that group. And yet, it's not as if they are a bunch of rookies, either. With the exception of Britton, they have all played at least part-time in the majors since 2009 or earlier. So, it's hard to predict great leaps forward for them, either. In fact, in many cases we expected to see a big leap, and it hasn't come.
Another big problem, IMO, is that we are two years away from seeing any impact help from the farm system. Bundy, Machado and Schoop are that far away, and the guys below them on the food chain either are further away or realistically they are not impact players. So, by the time there is a pipeline of talent coming in, this group is 26-31 instead of 24-29, and some of these guys are no longer under team control (Jones and Reynolds) or they have a year to go (Hardy and Markakis).
So, it is not a simple equation, IMO. But the more I think about it, playing it halfway, which is what we seem to be doing, is a very questionable approach.
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