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You plant the seeds, and the first year or two, it sleeps. Then it starts to creep. Then one year it leaps. You’ve just got to stay with the program.”
The O's are a good example of why good trades that improve your team now shouldn't be dismissed simply because "the window isn't open yet."
They "wasted" a lot of money on vets when the turnaround took a lot longer than expected, but signing veteran pieces such as Koji helped accelerate the talent acquisition process, and the 2012 opening day roster had guys like O'Day, Hardy, Reynolds, Lindstrom, etc on what everyone thought was a rebuilding team.
I would have thought just the opposite, that the O's are a good example of the value of the traditional "success cycle" approach. In 2008, the Orioles are a terrible team with a very good starting pitcher in Erik Bedard, and they trade that guy for a big package of prospects young enough to be meaningful contributors to the next good Orioles team, along with the guys they were drafting around that time. And that's pretty much what happened, right? If anything, I think the Orioles have moved AWAY from the model of "let's sign enough slightly above-average free agents to make this a 70-win team instead of a 62-win team" model that they went with for most of the decade.
(a failed 5 year plan by one GM, plus the next 5 year plan by a new GM, and all of the sudden you are looking at 9 crappy years before that wonderful one year the plan works and you leap).
I get the sense that you're downplaying the Hardy trade to deny MacPhail any credit. A lot of people thought it was an absolute steal at the time of the trade. Hardly meh.
Signing Guerreroto a 1 year contract was pointless. Resigning Izturis was pointless. What was Derrek Lee going to do for the Orioles? What was Kevin Gregg going to do for them?
People thought it was a good value trade, but the reaction was "meh, what's the point, this is a 75 win club. JJ Hardy is not part of the next competitive Orioles team."
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