But those players are not a sure thing at all. Keep in mind, guys like Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig and those guys aren't international slot guys. But the guys who are international slot guys are like 17 year old kids in developing countries. Its not like these guys are constantly becoming perennial All-Stars a ton. You're taking a pretty big gamble on these kids. While I agree it can pay off, as a small market team, blowing past your limit a lot does more than just incure penalties, it also eats up cap. We had to pay Lara $3.1 million. I like the move, but if you're doing that consistently (for example, the Yankees spent $14 million on the international signing pool), you're eating into your budget for the big league squad for a 16 year old kid who is just a lottery ticket. I'm not sure that's the most sustainable way to build either.
Again, I like Lara move, but depending on what Mark wants to spend, an additional $3.5 million for a platoon 1B or a decent relief pitcher may have been a very important piece for the short term. Its possible Lara becomes Miguel Cabrera. But its also possible, and probably just as likely, that he never actually even gets past Double A if he doesn't continue to fill out and his tools don't translate.
I think in the Sickels article he makes a really good point. I like the way we're moving forward with our farm. Due to a some trades and a couple botched early picks, mainly Arnett, Jungmann and Bradley, our farm was bare. We've done a good job since then of finding and developing undervalued guys into serviceable players. We've made guys like Scooter and Khris Davis into serviceable starters despite them rarely appearing on even the org's top 10 lists. Despite our struggles drafting pitchers, we've got a few higher level and major league level higher upside guys in Nelson and Peralta, but we also have a wealth of guys who could turn into decent relief arms and things. And on top of that, we're starting to put together a group of high upside, toolsy talents that can play together at the lower levels and maybe offer a poor man's Hardy, Hart, Weeks, and Fielder type farm. If we can supplement that lower level core of Harrision, Taylor, Arcia, Coultier and possibly Gatewood with a decent college bat, maybe at 1B or 3B next draft, that's a nice core that can maybe all be ready around the same time.
In the meantime, we'll continue to try to find undervalued guys like possibly Jimenez, Rogers, Wren and others that can fill in and be serviceable supplements to our current roster until the young guy are ready.