Last year I was critical that the team didn't have a plan, a direction. They weren't real all buyers, nor were they sellers. Nor did they letthe kids play.
I think I was wrong. I think it just wasn't clear to us (or me) what the direction was and is.
I think we learned a few things over the recent months. What have we learned?
1) the farm ... Cashman protected the farm. He did it in a meaningful way. We have lots of guys that others are interested in thanks to good years. But he basically traded 2 talented players with big flaws that he doesn't think will pan out and instead protected many others. E.g. Bryan Mitchel.
2) auditions. buy low on players and let them prove themselves. McCarthy, headley and drew are all auditioning. Sure, maybe they will help this team get to the postseason. But really. They are auditioning for next year.
3). Character. For a while now we knew they valued this. That continues.
4) pitching -- they still prioritize this.
5) flexibility -- they liked this about Solarte and now have it with Drew and prado.
Now,I think we and the FO have three big questions about next year out of their control. Will tanaka be healthy, will CC pitch, and will ARod be back.
But that aside, I think based on the moves, we can make reasonable projections about next year. Here are mine.
1). Young pitchers will likely only be depth, but will get their chances. One will have a chance to lock down a spot at some point in the year. Likely Mitchell or ManBan.
2). I believe they are going to hard after Max or Lester. Maybe both. Definitely both if CC is done.
3) 2 of 3 of the audition ers will be signed for next year.
4). kids are not going to get a shot as position players out of the gate. Prado will play 2nd, and Ref will get a chance mid year. Somewhere. Ref will be the starting 2b position the next year.
Time to double down on the 'Spects!