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  1. What was Wainwright’s WAR during his first 6 seasons? Presuming the Braves would not have signed him…

    Also, is it standard to presume an A-level pitcher will become a Cy Candidate?
    Of course, Smoltz for Alexander has been covered to death.
    Should Alex Meyer for Span also be considered a folly?

    Comment by D — October 14, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

  2. *Reese’s peanut butter cup joke here*

    There’s a significant difference between trading for Wainwright and trading for any of these other guys, in that Wainwright was still a prospect at the time, whereas all the others were established big leaguers. As such, if anything I think that picture makes the Cardinals’ approach look more similar to the others’ than it really was.

    The funny thing about the cartoon and all the stuff about the ‘Cardinal Way’, though, is that this isn’t really a long running trend for them. In recent years you had guys like Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse, Jake Westbrook, Brad Penny, Joel Piniero, Todd Wellemeyer, Jeff Suppan… the approach was more ‘sign cheap FAs and make them serviceable’ (or awesome in Carpenter’s case) than it was to sign marquee FAs, but it’s not like the Cardinals weren’t spending money on their rotation, or were only drafting it. Going forward, though, they’re certainly well set up to steer clear of free agency.

    Comment by Todd — October 14, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

  3. I know Wainwright it technically considered a trade…but he’s not like most trades. Every other trade on the list involved the Major League pitcher heading to their current destination, while the Wainwright trade the Cardinals got a player they still had to develop. They’ve developed all five pitchers in their rotation, even though one was technically by trade.

    Comment by semperty — October 14, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

  4. Carpenter, Westbrooke, and Piniero were all trades, not free agent signings.

    Comment by semperty — October 14, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

  5. You’re right about Westbrook, you’re definitely not right about Carpenter, and I’m not sure about Piniero.

    Comment by Todd — October 14, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

  6. But the point was less that they were FA specifically and more that the draft-heavy approach is a recent phenomenon for StL.

    Comment by Todd — October 14, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  7. Indeed, Pineiro (I’ve been spelling it wrong) was by trade.

    Comment by Todd — October 14, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

  8. It’s definitely a recent approach. According to John Mozeliak (GM) and Jeff Luhnow (former VP of scouting/player development) they started to focus on building from within after 2006, and that’s when they basically killed the friction between their scouting and analytic departments. Producing mainly from within is only about 7 years old in St. Louis.

    Comment by semperty — October 14, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  9. That change in focus was specifically directed by Dewitt, and eventually led to Walt Jocketty being fired because he wasn’t on board with the “build from within” philosophy, or much of the analytical approach championed by Mozeliak and Luhnow.

    Comment by olethros — October 14, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  10. Of the eight players on the Cardinals roster by FA or trade:
    Three of them spent time in the Cardinals minor league system (Wainwright, Freese, and Martinez).
    Three are currently middle relievers (Choate, Mujica, Axford).

    That leaves Beltran (FA) and Holliday (trade).

    Seems like a better split would separately identify international FA and trades for prospects. These types of acquisitions are not much different than a draft and develop philosophy.

    Comment by Anon — October 14, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

  11. Then there is that synergy thing, huh.

    Comment by channelclemente — October 14, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

  12. As a Braves fan I hated the Wainwright trade the day it happened, and I hate it more with each passing year.

    Comment by CJ — October 14, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

  13. Wainwright was 22, in AAA, and a Top 20 prospect. There wasn’t THAT much development needed. Braves put in 3 years of work in the low minors.

    Comment by Shauncore — October 15, 2013 @ 10:55 am

  14. As a Pirates fan, I agree with hating that trade. Especially after games 1 and 5.

    Comment by Jer — October 15, 2013 @ 11:47 am

  15. yeah, “folly” is a stupid word choice. It was just misfortune.

    Comment by TKDC — October 16, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

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