After 14 years of frustration caused by really bad management I would LOVE to see this team win more games than it loses but NOT at the cost of building a winner. If you added a Prince Fielder and an Edwin Jackson you might win 85 games this year but what about 2013 or 2014? This team just doesn't have enough ML ready talent in its system to consistently improve over the next few years.
This site has a poster named A_K who has suggested we trade everyone and start over again. He makes a good and well articulated case (his posts make good reading) but IMO he goes too far. We have some solid building blocks in Wieters and Britton. You need to build around something and I see those two as the best choices.
Dan Duquette has publicly stated that he wants to build around Wieters, Nick Markakis, and Adam Jones; and has also said he wants to hold onto the young pitchers. I'd like to keep those players too BUT when I look at our farm system I see almost no help coming before 2013 and nothing of real substance before 2014.
Markakis will almost certainly stay for awhile because he currently has almost no trade value. It's Jones that has me confused. This is a player that has exceptional trade value right now and may well be gone by 2014 when what little we have in the farm system arrives. Trading him now would bring at least one A and two B/B+ level prospects that would complement the Class of 2014. Add Hardy and Guthrie to the right deal and you could DOUBLE the number of B or higher rated prospects in our system. Would that equal a wining team this year or next? No, but most fans would be more excited by young TALENTED players giving everything they've got than a mixed bag of prospects, wannabes, and never has beens struggling towards a .500 record for the next four or five years.
It's easy to say that we'll add more farm depth under Duquette but that process normally takes about five years to see the full benefits. If that's the case then the Class of 2014 would have little support until 2017. That sounds like more hope rewarded with even greater disappointment.
I think the fans will give Duquette some rope if they see him as being honest about the state of the organization. Of course, he's already admitted that "We've got work to do. There's no question about it...", but he would probably gain a lot of credibility if he also said after a big trade to bring four or five solid prospects back that his review of the farm system indicated the team could not build a winner in the next few years unless it took a step back now.
Sure, some fans would be upset about "going in the wrong direction"; however, most others would feel good about this kind of move. Especially if the team were to invest in a Cespedes and/or Soler this winter to add to the talent base.
Buck Showalter is a good manager and I think he could win more games than he loses if he faced a lineup without a Guthrie, and a Cespedes replacing Jones and a Steve Lombardozzi replacing Hardy. Let's face it: the 2012 season will depend more on whether the young pitching takes a step forward than Adam Jones
and JJ Hardy.