Good stuff. Thanks. And very reasonable, too.
Re: Dunn, basically, to earn his keep at DH, Dunn will need to be a .900+ OPS
guy each year of the contract. I don't see that as likely, myself (remember, any time he plays the field he loses value, so you're subtracting from the already devalued DH role). You're right about overpaying, but - even though I'm a Dunn fan, in certain respects (I like guys who do one thing really really well), I just couldn't follow the Sox up the ladder. Particularly because it's possible we would have to beat them considerably to compensate for not being a contender. SK, it appears you'd be willing to do it, and that you're aware of the risk, so I think it's safe to chalk this one up to "different minds."
As for your other concerns, I think the comp-pick thing might be a little overblown, but is something worth keeping an eye out on. We need to be better about getting them, but last year - with the general level of tumultuousness and desperation - may not have been the best year to start plucking guys off the market who were going to walk. I was visibly upset by not offering Koji arbitration, but information after (Koji's desire to stay, particularly) leads me to believe that MacPhail took the right risk there. Sure, it was only a million or so on the line, but I can't fault him for accurately assessing the risk/benefit. He's been pretty good at that on the transactional side, at least.
This will be an interesting year on the farm. We were hit so hard last year with injuries that I think you're bound to see some serious re-calibration of our top-10. Our system looks weak right now - due to the promotion of a ton of guys, and even the struggles of Bell and Tillman, but there's a lot that could go right this year. I think that estimates of our farm were inflated last year, and too low this year. I suspect that we'll see some breakout performance that surprise us, and give us a bit more hope in Jordan and Co.
There's lots we need to do better: scouting, int'l development, generating picks, taking risk among them. I feel I've seen progress in many of these, but no huge breakthroughs. I think all of us will keep eyeballing these with our fingers crossed.