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Monday morning post

As usual, most of the attention from the dailies for the 27 teams now in their offseasons is focused on the managerial and coaching vacancies, with the latest rumors having Piniella the frontrunner for the Cubs job and Joe Girardi the leading contender for the Nats. Player movement is still on the backburner as the period for teams to pick up option years or players to file for free agency has yet to expire. One Rockie that is getting a little national attention is JJ, as opposing teams are watching the negotiations on a possible new deal with the Rockies carefully. The good news about this is with his sparkling ERA and performance in 2006 that it could be a win for the Rockies either way, we win if the deal gets done in that we get to keep Jennings for a few more years, or we should be able to get a big return for him in trade should the negotiations turn sour.

The team has to make every effort to keep at least a good size chunk of this new core of players and top prospects together for a few seasons as I think the sense that this group can finally take us forward to the playoffs is correct. Reality says that a couple players will be lost in the process, though, so the imperative is to make sure that the team benefits as much from those losses as possible when they happen. I think we're officially in phase two of the dynasty bulding stage; we have the necessary parts, we just need the mechanism to begin to feed itself and that's where shrewd off field management comes in. The Athletics and Twins follow this pattern, and surprisingly enough the Cardinals seem to as well, only on a larger pay scale. You don't get the sense with these teams that their runs of success are over or temporary.

Of this season's playoff teams, the contrasts of team building are interesting to view, the Twins are almost completely farm derived, using pending free agents in well timed trades to further feed that farm system. The A's mixed using mostly the farm with bargain free agent/trade pick ups like Milton Bradley and Frank Thomas, while the Cardinals get a lot of their supporting work from their minor leagues, but get most of their everyday players from free agency. the Yankees and Mets seem similar in their approaches, using the farm to supply only either emergency replacements or superstars, and spending a boatload of money everywhere else. The Padres are an odd bunch, I'm really not sure how they maintain their success so well, they too have a mix of home grown and acquired talent, yet in both categories the talent they get seems mediocre at best. I guess that should be a compliment to Alderson, Towers, Bochy and company for their skilled use of the voodoo magic. The Dodgers are dangerous. Think the Giants  (trading prospects willy-nilly for the hottest thing) with a better draft and development system to provide those prospects and deeper pockets. I don't know for sure if they've got a dynasty thing going, but they concern me for next season and beyond.

Now to the Tigers. It's not really fair how fast Detroit turned things around, most of their prospects were homegrown, and matured very quickly. Especially compared to our system which seems to have the goods, but has trouble getting them to reach their potentials very quickly. Take Jennings for instance, who's been in the majors for four years now before he finally seems to have figured it out. Why does it take Rockies players so long to taste success compared to other franchises? I think it's a fair question, but I don't know if we'll get an answer to it, anyway, enough of my rant.