Williams also had some interesting comments that offered a glimpse into his rationale for investing heavily in his big-league club over the years, usually at the expense of bringing top-shelf amateur talent into the organization, a trend which ended with the last offseason.
“To not be in the free agent market, or even the trade market to the degree we usually are, it was just a strange offseason,” Williams said. “At the same time, we are confident in our young players that are still kind of feeling around for that veteran feel that can bring it all together. It was just different. My phone bill was lower.
“Ideally, you don’t like to go into the free-agent market. You build a foundation and build from within. What people don’t understand about the difficulty in that is that we are what we are. We’re an organization that has tried to build our brand up to the point that people can count on our aggressiveness. They can count our competitiveness (as a team) that will sustain a $100 million payroll.
“If you take a little different focus, for instance, let’s say you’re going to take a couple of years and overspend in the draft, overspend on the Latin American front, overspend anywhere other than on the major-league team, trying to be competitive. We run the risk potentially of not even being able to support a $100 million payroll, because our situation is different. We have to compete for our attendance to sufficiently warrant that $100 million payroll.
“Now you’re talking about killing yourself on the back end and the front end. We always have to be in the mode that if we’re going young, when we identify young players we have to be right. We have to market the major-league club as well and blend in some youth at the same time.”
April 13, 2012
Kenny Williams’ rationale
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