Normally, I get what Cohen is saying. "Why mess with a good thing?" And I'll acknowledge I'm no baseball expert, I'm a casual fan at best. But I have a problem with the way Cohen and pals are preaching this message. They're not saying "Why mess with a good thing?" They're saying "We're unbeatable, we are the best!" And ironically, in this way they're more casual than the casual fans they lambast.
Ironically, they don't realize that the very same fans that are clamoring for trades, are the same ones repeating that line. It's because of the perception of greatness, that they want it continue. For my part? I believe there's always ways to improve a team. And I understand the cost value that comes with it. You don't blow up your farm for rental players, especially when they're past their prime AKA Carlos Beltran.
But I think for some of us, who do want a trade, we recognize this concept: We have a window of opportunity, here and now. And if we can get a couple of roleplayers, we can fill those holes. One post I read, referenced to an article that wasn't well written, but it had the point that, not every minor leaguer flourishes to become a major leaguer.
We've had unprecedented success with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and Chooch being homegrown. But for every one of them, there's a Baez/Herndon who absolutely suck. What's Kyle Drabek doing in Toronto? To be sure, he might bounce back. After all, the esteemed Roy Halladay hit a major turning point that defined his eventual HOF career. But how often does that happen? And Kyle wasn't the only prospect we traded, what of the others? The fact is, we barely remember them! For to be sure, knowing this city if those other prospects thrived, we would hear about it night and day.
That's why the scouts are there, they are the ones that determine whether or not it's worth it to trade a prospect or not. These are the same guys that said "Keep Dominic Brown and the others are negoitable", these are the same guys that said to let go of JA. Happ and they all looked like kids who had a very bright future.
But let's say that there's an in-prime bat available, at a position we need. Someone to fill Jayson Werth's role of hitting behind Howard to increase run production. Someone to give us more production against left-handed bats, rather than rely on Victorino's career year to continue all the way to the WS. Frankly, let;s say there was someone who could extend our window another 3-5 years.
'In other words, that player would have a much higher chance of making the desired impact, than our "best prospects". Obviously, the Phillies are an example of a great farm system. But the best teams don't just have a great farm system, they have a good MLB roster too.
That requires a balance, at times you trade to acquire an MLB player, and at times you trade to acquire prospects. Now, is not that time where we trade to acquire prospects. Nor should we trade for a rental player. Or a player who wouldn't be an upgrade over what we already have.
If we make a trade at the deadline, it should be to extend that window another 3-5 years, or to fill holes that otherwise are somewhat gapping. What's wrong with making a move for another Sweeney/Stairs type? I think we honestly miss that kind of power off the bench as a pinch hitter.