We'll dive further into Frank McCourt's statements next week, but my guess is this tells us all we need to know:
We're committed to developing young players, more so than ever. We've invested heavily in that area. And we're in the trade and free-agent markets to see if we can improve the team. We made decisions last year to put this club in a great position to compete at the highest level last year, and the vast majority of those players are back and there's not a lot we had to do this offseason.
It just bothers me so much that you have to jump through so many logical hoops to arrive at a place where this makes sense. I suppose that the team may indeed be "committed to developing young players, more so than ever" in the sense that there are fewer premium players in the system now due to the extremely low spending on the draft and in amateur free agency. So, in theory, the remaining talented players might be getting more coaching or something. Better student-to-teacher ratio now, you see.
And Frank, we know the organization made decisions last year (and for several years prior) to "put this club in a great position to compete at the highest level last year." Really, no one's complaining about last year. It's the foreseeable future we care about, the one where player payroll and season ticket renewals move in lockstep.
Lastly, we're all well aware that by body count alone, last year's very-successful team is largely intact. The problem with Frank's statement is that the team lost its best pitcher (by some measures) in Randy Wolf, which it has yet to replace. That counts. And speaking of things "we had to do this offseason," you know what you should do when the major league club doesn't need a lot of help? Reallocate resources to international talent or long-term extensions for key players.
Of course, there are no resources to reallocate. Whether that's the divorce's fault or something else's is largely irrelevant this morning, isn't it?