So they may well be extremely well run. But they spend in the top two payrolls of their division every year. The O's do not have the financial ability to do that in the AL East. So perhaps the O's could take a page from what the Cards do but to overlook the payrolls is disingenuous. As I have stated many times. You want to make the playoffs on an ongoing basis? Then you need to have a payroll in the top two of your respective division.
Your payroll analysis has already been debunked, but don't let that stop you.
Payroll isn't why you win the Division. I know that will cause you to change your core opinions and that's not going to happen, so we can keep doing it. Evidence isn't on your side.
However, I'm actually OK with being #3/4 in the Division. It creates more justification for what I think is the more relevant approach to winning.It gives you an underdog angle, even if you aren't the underdog. Not worried about the T, more concerned about the L, A and C.
...but where I think there's merit to the point and I've already said this, is that you have 2 teams, the Red Sox and Yankees who aren't taking years off. They will try. They may fail but you have 4 teams in this Division that are some combination of well resourced and/or well run.
When Mike Elias says "it will be worth it" (and that's his tag line justification for "patience" and "it's a long process") then we should seek to understand what that actually looks like. There's a lot of proponents of the rebuilding process that think it somehow makes you a lock for the playoffs....and if you looked around at other similar processes (other teams)....I think you would have a harder time justifying that position and those teams aren't in the AL East.
It should be telling that no-one even shares what they think 'that' lineup looks like....and if you have no idea what it looks like...how do you decide if it will be worth it. Elias discussed guys like Mason McCoy and Rylan Bannon the other day...ok with those guys....but we don't think they're part of the core....do we?
If you looked at it and said..."we can get there (that opportunity) today"...it would certainly undermine the grandiose perspective of rebuilding.