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Payroll vs. Development

Here's an interesting STLToday piece on the Cardinals' approximate $90MM payroll ceiling for 2006.  Here's Dewitt from the article:

DeWitt says calls for a $100 million payroll are misguided and overlook the franchise's increased commitment to becoming more self-sufficient.

"It's not just what you spend on the major-league payroll," DeWitt said. "In the last year we've purchased a Double-A franchise (in Springfield, Mo.), paid more than double for early-round draft picks and opened an academy in the Dominican Republic. We've made a much greater investment in international scouting and player development. Perhaps those things aren't as apparent as major-league payroll, but they're there and they have tremendous significance."

I think this is an interesting point.  Jacking up the Major League payroll now may bring some instant gratification and short-term success, but putting that same money (or even a fraction of it) in player development could bring about returns exponentially larger than initial investments.

Any thoughts?  
 

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