The best bet is to build a deep, young group of players from the minors, draft and cheap, younger role players. Have 28 contributing role players and future all-stars that can be a good base and take us a year or two to be a .500 team. Then with a low payroll, and high draft choices, add what you need to be a playoff team after you see what develops. A bullpen does not need veterans. It needs young guys with electric stuff. Lots of them throughout the roster and upper minors.... Most bullpen guys 15 years ago were failed starters. Even now that is still a good place to get relievers. Other teams failed starters that are still young but throw well for short stints. If you have a 28 man roster with a payroll of $30 million and all controllable for 3 more years, that is when you add that #1 and #2 starter and maybe one veteran bullpen guy and a couple of bats. Continue to see what our outfield is and who shakes out. I'm sure we have at least two starters out there for a playoff team and one or two role players out there. Severino and Sisco may not be the top catchers in baseball. But they may be among the best backup catchers if we let them continue to play and Rutschman becomes an All-star. Mancini will not be on the next Orioles playoff team most likely but he may be a decent role player or somebody that gets us something via trade in a couple of years. Alberto, Ruiz, Nunez, Iglesias should not be a starting playoff infield but every team needs a couple of veteran backups. Perhaps Alberto fits that role nicely and we continue to draft and develop more infielders. Draft, develop, depth and deal from depth. And hope and pray that Rodriguez and Hall make it as at least #3 and #4 starters and we have Means, Rodriguez and Hall at the BACK of the rotation. Lately we have made the mistake of having guys like Bundy, Cobb, Guthrie, Lopez, Cabrera, Ponson, Bedard, etc.... at the front of our rotation and attempted to add behind them. Get those type of guys, develop them, bring them along as not the featured guys and then when we are really ready go out and get the Ace or Two. Kind of like Astros developing McCullers and others in their lineup and bullpen and then deal from depth and excess budget and get Verlander and Cole and Greinke..
Agreed. Probably a number of reasons, including what you said about nutrition and fitness. Up until the 1970s the average 30, 40, 50-year-old did zero cardio, weights, etc. Somewhere in the 70s and 80s jogging and some other types of popular exercise became things. Nutrition is an impact comparing to 100 years ago. Look at photos of ballplayers from the 30s and many of them have this thin, sunken cheek appearance that nobody today has.
I think smoking is a huge part of it. In the 60s and 70s and before something close to 50% of the population smoked. That just crushes how you look as you age. I've known people who looked good at 30 but went downhill fast because of a combination of smoking and tanning. Earl and Cal Sr. smoked like chimneys, and were out in the sun all summer.
Also, I think women are much more likely today to have non-grandma hairstyles and coloring to mask gray hair.
My gut feeling is that a year from now, if we made a list of our top 10 international prospects, L Rodriguez would be near the bottom of that list. But at this point most of our top guys don’t have any track record to go on.