I'm not sure this years team, even if they had lived up to their potential, would be competing for a playoff spot....unless they were in the NL East. Like I've mentioned in another thread, this team wasn't managed with a priority on winning this season. That's a shame. As the year progressed, there have been some some surprises and some disappointments.
Where I disagree with most fans is that this team was so awful that it needed to be torn apart so that we could overload the farm system. I also don't agree with this phrase that many use when they say "...build around a player". I don't think you build around any single player. You build around a core of players. I believe they potentially had a good core of players in Frazier, Reynolds and Hayes. When you add a few surprise players, and some players that may have potential, like Nogowski, Difo, Castro, and Gamel, you have a decent lineup. Now instead of having your mind set on ditching Frazier, maybe you could find a veteran power bat to add to that lineup for this year. Then in the next few years, you can add to that group as other players filter in from the minors. But this group was managed in such a way that every series, one or two of best hitters were "resting" on the bench. They kept marching Polanco out into RF. Look how long they stuck with Ka'ai Tom in LF. These decisions were an offensive casualty.
On top of that, look at how Shelton managed the pitching staff. I remember how I used to complain how these managers were limiting their starters to 90-100 pitches. Now it's 65-75 pitches. How many times this year did Shelton pull a starter that was pitching well, and hand it over to guys from the bullpen that couldn't throw strikes or get batter out?
I'm not delusional. I know out starting staff was't great, but it wasn't horrible either. If Mitch Keller had stepped up and pitched to his projected potential, and the rest of the staff had been managed differently, the pitching would have been adequate.
So as I believe. had this team been managed with a priority on winning, we could talking about a difference in 10 - 15 wins. Sill wouldn't be contending in our division, but in a division like the NL East you never know.
Keeping Frazier would not have made a huge impact on what BC is trying to do with the farm system. He has already done a good job at rebuilding it. The three guys he got in return for Frazier likely wouldn't have been missed. Guys like Frazier, because of his lack of power, go under appreciated. But it's not easy to find a bat like that. You build a farm system in hope after hope that someone emerges that can hit like him. In my opinion, you don't just get rid of a player like that unless you have a legit replacement or you are getting what equates to a can't miss player in return for him. It's great to look to the future, but not at the price of giving the fans absolutely nothing to be emotionally invested in until the future arrives. Just my two cents.