I'm strongly in the 'who cares' camp.
You're right, we're not competing this year so it's basically meaningless. Now next season, if this FO can finally spend some money, this could be a near-complete team.
Forget the outfield. Who's going to pitch? We now have a huge hole in the rotation. When Dickey started we were as good as any team in Baseball. We were as bad as any team when he didn't. We now have one...count 'em...one proven, healthy, major league starter. That's Niese. He's a good pitcher, but no #1. We are going to be awful for the next 7 years.
Don't believe that? Look up what happened to us after we traded Tom Seaver for prospects. Our rotation is now...
1-Niese2-Santana...who's arm is attached by duct tape. He's a 5 inning pitcher who will most likely break down at some point.3-Gee... Recovering from a medical condition and nothing special anyway. 4-Harvey...Who knows. My guess, and it's only a guess, is 8-15 with an ERA just under 4. Could be better. Could be worse.5-??? Mejia? Familia? Both stink. Wheeler in July? Maybe, but what's he going to do? He is just another suspect who didn't look all that great in AAA last year. Just a big question mark.
"Forget the outfield. Who's going to pitch?"
Well, if we kept him we'd be asking "who's going to catch? Thole?!?!?!?!?".
I believe (imo) it's easier to find a fair to middling SP than a quality catcher. The hope is that D'Arnaud will be that catcher.
Sometimes you have to roll the dice, but at least we got someone who is as close to can't-miss as possible.
"Who In The World Is Playing The OF??"
I remember asking myself this very same question in the playoffs in 99 and 00.
I'm not saying we are a playoff team, but it does seem we are focusing more on strong putching and infield offense/defense. Now that we are (tentatively) adding TDA who supposedly can not only catch, but hit as well, this team going into 2014 and beyond is looking more and more like the skeleton of the 99 and 00 teams as opposed to the offensive juggernaut that was the 2006 team.
Let's not forget our bullpen is a joke
"We were as bad as any team when he didn't. We now have one...count 'em...one proven, healthy, major league starter. That's Niese. He's a good pitcher, but no #1. We are going to be awful for the next 7 years."
But this is a pretty harsh and pessimistic view of the rotation. We did rank 11th in the majors in starter ERA so it wasn't just Dickey. Niese was good, Santana was good for half the year, Harvey was great, and Gee is about average. There are certainly question marks with all of them but it's not TOO big a stretch to say the rotation could still be above average or even good.
As far as the future, if Wheeler and Harvey are what we expect, we absolutely won't be awful for the next seven years. Again, they may very well not be but it's not as if the potential isn't there.