I know that they have lost a ton of guys w/out bringing any new talent via F/A, but this is still way better than the worst case scenario I saw them having, such as losing Castillo, or not re-signing Lowell, or non-tendering Burnett.
I think they have been pretty smart w/ their moves, and have actually increased payroll for 2004. They just were so screwed from the beginning w/ all the free agents, and arbitration-eligibile.
97 was completely different....they would just drop payroll to any team that would pick up their signed players. Want Gary Sheffield? You can take him, as long as you pick up his contract. What...sure we'll move Piazza for you too. Ahem...anyone want Moises Alou...he's yours...no we don't care what we get for him.
These guys will still be decent, and they're making smart baseball decisions. They didn't buy a world series title, and they're probably holding on to a lot more parts than they would have had they not won it.
I say this until they start dropping guys like flies.
If I were playing third base and my mother were rounding third with the run that was going to beat us, I'd trip her. Oh, I'd pick her up and brush her off and say, 'Sorry, Mom,' but nobody beats me.
Leo Durocher, Brooklyn Dodgers Manager