The following table shows how the 2008 World Series championship team was assembled:
|Carlos Ruiz||C||Signed by Phillies as a non drafted free agent||1998|
|Ryan Howard||1B||Drafted by the Phillies-5th round||2001|
|Chase Utley||2B||Drafted by the Phillies-1st round||2000|
|Pedro Feliz||3B||Signed as a free agent||2008|
|Jimmy Rollins||SS||Drafted by the Phillies-2nd round||1996|
|Pat Burrell||LF||Drafted by the Phillies-1st round||1998|
|Shane Victorino||CF||Rule 5 draft selection-from the Dodgers||2004|
|Jayson Werth||RF||Signed as free agent-non tendered by Dodgers||2006|
|Cole Hamels||SP||Drafted by the Phillies-1st round||2002|
|Jamie Moyer||SP||Trade from Seattle||2006|
|Joe Blanton||SP||Trade from Oakland||2008|
|Brad Lidge||RP||Trade from Houston||2008|
The Phillies have drafted well, made smart trades, signed reasonably priced free agents, and found a good player in the Rule 5 draft. It should also be noted the Phillies payroll to start the 2008 was only 13th in the Major Leagues.
The Kansas City Royals should be following a path similar to the Phillies. Instead of wasting money on free agents like Jose Guillen and trading for below average players like Mike Jacobs, the Royals need to refocus their efforts and financial resources on the draft, scouting, and player development. This process will require a financial committment from owner David Glass and intelligent decisions by GM Dayton Moore. But with patience and a willingness to stick to the plan the Royals can indeed build a contending team.