fangraphs.com has been running an excellent series titled, "How Are The Stars Acquired". After looking at 115 of the leagues best players, they had this to say:
There are some teams that take the scouting and drafting game less seriously than they should. I doubt those teams read this website, but if they did and wanted to take one statistic – one message – from this series, it’s this: 47% of 2009’s best players were "just prospects" at one point or another. That’s not to include all of the players traded at early points of their career either. Meanwhile only 13% were signed as free agents. (emphasis added)
Read  the articles  for yourselves:The point the series makes is that the best way to build a team of great players is through the draft and keeping your prospects. This point is essential as we go into the off-season and plan for the future. If the Mets sign Type A   free agents, they will lose high draft picks (except for the first pick, which will be protected).  If the Mets trade for a player, it will be at the cost of  some prospects.  The counter-argument, though,  is that the  Mets have needs that must be addressed now and there are no prospects in the system that can address those needs now. Therefore, making a trade or signing free agents is necessary. Of course, the biggest problem is that you don't know whether that prospect will be  the next Scott Kazmir or Alex Escobar.alexescobarscott-kazmirWhat do you think? Should the Mets sacrifice the future for next season?