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Winning culture starts in minors



Special to ESPN.com

DETROIT -- The Yankees or Cubs probably could have had Mark Kotsay before he signed his extension, and filled a void for the next three years. But Brian Cashman and Jim Hendry never wavered and refused to trade their best young players -- including Eric Duncan, Philip Hughes, Felix Pie and Brian Dopirak.

The Red Sox might be able to get Billy Wagner if the Phillies decide to trade him by July 31, but don't look for them to trade Jon Papelbon, Jon Lester or Hanley Ramirez to get him. "Why have the Braves been one of the greatest dynasties in sports?" asked Theo Epstein. "They develop players, they keep the best and when they run into rough spots, they work through them, not panic and mortgage their future for the immediate."

"We have to get back to doing what made the Yankees so good for such a long period beginning in the '90s," said Cashman. "We're in the position we're in because we stopped developing our own young players. We can point to what's happened since we brought up Robinson Cano and Chien Wang."







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