Many of us have debated the rebuild in all its aspects and have engaged in spirited debate over the merits of flipping for prospects, signing free agents, the effects of the current CBA on free agency, and the financial plight of the Cubs. Undoubtedly, all of these factors have played a role in extending the length of time for the rebuild, particularly, the 2011 CBA, which has put a premium on developing from within, since the price of certain free agent signings is too great. Two recent quotes, however, may give us a better indication of what is going on. Theo Epstein commented on how great it would be to be like Branch Rickey and build up a franchise entirely from within. Another relevant statement was Bud Selig's comment last week that the Cubs are not suffering financial difficulties. I've concluded that the directive has come down from on high (and enthusiastically accepted by management" to use the CBA to run this team in as close a manner as possible to the way ownership acted in the pre-Marvin Miller era: and which can best be summarized as an effort to control the players and keep costs down. Just look at the effects of the Cubs' insistence on no "no trade" clauses? How many potential free agents does this turn off? The reluctance to "overspend" to attract a decent free agent or two costs the Cubs the opportunity to pick up veteran leadership to mentor younger players' None of this would matter if we lived in an era before free agency. The fact is that we do. Even though the current CBA favors internal development over free agent signings, the latter remain indispensable to team success.