When a franchise commits most of a decade and significant resources to achieving a goal, it is natural to wonder what happens when that goal is realized and what once represented an irritant becomes a source of pride.

To be precise, now that the Cardinals boast the industry’s deepest player development system according to several trade publications and analysts, do they go young, go cheap or go forward?

Or is it possible to work a combination of the three?

Before answering, consider what the Cardinals required to reach this intersection:

Increasingly annoyed by disparaging “third-party comments” about his club’s farm system, Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. hired a baseball neophyte to challenge organization orthodoxy.

“Did I think we’d be ranked first this year when we changed our model? I didn’t know. But I knew we could do a lot better,” DeWitt said last week.