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As the trade deadline approaches...

Jim Bowden today offered a little insight into the team's strategy as the trading deadline approaches. It's kind of a maverick strategy founded on a simple premise: This season is not worth salvaging ... in any way. Bowden appears very willing to trade any piece that makes his team better several years from now, even if it cripples the current roster. Just as interesting, he's willing to cough up a few prospects to acquire a marquee player. The front office's list of "untouchable" players is shockingly small -- way smaller than a list I would have composed myself.

Buyer? Seller?

Those are the normal titles teams align with this time of year. But Bowden wants to be both. Or either.

Here's a bit of what he said.

"We're open to any trade that makes us better long-term. That includes proven major leaguers that are successful, top prospects in the minor leagues; we're open to anything. We've told every club, we have complete flexibility on trading players and acquiring players. So we're keeping every avenue open to us. We've let all the clubs know that. If someone wants to know if we're a buyer or a seller, we're both. Any way that we can add long-term pieces, we're going to add long-term pieces. Because we're not in a structure where we're trying to make trades to help this team win right now. We're trying to build a baseball team -- to eventually win. This isn't the kind of team you add a piece to win. You need to have the Milledges and the Dukes and the Lannans and the Zimmermans and those long-term pieces."

It's almost like you're taking all implications on this season out of the picture, I suggested. It's more like an approach a team would have in the offseason.

"Completely. Sure. We'll trade a piece that hurts our team this year to help our team win a year from now or two years from now. Total focus is on the long-term. Same thing with bringing up a Collin Balester. We're going to have some growing pains. Every game is not going to be like the Florida game. We're going to have growing pains. But in the long run, it's going to help us. And we saw Elijah Dukes, for example, the first couple months... and now he's developing."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 4, 2008; 1:11 PM ET
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