Isn't one of the perks of being a really good ballclub that you can leave guys like Rendon in the minors until they're ready to contribute at a peak level, rather than wasting a couple years of team control on sub-peak contributions?
It's nice that we're finally getting the A+ Desmond, but if we had a decent option in 2010 and maybe even 2011 I would rather have let Desmond try to improve his defense and power in Syracuse.
I guess there's an argument that some guys have "no more to learn" in the minors, but we called Desmond up after just 205 AAA ABs, which is pretty fast. Then we spent a year of team control on him playing terrible defense with a crappy bat in 2010. As if that wasn't punishment enough, now we'll have to pay him $12-15 million for his services a year earlier than necessary if he had spent 2010 in AAA.
Meanwhile, look at how the Phillies handled Chase Utley. He had 2 seasons worth of plate appearances at AAA despite an .864 OPS there. It didn't "hurt" him in the long run, and the Phillies at the end of 2013 will have kept him through his age-34 season (and for 55+ WAR) for less than $90 million.
They did the same thing with Ryan Howard, who spent full seasons at every level despite being an absolute masher. If the Phillies hadn't given him that idiotic 5/$125 extension, they would have gotten Ryan Howard's entire prime (ages 25-31 seasons, 24 WAR, and a .928 OPS) for $65 million.
That's the way you do things.