It's a no-brainer if you put the health of your players first. Otherwise, yes, it's much more complicated. But ultimately the only person you have to live is yourself. If you do the right thing according to your beliefs, then you can deal with the critics.
Classic. There's a right way and a wrong way and anybody who's not on board with BiL is doing it wrong. Dude, I agree with you on this and you make me want to disagree just to nag you. Are you this insufferable in your actual life?
The only reason you put the health of your players first is to maximize their contributions to the team over the length of their contract. Not because you have some religious belief about worrying about their health. If this were the last year of Stras contract, I sure as heck would be pitching him straight through.
Half smokes made an interesting point about four pages back on the staff having "career years" and the fact that ej may not be here next year. To me, that's the actual underlying question. I bet if we polled posters and asked how confident they were that rizzo was going to bring in a good #4, it would track closely with whether or not they think this is a go-for-it year. Thought experiment: if you knew for a 100% certainty that the Nats were going to resign ej and/or bring in Greinke in the off-season, would that make you more or less likely to shut Stras down? I think there's an element of how much you trust the fo not to mess up 13-17 that underpins how much you want to go for it now.
On the career years thing, I don't think that's the case. They're having good years, but except for ej, they are developing into what they looked like they could be. I don't think any of them are having really outrageous outlier kinds of years. That's what makes this so awesome.
But I totally agree that's it's a debatable decision - and it's become harder as the teams continued to do well.