First of all, thank you so much for acknowledging the second thing. Some of us do argue more from an emotional place. Others of us are too cold and logical, which is the category I'm in.
As to your question, I don't think we should ever move away from "buy low, sell high" as a business model. It's certainly better than the alternative. With baseball teams shying away from big budget contracts for questionable players, shopping in the bargain bin has more upside than at any other time over the past 20 years.
I still remember how we stole EOF and Venters back in the day. I'm fine with us employing that strategy rather than risking too much blindly, wishing and hoping rather than thinking in overly realistic terms. If we'd signed a more expensive player than Markakis, we'd feel better right now, but there's no guarantee we'd be happy about it in July. Remember that everyone celebrated the Matt Kemp deal 12 months ago. He was an All-Star this past year. Nobody knows what will happen next.
To an extent, I admire AA in that he's dispassionately chosen to avoid splashy headlines while helming a steady if unsexy offseason. After we signed Donaldson and brought back Mac, he seems to feel like we checked off all our biggest boxes. He's now looking for the right pieces for the start of the season, knowing that he can fill in the rest in July. That sort of restraint is extremely rare in sports management. Dude would be a scary poker player.