Using your own $20 comparison, if you had $20 and traded/soled something to get $20 more, then you go and buy something cheap for a couple of bucks, how can you claim that you only could get it because of that trade you made for extra $20? That's Escobar and Murillo. They are cheap prospect players you could have had with existing money anyway. And Fred for Demari is not a wash, Demari was over a mil and a half, Fred is 360. We had some money under cap, which is why we were able to give people raises, get prospects AND (and this is the key part) get expensive players like Fred and Keita. That last part was unnecessary and close to Dax's allocation money. Subtract Keita and Fred, and you could have still had Dax today.
On your other point, BWP and Sacha are not getting any younger. People are dumping on Dax's age, well he is two years younger than these guys. You can't just waste a year by giving away top 3 guy to another team for nothing of value in return in 2017 when they only have just a few left in the tank. Sacha and BWP already declined this year, especially Sacha. Do you think they will get any better next year. By subtracting a Dax caliber player and getting nothing in return we blew it, as simple as that. And this is after we already lost another solid starter in Duvall. The problem is, Keita and Fred G are not the answer. Veron is already better than these guys, and even he does not get enough PT. This was just a disastrous move by the team, as simple as that.
you have a significantly different understanding of how the cap works in MLS so I will stop beating the dead horse for my sanity.
Also very few people disagree with you that the move made us worse this year based on who they obtained. But because the allocation money from dax deal is split over two years, no one really knows if next year they will get something that makes it worth it or if any of the players we signed this year pan out and make us a better team. We basically all agree that trade moreorless was fine, asset acquisition/retention after trade questionable.