Not really. It worked for the Stros and Cubs because they had awesome FO leadership and talent.
Also, you cited the Phillies as an example of how tanking works. The only productive 1st round pick thar they have from all the years of tanking is Aaron Nola....they are where they are because they did non-tanking things well. Dont get me wrong, Nola is a great pitcher, but there are other ways to get great pitchers....like the Tigers keeping JV. Is the difference in JV versus Aaron Nola salary actually worth numerous years of horrible play?
Same thing with the Twins, they're doing well right now, sure, but not because of tanking....rather because they did a good job dradting/developing non-tank picks, and unlike Avila, they have done a good job investing in veteran FAs. After years of bad play the only productive 1st round pick that they have as Byron Buxton..... again a very nice player, but there are comparable trade/FA alternatives.... is the difference between Buxton's salary and a comparable FA acquisition worth all of that losing?
Tanking is a strategy that can help, but its only if your FO does all of the OTHER non-tanking stuff exceptionally well too, AND if you have the stomach for years and years of basement dwelling. As Lee pointed out, half the league tanking creates a scarcity of opportunity to grab the top picks by tanking anyway.
Plus, the Tigers simply dont have the Astros or Cubs rebuild FO....not even in the same universe.
We would do well to kiss this crappy model goodbye and go with the model the Twins are using.