I see brewsbrother is in the world series. We are bitter division rivals in Bench. I think he'd give me a good review.
Well, I think you can successfully rebuild a team without being one of those 'tankers' and trying to stockpile high draft picks. I have certain types of players that I like and I would actively go find them on other teams and try to work trades for them. I also purged my team of the type of players I did not like. I signed one stud ifa that first season I took over, but after that I just kept trying to improve my ML squad through trades and free agency. I guess my overall philosophy on turning around a team would just be to make good progress at the ML level every season in regards to wins and also runs scored/ runs given up. My payrolls tend to be higher, but I understand what a team needs to contend for a title and if my team is close I don't hesitate to spend some cash. I don't spend recklessly, as every time I have had a high payroll my team has been in contention.
Budgeting....I find advanced scouting to be 99.9% useless. I usually only scout one of the college/hs scouting. IFAs are nice, but I like to find more cash efficient ways to spend if possible. Especially if I think I can be competitive in that season.
Not sure if I covered everything, but if you have some more questions I'll gladly answer.