Re: Would You Make This Trade?
I just don't see it from the Braves' perspective. Trading Hudson and Laroche for minimal immediate help (they've already brought in some help for the bullpen) is a declaration that they're going to punt 2007 and use Bailey as the centerpiece of a retooling, and I don't think they're in that mindset.
As for our perspective, it's a net win on talent for us in the short term, even if Hudson is just average. The question is whether the timeframes of the players involved match where we are on the success cycle, and whether they influence that cycle enough to matter. That, I'm not so sure about. It's definitely a win-now move, but if it's not going to get us very far down the road to Serious World Series Contender, I might rather have Bailey's six cheap years.
I freely admit that I'm among the Bailey kool-aid drinkers also. The old adage "There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect" suggests that a team is better off dealing potential for proven performance. But if you follow that unfailingly, you'll never have good young pitching in the majors, which means you'll be paying full fare for your entire rotation. If the team can't afford to do that -- and most can't -- then sometimes you need to roll the dice on potential. Bailey's a guy I'm willing to roll on.
Sooner or later, it always comes down to a GM's ability to separate the jewels from the trading chips.
Not all who wander are lost