Re: Cubs Acquire Rich Harden
Trying to compete in a window centred around Griffey was a flawed idea to begin with. Unless the Reds traded all their good prospects to grab Haren, Bedard, and a bat, they wouldn't stack up with the Cubs. To make a real push to win now, it would have to be a "screw the future" approach.
The worst thing they could have done was to trade enough prospects to hinder the future, and at the same time come up short in the now. Something edabbs has stressed, and one of the few points I agree with him on has to do with lining up all of your assets to be at their peak at the same time. It makes more sense to have a 70 win season and a 90 win season rather than two eighty win seasons. Billy Beane has made the same point that it's foolish to be stuck in a continuous 75 win type season.
The Reds were too flawed to compete now, so they are probably best served making a run at the Votto-Bruce-Cueto-Volquez, etc window. Those are the marquee talents of the Reds... use expensive chips and secondary chips to build around those guys. Don't get rid of those guys to accomodate the Griffey's of the world.
So I agree, if the Reds wanted to seriously compete this year, they should have traded all of their prospects to get some big time talents. They had lots of good chips to make a 1-2 year run, but they would be completely screwed after that. That's likely why the Reds didn't do that, as their chips would be best served to accomodate the more talented, better designed core group of players. As such, competing right now really wasn't a realistic goal in the best interest of the franchise. They would have probably been better served to move guys like Arroyo, Dunn, Encarnacion, and secondary pieces to stockpile young talent and make a really strong group for 2009 and beyond.