Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
Yes I agree. The Nats got the better players and the Reds collapsed after the deal.
The biggest reason the Reds lost on that trade is they could have gotten a better return than a sub-replacement level player in Royce Clayton and a couple injured middle relievers for those two productive starting players. The consensus around the league at the time was that the Reds rushed into the deal and ended up getting pennies on the dollar in terms of the trade value Kearns and Lopez had at the time. They basically gave away two valuable commodities for a motley collection of worthless players. To make it even worse, two of those players were injured at the time and the Reds didn't realize it because they were in such a rush and didn't do their homework first. It is really embarrassing when you get swindled by the likes of Jim Bowden.
The trade hurt the team in 2006 but helped the team for the future. Although I think you're right in that the team could've gotten a better return, it was still a positive trade for the Reds. It saved them several million dollars and allowed for them to upgrade a couple positions.