Originally Posted by NDRed
Simple If either of the guys we recieved from the Braves end up a number 4 or higher starter we win; if not- we lose.
To be determined............
As time goes by, I've become persuaded, nearly convinced, that the proper way to evaluate a trade is NOT to wait and see. Teams are making a decision at a specific moment in time and none of them has the benefit of a crystal ball. While you can use ex post facto results as a measure of how well they evaluate and develop players, it doesn't alter the valuation decision made on the day of the trade.
Put another way, trades are really about the quality of the decisions you're making, not how the stars align after you've made those decisions.
For instance, I will like the Chris Reitsma trade even if Reitsma goes on to have a stellar career and Nelson and Bong never amount to anything. Nelson's what the Reds need, an advanced prospect with a legitimate shot at being a power pitcher in the majors. However, I think the trade is a lousy idea if the team made it with with 2005/6 in mind. Bubba's probably not going to be an impact pitcher in the majors on that timetable. He very well might need to return to AAA next year and master that level before he's ready for his major league apprenticeship. Nothing wrong with that, he'll be 23 next season. He really is a kid. And it might take him two, three years before he starts dealing against major league hitters. So Bubba Nelson might not be reaching his potential until something like 2008 (when he'll be 27 to start the season). And that's fine because he's got good potential and the Reds needed a guy like that. Toss in a wild card like Bong and I think it was a good time to cash in Reitsma. Yet smart money would have Reitsma being the more effective pitcher over the next 2-3 years.
Conversely, the problem with the Williamson trade is that it was such a poor decision from a talent standpoint. The Reds got NO advanced prospects. It got one guy who was oldish for A ball and not all that dominating and a kid in rookie ball who might as well be named Sidd Finch at this point in time. Could the deal work out in five years? Sure, but the odds are extremely long. It was a bad decision if Scott Williamson never gets another batter out or if Scott Williamson goes on to make hitters look silly for a decade.
Touching on Crash's post, the real proof of life for the Reds will be if they can make a Reitsma deal in reverse. Sure, they needed to shore up the starting pitching ranks. Yet what if Milwaukee kicked Ben Sheets into the market? He's young, relatively inexpensive and just starting to reach his potential. If you've got a 2005/6 plan, then he's the kind of pitcher you should be acquiring. He is exactly what the Reds need. I don't mind the Reds shuttling out contracts and making value trades if at some point they're willing to pounce on the salaried talent that can propel them to a better class of baseball.
It can't be a one-way street. If arb-eligibles only drive in the outbound lane, it doesn't matter if the team makes a good call on a guy like Reitsma. The Reds have to find a way to retain and acquire arb-eligibles as well as send them packing. No one's winning anything with a team comprised of Year 1-3 players. It's the activity on the inbound lane which will define this team and DanO's stewardship of it.