Thanks everyone for the kind words. It actually was a lot of fun looking back at all this stuff. One of the things that amazed me was the sheer number of trades that Bowden has made. I actually didn't include all of them, because there were numerous other trades that were of little or no significance. It was just a waste of my time to look into them.
Backbencher: I actually agree with your comments and your concerns. I think that Win Shares *is* limited in scope, and that's why I included those statements up front. I didn't want everyone to think this is a case in which I am saying that this is the final score on his trading history. Rather I wanted this to be a starting point, whereby we can say, "OK, here's what the objective data says." And if it doesn't make sense, then let's try to explain it another way, which I tried to do as commentary for several of the deals. I am pretty confident that Win Shares is a nice tool to get an accurate read on about 80% of these trades.
I am less confident about the "family" trades, however, where certain guys were brought in then shipped off a year or two later. These deals are quite complex, and perhaps I am doing a disservice by trying to simplify (oversimplify?) them to a certain degree. We all recognize that Bowden will be judged on the big deals that he makes rather than the Castros-for-Kenny-Lutzes types. Even so, despite these limitations, I thought a Win Shares analysis would be a good place to start the discussion. I am certainly open to suggestions for ways of refining the analysis; that's why I posted it.
I had a few additional random thoughts about the trades--
*I didn't really comprehend the sheer vastness of relievers that Bowden has brought in (and shipped out). And they all have been more effective after coming to Cincinnati. Someone else on another thread mentioned that Bowden should get credit for utilizing one of his organizational strengths--in particular, the Gullett School for Rehabs, Retreads, and Failed Pitching Prospects (TM)--and I think I have to agree. There are tons of decent relievers available on the waiver wire and available as minor league league free agents; despite this impediment, but Bowden is able to exchange these guys to shore up areas of organizational weakness (and acquire the occasional toolsy outfielders as well
*Flip trades. Bowden is able to get a guy at a minimal cost and turn him around for something useful. Ochoa, Damian Jackson, and Dmitri Young are all examples of this who were brought in cheaply and shipped out for something more useful.
*Bowden seems to subscribe to the Branch Rickey approach, "it's better to trade a player a year early rather than a year late." So many of these guys were dealt away at the perfect time before they became too ineffective or too expensive (or both). Taubensee, Bichette, Steve Parris, et al., are prime examples of this. Timing is crucial to trades, and Bowden seems to have a good feel for the timing.
<small>[ 07-11-2002, 10:44 AM: Message edited by: D-Man ]</small>