You can parse it to death, but the end result of Bowden's moves beginning with the Gabe White-Manny Aybar swap is that the Reds have less talent in the majors AND less talent in the minors.
This is probably the most damning thing to Bowden. If he had been winning trades, how come neither the minors or majors have been improving.
A bigger question is: Are we better off than we were in 1997?
That was the beginning of the grand 2003 plan. The team sacrificed 6 seasons to supposedly build a juggernaut for 2003.
Instead, our farm system is ranked 26th, and our rotation is thin.
We do have some good position players, but for how long?
It seems like we have been emulating the Expos, not the Jacob's field Indians model that we were promised. You know, every year dump the highest paid couple of players. But we fail to restock the farm like Montreal has.