I don't want to get in a debate about whether it is right or wrong, but the fact of the matter is a lot of the guys listed had VERY high expectations and fair or unfair they have not met them. As a result they are always crushed for what they are not rather than acknowleged for what they do. Being completely honest looking back at the time if I told you.....
Back in 2008
By the end of the 2012 season that the BEST year for Jay Bruce would be .353/.493/.846.
Back in 2007
By the end of the 2012 season Homer Bailey would be a solid starter with a career total of 38 Wins
Back in 2000
Ken Griffey Jr would come to the Reds after hitting 209 HRs in his previous 4 season with Seattle and hit 210 over 9 seasons with the Reds, topping 40 once and being injured all the time.
Barry Larkin was kind of an odd situation. I think he met expectations, but he was injured too much. The other thing that hurt him is his last 2 contract negotiotions were very public and contentious. Nobody every looks good making millions of dollars and saying they are underpaid.
Eric Davis I think was a completely different situation. His '86 season was like nothing I had ever seen. He was Mike Trout before Mike Trout was born. If he did not get dinged up I have no doubt he would have been a 50/50 guy. The problem is he was always dinged up and never came close to approaching that level again. He was a painful example of what could have been.