This might seem a little out of place, or annoy some as it's another thread with some revence on "The Trade," but this is definately something that frustrates me, and many of us still fail to see the importance of it (particularly on the selling high part). Honestly, as fans to really more forward as an orginization we need to grasp this concept. Our overvaluing of our players really gets us in the way of moving forward as a franchise. The outcry with "The Trade" just shows how much anger there is trading franchise players even if its best for the orginization.
I would like to give Wayne some credit here... First of all on the selling high part. Kearns for one, ever since about midway through high second year was clearly a health liability. While he has talent between that and his work ethics, he had very little trade value. While over a full season he'd likely put up decent numbers, all of those freak injuries clearly hurt his value and while a lot of teams had interest in him, we clearly overvalued him (and it was best to hold on to him until he was healthy). This year when he finally is healthy and hitting decently we trade him.... There might have been less interest in him than in years past (with less glaringly bad OF problems), but Wayne trading him when he could get something useful in return (Bray) and while it was not as much as we hoped, we did get young useful talent in return.
Wayne is not a "wimp" or "pansy" like Dan.O. for being afraid to trade franchise players... And at least so far I don't think he has that bizzare habit of going after only quality position players (like Bowden did and still does). While he may like former Twins like Lohse and Castro, both were definately positive moves so far and the only reason he did that is because perhaps he has faith in these players because of dealing with them in the past. We do owe Wayne some credit here for not being overly baised and addressing team needs. He also certain has a remarkable talent for buying low (Ross, Hatteburg, Arroyo, Phillips, Lohse, Castro, even Cormier).
Think about some of the past blunders.........
After 2004 when he hit .324, 24, 99 we could have definately traded him. He had a big contract so he was unattractive to us, however, he had some value (lot of teams needed 1B's at the time). We could have had an OF of Pena, Griffey, Kearns with Dunn at 1B, but no there would have been fan outrage and DanO was too afraid to do it. Again, Wayne ignored this and sold high with Kearns.
After last year, hitting over .300, having nearly 100 RBI and 35 HR in not even a full season I'm sure there was a market for him from AL teams especially either this past offseason or last deadline (2005). We could have unloaded the last 3 years of his contract, and used that money elsewhere to improve weaknesses, as well as getting some decent prospect(s) in return. While Griffey is not a major burden he clearly is not worth his contract right now and we are likely regreting keeping him.
After such a hot first half of 2005 and a cooling in the second half, we could have traded him this offseason and gotten a lot more coming off a .291, 23, 85 season. His defense was attrocious and there was a consensus he was not a long term option at SS.
One thing I do blame Wayne K. for not doing... While we do need a lefty starter, Milton is like a time bomb waiting to explode. When his era was in the low 4's about a month ago we could have dealt him and then gone after a Gil Meche/Jamie Moyer/Livan/Lidle type to replace him. Again many here felt he is a key for us making the postseason but honestly if we could have found a taker a month ago why not?
Before his baseball demise he had at least some value and we were out of it buty again, too much fan pressure to keep him (prior to his meltdowns)... a big DanO/Bowden failure.
Blast from the past but at one time he would have been an attractive centerpiece to a Rolen deal, however, we held on to him too long. He had value but could not hit major league pitching and our management could not identify that. We lost a lot of value there.
After last year he had some inconsistencies but he had some value too. Difficult to foresee his fall but he definately lost a lot of value.
We also have to give Wayne some credit for not "tinkering" with things the way Dan O. and Bowden especially wanted to. Changing roles (Graves to SP)... He could have tried Phillips at SS but he realized the risk there amidst a penant race. Rushing future stars (like Wagner) was another thing Wayne hasn't done yet. I hope Wayne doesn't with Bailey either, unless Bailey only watches or MAYBE as an emergency option in relief but definately not starting yet. We really have a good GM and we should give him some credit and also some time to see what he can brew with some resources and a full year or two.