I've always thought this, but after todays signing, I really get the impression that the reds are gearing up for a championship run in the 08-09, 09-10, 10-11 years.
I think that "the trade" makes sense in the regard if you consider that our main weakness (if our prospects pan out) would be bullpen. We locked up what look to be 2 solid bullpen arms that will help us out in the future, when we need them most.
I also think that the playeres we gave up were very expendible. It seems that WK likes to focus on defense, so it was very easy for him to part with FLo. And AK's spot was going to be taken by Bruce in these years. By unloading these contracts, it freed up space to sign top of the rotation pitchers...which is exactly what we've done.
I see us going into our "championship run" with a lineup consisting of:
Denofia CF (with stubbs hopefully taking over in the latter years.)
Phillips 2B (We could still possibly see him switch back to SS by 2010)
EE 3B (Super Star in the making?)
Dunn LF (I think he's expendible as well, but he may still be around...)
Votto 1B (Hopefully he adjusts well to the MLB)
Bruce RF (Should help form one of the strongest 3-4-5-6 in the league)
Defensive SS (Our lineup will not have problems scoring runs...)
Defensive C (Maybe Perez?)
Maybe I'm just a homer, but that seems like a dang good lineup...
And the rotation:
Bailey (Hopefully he lives up to his potential, but should at worst be a solid 3)
Harang (Should be one of the best #2 pitchers in the league)
Arroyo (Should be one of the best #3 pitchers in the league)
Cuerto (Hopefully he doesnt move to the bullpen)
Wood (Banking on him regaing his velocity)
Once again, seems to me to be a real solid pitching staff.
I really think that barring a major injury, this team will be a force to reckon with in the 08-11 years...