And so the Wilson Valdez era ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
Who would've thought the Reds should've traded Bray for Valdez instead of Jeremy Horst?
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
Say what you will about Lopez and Kearns, they both went on to have extended careers in baseball. Lopez had a horrible 2007 (after a serving as a functional leadoff hitter in 2006), but was pretty useful for a few years after that once he shifted to 2B. Kearns gave the Nats a season and half of decent production before falling to pieces. Since then he's picked up the pieces and he's still playing in the bigs. Given that it cost the Nats NOTHING in terms of talent to get those two, I suspect the view from the DC side of things is folks hoped for more, but it was worth a shot at the time.
Meanwhile, all the Reds got in return for their starting RF and SS was an oft-injured LOOGY. I don't care who the RF and SS are, a team that does business like that is headed for trouble. And, sure enough, trouble is what the Reds found. The organization's inability to recover from that deal ultimately cost Wayne Krivsky (who did a good job overall) his job.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
Saving money only means something if it is reinvested to either obtain other players or help key important parts of the team when existing payroll is maxed.
Trading Kearns and Lopez did nothing at the time to explore either of those.
It was an awful trade at the time, and really, even in hindsight. There's just no way they got fair value at the time of the trade, and it directly hurt our playoff chances that year.
The fact that Lopez and Kearns had pretty bad careers after the trade helps ease the pain, and perhaps shows some foresight on the Reds part in targeting them as tradeable parts, but the bottom line yielded nothing positive for the Reds.