I've been laid up for a couple of days with Strep Throat (I thought I was dying with a 102 fever) which gave me some time to think. Sadly, I didn't come up with anything terribly profound, but rather devoted my life to FIFA 2007. I won the UEFA Cup with Rangers yesterday, so that's something.
Anyway, it took me until last night to think of something worth writing about and it's all thanks to that genius of the Fox Sports Ohio booth, Chris Welsch. He got to talking about the trade deadline and insisted that we would see some action out of Wayne Krivsky and the Reds. Well, that got me thinking okay, but who would they move? Which got me thinking okay, but what would actually be a good trade deadline move?
It seems to me that the the primary premise behind making a move at the deadline involves how teams value players. Basically, in the off-season a player has a certain value; but, as the deadline approaches that changes. Teams in contention suddenly overvalue players who can come in and strengthen a weakness right away. This gives a value advantage to the teams building for the future. So, he's what I see as defining a reasonable (note: I'm not even saying good) trade deadline move:
- Has to be a trade that at least one team would not have made before the season started. Otherwise, it should have already been done, right?
- One team has to fill an obvious void in their team.
- The other team has to get at least one young player with a whole bunch of upside.
- At least one team has to improve their future financial situation. A team who trades away their superstar with an expiring contract doesn't make their fans happy, but that's the way the league works. The truth though, is a "hired gun" can be a short term bulge in payroll, but at the end of the season leaves some financial room to play with, giving some flexibility to the buyer as well.
That said, looking back, "the trade" last year between the Reds and Nationals (Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns for Royce Clayton, Bill Bray and Gary Majewski) didn't really make sense for the Nationals because Lopez and Kearns had pretty much reached their ceilings talent-wise. The Reds made their major mistake in what is pretty much the standard mistake every year; they far overvalued the players they were receiving. Good God did they overvalue Royce Clayton.
Now, I don't have the energy to figure out who's out there for the Reds to go get, but I think I could make a fairly comprehensive list of who might be desirable to contending teams. Here's my list: Griffey, Dunn, Hatteberg, Conine, Phillips, Harang, Arroyo, and Weathers. The last two might seem questionable given the poor year Bronson is having and the fact that Weathers is no spring chicken, but I've heard Arroyo's name thrown around and Weathers is actually having a decent season amidst the worst bullpen in the history of time.
Harang and Phillips aren't going anywhere. These guys are the face of the franchise going forward and you have to have some foundation to build on. I could see some Weathers/Hatteberg package for prospects. And, of course there's the Dunn options. I just hope the Reds take the time to make strategic trades and not hasty ones.
I guess my whole point here is that the problem with these trades is that there's no definitive, quantitative way to assess value (and how it changes). The only way to really feel good about a trade is if your team dumps a bunch of untenable payroll or completely bilks some desperate GM out of young talent. Either way, it's always entertaining.