I was on vacation when it happened. Got the newspaper in the morning, turned to the MLB section to see how the Reds did last night, and there it was: Reds trade Lopez, Kearns and Wagner for relief pitchers. I couldn't believe it. We had traded last year's only all-star, one of our young and talented outfielders that, unlike some of the others, actually could field (yeah, I'm looking at you two, Dunn and Wily Mo), and a former #1 draft pick pitcher for two relief pitchers (Bray and Majewski) , an old shortstop (Royce Clayton), a pitching prospect (Daryl Thompson) and some minor leaguer (Brendan Harris, he got traded to the Rays but is currently with the Twins. If you care, which i kinda hope you don't.). Clayton turned out to be as bad of a fielder as Lopez, Bray was injured so he could never pitch, and Majewski turned out to be damaged property that the Nationals had no intention of repairing. I was furious. How could we pull off yet ANOTHER stupid trade like this? Or so most of Cincy thought. But I remember one smart journalist saying to not judge the trade until two years from now. Only then could we see if it was worth it. Well, its been two years, and as I look back on the trade at the players still with the Nationals or Reds...
- Lopez has just been released by the Nationals. Considering how many really bad former Reds are with that team (Jim Bowden included), he must have been doing REALLY bad to get the boot. I guess a .230 average, losing your home run power amd never improving your fielding will do that to you.
- Kearns is batting .213 with only 5 homers and 27 RBI along with a slew of injury problems.
- Wagner is coming off of sugery, has yet to pitch this year, and even when healthy has trouble staying in the majors as a clean-up pitcher.
- Bray has a 2.62 ERA with a strikeout-walk ratio of better than 2-1. He's being talked about as a future closer.
- Majewski (although only in 19 games) has a 3.47 ERA with a 2-1 strikeout-walk ratio at the major league level despite bouncing around a bit with AAA.
- Thompson hasn't hit the majors permanently, but he showed some good things in his few starts and is considered one of our top pitching prospects not yet in the big leagues yet.
That looks to me as if all the current Reds are succeeding and the former Reds are not. Almost everyone ripped that trade at the time, and for the few months afterwards. But finally now, as some wise, unremembered journalist (sorry, whoever you are) told me, we can see the true value of that trade. Not too shabby, to say the least.