Last year Cincinnati jumped off to a hot start, but was starting to flag around mid season, thanks in part to a terrible bullpen. GM Wayne Krivsky made a controversial trade dumping the popular Austin Kearns and former silver slugger SS Felipe Lopez, as well as young up and comer Ryan Wagner for 2 Nats relievers. One of the centerpieces of the deal, Gary Majewski has been constantly hurt, pitched poorly, and caused Reds fans to rip the deal. The Reds have filed a grievance against the Nats saying they didn’t fully disclose prior injuries to Majewski.
At the time, I was in favor of the trade because the Reds HAD to improve the bullpen to contend. This year, the bullpen is STILL the teams biggest problem. Bray and Majewki haven’t worked out. Does that mean the trade was a bad one? People in Cincy are STILL mad about it. The only problem is that they haven’t actually seen how poorly Kearns and Lopez have played. From the Washington times:
Kearns has had his moments since joining the Nationals, but he has been far from the 30-homer, 100-RBI slugger Bowden envisioned. In 107 games with his new club, the right fielder is batting .247 with 12 homers and 52 RBI. He already has been signed to a $17.5 million contract extension that could keep him locked up through 2010.
• Lopez, too, has showed flashes of greatness in Washington, but he has hardly played as well as he did during his 2005 All-Star campaign. In 113 games since the trade, the infielder is hitting .264 with four homers, 32 RBI and 96 strikeouts. He’s making $3.9 million this season and should earn a raise in arbitration next year.
• Wagner, at one time thought to be the steal of the deal, has a 5.04 ERA in 40 games and is on the disabled list with his own shoulder injury, which could be serious.
NONE OF THESE PLAYERS WOULD BE STARTING FOR THE REDS TODAY. The trade didn’t work out. At least not yet, although Bray and Majewski are young and under contract for awhile. Kearns and Lopez are overpaid underproducers, so even from that standpoint the Reds are ahead of the game. So now, nearly a year later, I’m still in favor of the trade. The guys the Reds got may suck, but they are about 10 million dollars cheaper than the players they gave up, who also suck.