It's not often that trading two unproven pitching prospects and a maligned third baseman for a career .284 hitter, five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove Award winner would be a bad deal. But, such is the case with the Reds' acquisition of Scott Rolen.
It's so much the trade itself, but the timing. Count me among those who are scratching their heads.
Dealing for Rolen made a great deal of sense in early June when the Reds were clinging to contention in the NL Central race. But, not now.
Rolen is a great clubhouse guy, and a veteran presence that should help provide proper influence to the Reds' youngsters. He's playing close to home (Jasper, IN) and likely will have a couple more productive years before coasting into retirement.
But, this benefits the Reds how?
The Reds were relieved of a portion of Rolen's contract for next season, but not all. Add to him the contracts of Aaron Harang, Francisco Cordero and Bronson Arroyo, and the Reds are financially strapped for next season.
Edinson Volquez will be unavailable until late 2010 following Tommy John Surgey. Wait 'til next year just got postponed.
Most disturbing of all is the inclusion of Zach Stewart in the Rolen deal. The young hurler is quietly mentioned by scouts as the Reds' best pitching prospect.
Hours before the trade deadline the Rolen-to-the-Reds deal was reportedly dead. Perhaps that was just wishful thinking on the part of many at 100 Joe Nuxhall Way.