Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

Back on July 12, 2006, the Nationals made what at the time was a huge deal for them.

The Washington Nationals today acquired outfielder Austin Kearns, shortstop Felipe Lopez and right-handed pitcher Ryan Wagner from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for right-handed pitcher Gary Majewski, left-handed pitcher Bill Bray, infielder Brendan Harris, shortstop Royce Clayton and right-handed pitcher Daryl Thompson.

Why do I bring this up today? Well, according to Cincinnati reporter , the Reds today ourighted Thompson from the 40-man roster, ostensibly ending what ended up being a pretty uneventful deal.

The only players remaining with their respective team is Bray who underwent Tommy John surgery this year and Thompson.

The other principles of the deal have either been released, traded or outrighted from the Nats or Reds. And for the most part without much to show for it on the field.

Here are their respective stats just for their next organizations

KEARNS 390 1503 1286 177 311 63 4 34 159 7 8 179 270 242 346 376 484
LOPEZ 325 1354 1202 147 301 58 8 13 97 49 20 119 223 250 320 344 414
WAGNER 3 5 5.05 40 0 7 0 46.33 56 32 26 5 23 29 1.71 4.5 5.6 1.3
CLAYTON 50 164 149 13 35 8 0 2 13 6 3 11 32 235 290 329 9
HARRIS 8 11 10 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 4 200 273 500 5
BRAY 7 6 3.84 111 0 22 3 89.00 99 45 38 8 38 91 1.54 3.8 9.2 2.4
MAJEWSKI 2 6 7.38 88 0 18 0 78.00 134 67 64 10 22 46 2.00 2.5 5.3 2.1
THOMPSON 0 2 6.91 3 3 0 0 14.33 20 11 11 3 7 6 1.89 4.4 3.8 0.9

None of the three players acquired by the Nationals returning anything near the results anticipated with Lopez playing his way out of DC, Kearns cratering in his final two seasons, and injuries forcing Wagner to retire.

The returns for the Reds was not that much more impressive. Majewski immediately came up lame (which led to much complaining and a protest from Cincy). Bray is injured and likely will not be ready until late in 2010 at the earliest, Thompson had a cup of coffee, Clayton finished the year with the Reds with less than stellar numbers, and Harris hardly played before being dealt to Tampa Bay in the off-season for an unknown return.

It goes to show that even as big a deal that appeared at the time, the final results (still TBD to some degree) have fallen far from huge.

  1. #1 by Todd Boss - November 20th, 2009 at 17:52

    I remember being totally excited at the time. Bray has some local roots so that was disappointing to see him go, but the promise of Kearns and Lopez was fantastic.

    Then i remember seeing the look on their faces at the press conference. Kearn’s hat was askew, both of them looked as if they had just been told their grandmother had passed.

    Kearns’ under performance can be understandable at times; fighting through injuries, always trying to play his way back. Lopez’s professionalism though was a disgrace. The second he left town he suddenly remembered how to play again. Too bad we can’t ask for his salary back.

  2. #2 by Positively Half St. - November 20th, 2009 at 17:57

    Todd Boss has the best point of all of it. The Nats could have won out in this trade is Lopez wasn’t such a fainting goat. The crybaby failed us on purpose, and found his game again once he left. There is no other ex-Nat I have such distaste for.

  3. #3 by Positively Half St. - November 20th, 2009 at 17:58

    “if Lopez”, not “is Lopez”

  4. #4 by Sue Dinem - November 20th, 2009 at 18:07

    But the opposite is also true… what seems like a minor trade can end up being huge in retrospect. Like, Atlanta trading a veteran LHP to Detroit for a 20-y.o. kid that wasn’t drafted until the 22nd round and was sporting a 4-10 record with a 5.68 ERA at the time.

  5. #5 by John - November 20th, 2009 at 18:09

    If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not.

  6. #6 by VladiHondo - November 21st, 2009 at 17:02

    Is that from “Days of our LIves” soap lead-in??


  7. #7 by John - November 22nd, 2009 at 18:32

    Vladi: Both my quote and Brian’s title are from Macbeth. Perhaps you already know that, since you put the “;)”

    Like the sands through the hourglass, so are the failed trades of our lives :)

  8. #8 by peric - November 23rd, 2009 at 03:28

    Things seem very, very, very quiet now in Natstown. Methinks Rizzo and company are keeping their next moves very close to the vest. Not many whispers out there? Or is it just my imagination?

  9. #9 by Jeff E. - November 23rd, 2009 at 06:07

    Who here buys the Phil Rogers piece in Sunday CHI Tribune painting WASH as next address for Vlad????? who here wants Dunn traded for perhaps Texas ranger pieces. Boggs and an arm or two? Blalock plays in NL??? laynce Nix- mr. Rizzo!! Hudson along the Potomac??? happy Thanksgiving, nat nation! out.

  10. #10 by Rich - November 23rd, 2009 at 11:49

    Jeff, I think Phil Wood answers your question below:


    He claims the Nats wouldn’t get a top of the rotation guy for Dunn and goes on to say: “As for trading Dunn, who’s going to trade a top-of-the-rotation starrter for him? I think you might get a handful of prospects, but the Nationals already have several high ceiling pitching prospects in their farm system. You can never have too many of those guys, I know, but if Dunn’s to be traded, I think you’ve got to get something of immediate value, not simply potential.”

    I then asked him abt the “high ceiling pitching prospects” and what that means and apparently it only means that they have major league potential. Not that they will be good Major Leaguers

  11. #11 by Sue Dinem - November 23rd, 2009 at 13:59

    Wood’s being more than a little facetious with his reply. For starters, when was the last time a top-of-the-rotation pitcher was traded in the offseason? I can think of two this decade: Curt Schilling and Erik Bedard. Neither was traded for a major-league hitter. Even back-of-the-rotation starting pitchers aren’t traded very often, and when they are, it’s usually for relievers, not major-league position players. The closest I can think of in recent memory is the Josh Hamilton trade, and that’s a crappy comparison because Hamilton had had such little major-league service time.

  12. #12 by Pilchard - November 23rd, 2009 at 14:05

    Agree that Adam Dunn is not going to bring a ton in return. IIRC, he is geting paid $10 million for 2010, will then be a FA, and he is probably the worst everyday defensive player in the game.

    Based on his salary and the fact that he needs to DH to generate substantially more runs than he gives up, only AL teams with a need at DH and ability to take on payroll would be interested. Of that limited group, the Nats need to find a team offering something that they want. Trading Dunn is much easier in theory than in reality.

    Would guess the only chance to trade Dunn will come in July if a major AL contender (Yanks, Red Sox or Angles) suffers an injury and has a big need for a LH bat just before the trading deadline No team is going to deal legit prospects at this point for Dunn.

  13. #13 by VladiHondo - November 23rd, 2009 at 14:22

    btw Dunn earns $12m this year, his contract was $8 & $12m for the 2 years.

    Also Josh Beckett was certainly top of the rotation when he was traded.

  14. #14 by Sue Dinem - November 23rd, 2009 at 15:23

    VH – Well, I did say that “I can think of,” but the point still remains: top-flight pitchers are traded in-season and rarely for major-league bats. If you’ll recall, Lowell was considered in decline and overpaid at the time; Beckett was considered an underachiever (remember the blister problems?), which is partly why he slipped my mind (then again, memory is the second thing to go as you get older; I don’t remember what the first was ;-)

    Pilchard – That’s how I’d peg it, too, for Dunn’s “tradeability.” In fact, he may even get dealt at the deadline anyway just because he’s not in the team’s long-term plans a la Nick Johnson this year (though if healthy and producing, Dunn should net some more prospects). Naturally, we all here hope that that also means that Marrero is living up to his billing.

  15. #15 by phil dunn - November 23rd, 2009 at 15:46

    garbage in, garbage out!

  16. #16 by dd - November 23rd, 2009 at 20:44

    Brian, planning a recap of the AFL? Looks like Storen, Marrero and Espinosa did well.

  17. #17 by Pilchard - November 24th, 2009 at 23:03

    Former Nat top prospect Mike Hinckley signed with the Orioles today.

  18. #18 by Rich - November 25th, 2009 at 12:57

    Here’s a question for the group:

    I keep reading how the Royals have signed a bunch of minor league free agents:


    Isn’t that something that we should be doing as well? Or are our triple A rosters just that good that we won’t benefit from the next JD Martin or what have you? Is Rizzo dropping the ball? Don’t we need relievers?

  19. #19 by Brian Oliver - November 25th, 2009 at 13:16

    Rich – Not sure if it’s that the Nationals aren’t signing anyone or that we are not hearing about them signing anyone. Some teams (the Nats are one) are not very forthcoming with the minor league F/A signings (no idea why)

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