It's the off-season and with deals likely to be bandied about over the next few months, now's a good time to go back and look at the trades made this season and what the early indications are based on post-trade performance. This is not to settle "winners and losers", given it's only been 3 months since the latest of these deals took place, it's just to give of a feeling of how these may end up when we look back at them years from now.
Traded Josh Willingham (.246 / .332 / .477, 29 homers) to the Oakland Athletics. Received Corey Brown (AAA .235 / .326 / .402, 134Ks in 124 games) and Henry Rodriguez.
(3.56 ERA 45BB 70 K 14 WP)
It would have been nice to have Willingham's pop but it probably would have been at the expense of Mike Morse playing. Right there this looks like a good deal for the Nats. Corey Brown's nice AA stint looks like a fluke and feelings are trending toward the idea he'll never make enough contact to hang in the majors. Henry Rodriguez remains a mystery. Is he Brian Bruney or Joel Hanrahan? Still no answer and until we figure that out this trade is more of a nothing for nothing deal.
Traded A.J. Morris (didn't pitch in 2011), Graham Hicks (3.98 ERA in A-ball ) and Michael Burgess (.225 20HR in A+ ball) to the Chicago Cubs. Received Tom Gorzelanny.(4.46 ERA as a starter, 2.42 as a reliever)
Gorzelanny might have flopped out of the 5th starter role, but he'll be
an inexpensive and effective long reliever / spot starter in 2012. AJ Morris was the big get for the Cubs but his injury recovery from shoulder surgery was slow. Graham Hicks and Burgess are both 21 meaning they will both be old next year for the league they were in, especially for high school guys. Nothing about Hicks line makes you think he'll make the majors. Burgess still has a ton of power but until he can get that average up he's not going anywhere. Right now it's looking good for Rizzo.
Traded Justin Maxwell (.260 16 homers in 48 games) to the New York Yankees. Received Adam Olbrychowski (4.16 ERA in A+).
Olbie is a failed starter that's looking very much to be a failed reliever. If 22 is on the old side for non-college A-ball guys what is 24? Maxwell showed crazy power (a homer every 3rd game) in AAA before injuring his shoulder. If Maxwell can come back from injury the Yankees should get some value from him where I doubt the Nats are going to get anything from Adam, but still that's an "if". Pretty nothing deal right now.
Traded Nyjer Morgan (.304 , plus defense in CF) to the Milwaukee Brewers. Received Cutter Dykstra (.212 / .265 / .265 line in A+ ball) and cash.
Terrible trade. You can argue whether or not the Nats should have dealt Morgan, but you can't argue that the Nats got nothing of value back for him. Nyjer was a major league CF with at least a few good years left and a decent track record of success at the plate and in the field. You have to get something more back for him than a kid who's still in the minors because of one good year and a famous last name.
Traded Alberto Gonzalez (.215 / .256 / 283) to the San Diego Padres. Received Erik Davis (5.30 ERA in A and AA) and cash.
Erik Davis is another 24 year arm that didn't produce in A and AA, but it was very much a surprise that he performed that badly. Alberto is nothing but a defensive replacement. Nats might have thought they were getting a steal here, but again nothing for nothing right now.
Traded Bill Rhinehart (.287 / .380 / .513 in AA) and Christopher Manno (0.53 ERA, 31 K , 6 BB in 13 games in A+ ball, ) to the Cincinnati Reds. Received Jonny Gomes (.204 / .229 / .306 3 homers in 43 games) and cash.
Jonny Gomes did nothing good for the Nats. He didn't play well enough to hope he'd decline arbitration. (He might have even played himself out of Type B status at that) He didn' help Nix by putting him in a platoon situation. He didn't hit well enough to give the Nats a win or two. Rhinehart kept doing what he's doing - heading toward a few years on the bench in the majors. Manno though, Manno looks like he's only getting better. It was only 17 innings with the Reds, but he was that good with the Nats before hand. It's a long way from A+ to the majors but this could be a stinker of a deal for the Nats in a few years. A good lefty is a good lefty.
Traded Jerry Hairston (.274 / .348 / .379) to the Milwaukee Brewers. Received Erik Komatsu (.234 / .298 / .297 in AA).
Komatsu took a step back after coming over. It doesn't look good but like Davis he had a decent track record. Unlike Davis he's 23 and ended the year in AA, not 24 in A+. He gets more leeway. We'll see how he does next season. Hairston helped the Brewers with his continued decent play, but the Nats didn't need him and the trade was pretty fair. I can't fault Rizzo here.
Traded Jason Marquis (9.53 ERA) to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Received Zachary Walters (.293 / .336 / .371 in A+).
Walters lost a little pop as the Nats moved him up from A-ball to A+ball, but he played decent enough to maybe move up to AA next year. That's good enough to lay off him for the time being. The real shame here is the Nats sitting on Marquis rather than dealing him while he was (relatively) hot. Walters is a fair return for the Marquis they dealt, but the Marquis sitting at 3.50 at the end of June with 7 runs given up in his last 5 games could have brought more. The trade itself isn't a loser, but it isn't what it could have been for the cost of maybe a win or two.