OK, let's get this out of the way: Mark Shapiro did not do a good job in these trades. He traded for 1 or 2 dimensional players, injured players, and guys on down years or downslides, whichever you prefer. He gambled and he got burned. Two trades that should have made us competitive again by this year or 2012 gave us, at best, complimentary pieces.
When Philadelphia traded Lee to Seattle all the front office supportive bloggers said that it was a sign that Cliff Lee wasn't worth much in trade. Actually, they were breathing a collective sigh of relief because the Philly-Seattle trade didn't give people like me who hated both trades, any more ammunition to prove the trades sucked.
When Lee was traded to Texas from Seattle, when he had half a season left on his contract (we traded him when he had 1 1/2 seasons left on an incredibly cheap contract) the evidence again started to mount that the FO had screwed up the Lee trade. The on-field evidence of the poor return in both trades was mounting as none of the guys we got back could hit over .253 on the major league level and the pitchers were all either recovering from injuries or still in the minors, or both.
Now we have the same GM in Milwaukee who fleeced us out of CC, giving away his starting SS, one year removed from being the #1 prospect in the organzation, their #8 prospect last winter who hit .300+ in a late-season callup, its #1 prospect, Jake Odorizzi and uber- but troubled-prospect Jeremy Jeffress for SS Yuniesky Betancourt and two years of Zack Greinke and his 4.14 ERA, although Greinke is a true #1, like CC is, although CC is a special commodity as he is a hard-throwing lefthander.
Plus, remenber that Melvin also gave up a good deal to get starting pitcher Marcum from Toronto just a few weeks ago and the year before he traded for CC he traded good prospects just to get a middle reliever (Linebebrink).
So what do we make of all this? Melvin WILL pay a premium price IF he is dealing with a good trading partner AND he wants to 'go for it' AND he isn't dealing with a GM dealing from fear
Well clearly he wanted to go for it when he traded for CC and he was only getting 1/2 a season for CC but he also thought he would be getting two first round draft picks one year later in addition to that half year of CC.
The bottom line is what it has always been since the days of the CC trade. Shapiro choked on the CC deal and he choked on the Lee deal. And that is why we will struggle for at least the next couple of years (plus the three we have already struggled, counting the year we traded CC) IF we are even competitive at all in the next 4-5 years from now.
I am not saying I could have done any better, but obviously GMs trading with Melvin have. Just not our GM.....and we don't know when we will stop paying for that.