Something to remember about trades
With all the debate about trades, one thing to remember is things are entirely different in the free agent era. If the Reds trade Adam Dunn for some 22-year-old pitcher with a great arm and little major league service time, they essentially freeing up $13 million of payroll for 2008. Money they can spend on free agents.
That wasn't the case when Frank Robinson was traded. You basically were getting players for life then. And the difference between Robinson's salary and Pappas' wasn't enough to buy free agents -- if free agents had been available.
Last year's trade with the Washington Nationals was a case of that. The Reds got two players not eligible for arbitration, plus a free agent to be in Royce Clayton, for two players arb-eligible. So when Clayton didn't work out -- spectacularly so, I might add -- the Reds simply took some of the money they would have paid Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez and signed Alex Gonzalez. (By the way, that trade would look better from the Reds' standpoint, if they hadn't let Brendan Harris go).
But back to the point: If the Reds trade Dunn, you've got to look at not only what they get but at what they do with the money they would have paid him. Now, getting a good player for him would help, but it's not the only way to measure the trade.