I'd like to assess five recent trades, four of them good, and one not so good. I'd also like to assess one ugly trade situation, and one prospective trade situation.
The first is the Jason Taylor trade. We all knew the deal was coming, and the Dolphins got a pretty good return for Taylor (two draft picks), while the Redskins walk away with a star lineman. Good trade.
In another NFL move, my Giants traded Jeremy Shockey to the Saints for draft picks. Again, a good trade for both teams. Shockey has been disruptive, and has clashed with [relatively] new GM Jerry Reese. Plus, the Giants were pretty damn successful without him last year, when, if you may recall, they won the Super Bowl. Oh, and he's always hurt. Still, the man has talent, and a change of scenery should work well for him, especially in an offense like the Saints'. He's reunited with Sean Payton, and he improves an already potent offense. The Giants, meanwhile, rid themselves of a distraction and a health risk, and get two picks in return. A good trade for both teams.
However, the trade could have been better. First of all, this trade could have gone down on draft day, so the Giants would have known exactly who they'd be getting in exchange for the Shockster. But even better would have been a combination of this and the Taylor deal. The Saints' picks would have gone to Miami, with Taylor headed to New York, according to a report on ESPN. I would have liked to see this happen, especially considering how the Giants' D has been decimated this offseason. This trade fell through, however, when the Dolphins refused to allow the Giants to speak to Taylor directly. But still, I can't complain: the Giants made a good trade.
A third good trade also involved one of my teams, the New Jersey Nets. They sent Marcus Williams to Golden State for a first-round pick. The recent signing of Keyon Dooling (which, as previously noted, was a good pickup for the team) made Williams expendable, and they got back what they paid for him in the first place: a first-round selection. Meanwhile, the Warriors acquire a young point guard with tons of potential, who may replace the recently departed (to L.A.) Baron Davis.
One more good trade (breaking news!) involves the Diamondbacks, who acquired Jon Rauch from the Nationals. Rauch has been fantastic, so he's a good acquisition for any team. Don't know who Arizona gave up, though.
But there was a bad trade today: the Astros acquired Randy Wolf from the Padres for a minor leaguer. While they didn't give up much, one has to wonder why the Stros wanted to make such a deal. Wolf's numbers on the year aren't too great to begin with, but his road numbers are just dreadful: he's 1-6 with a 6.63 ERA away from San Diego. Newsflash: Houston is not in San Diego. In fact, Houston's Minute Maid Park (nicknamed the Juicebox) is a "hitter's park," while San Diego's Petco Field is more favorable toward pitchers. I don't think Wolf will be successful in Houston, and despite being desperate for pitching, the Astros should not have made this deal.
In the ugly department, the Packers are reportedly talking to many teams about Brett Favre. That itself is not inherently ugly, but the entire Favre situation is. At least he no longer appears headed to Chicago or Minnesota. Boy, the Madden '09 cover sure looks awkward now. I hope they change it, the same way EA changed its NHL cover from Dany Heatley to Joe Sakic when Heatley was involved in a car crash that killed a teammate.
Finally, the Yankees have been rumored to be interested in Jarrod Washburn. Washburn has not been horrible, and has had an okay career, so he's not a terrible target, but I really don't see the point. He's just another fifth starter, and the Yankees need to get a GOOD pitcher, not a band-aid for their broken rotation. For that, I'd rather wait for Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy to return. Still, it wouldn't be the worst move in the world, as they would not have to give up very much, but I don't think it should happen.