OK, now we know. Here's the deal: Eric Byrnes and Omar Quintanilla go to Colorado for Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick.
Can't say I'm ecstatic about this trade, but it's a nice gamble that might pay off.
The deals make more sense if you break them down like this:
Payton for Byrnes.
Witasick for Bradford.
Kennedy for Quintanilla.
Byrnes was gone next year, and he wasn't playing much this year. Jay Payton is quite similar to Byrnes offensively, yet better defensively, but is a big headache if he's not starting. So perhaps we'll call that one even.
Witasick was having a good year in Colorado, but he's alternated between good and bad years in the past, so who knows if his good performance in 2005 will continue. On the other hand, Bradford is coming off the DL, so you don't really know what kind of performance you'll get from him, either. We'll call that one even, too.
The quality of the trades basically boils down to Omar Quintanilla for Joe Kennedy. We won't know how that works out for several years, but right now, I'd say it's a good gamble to take.
Quintanilla was a hot prospect last year, but hasn't shown much this year (.297/.347/.395 at AA Midland). It seems unlikely now that he'll ever be much more than a utility infielder in the majors. The drafting of Cliff Pennington in the first round this year probably made Quintanilla even more expendable.
Kennedy has had a horrible year in 2005, but he has certainly shown in the past that he is quite talented, (3.66 ERA in Colorado in 2004) and he's only 26 years old. Taking a gamble that he will regain his form by leaving the Living-Hell-For-Pitchers is a nice roll of the dice.