I did a quick side-by-side, aggregate comparison of the talent flowing in and out of Cincinnati in the Reds' two big transactions this offseason. While the gulf in years of team control changing hands is staggering - and so is the MLB WAR values for 2011 - if you're in need of a tie-breaker, I'd submit the sheer near-term upside of Latos and Marshall (not fully reflected below). Marshall was the third-best reliever in all of baseball last year by FanGraphs' WAR, among other measures, while the case for Latos as the youngest member of the elite among MLB starters has been made.
It messes up the mind a little to digest these two trades, what with all the players switching teams and the decisiveness of the transactions in the face of accusations of Walt's alleged risk-aversion. Consider the risk not averted.
NOTE: Years of control is estimated based on prospect ETAs.
|Latos & Marshall||Players traded away|
|Ages||29, 24||24.14 (avg.)|
|Years of control||5||39|
|2011 MLB fWAR||6.0||0.7|
|2011 MLB bWAR||5.1||-0.7|
|2012 MLB salary||$3.6M||$3.5M|