….or one of the dopiest swaps of all-time? Mets GM Omar Minaya was castigated in this space (amongst others) for his failure at the trade deadline to either begin his club’s rebuild or acquire any help whatsoever for a Wild Card bid.  In Cincinnati however, that the Reds are in a tailspin didn’t stop the organization from giving up substantial young talent in exchange for the aging, beat-up, highly paid 3B Scott Rolen. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Paul Daughtery contends, “You want to look good at the Oscars? Rolen is the diamonds for the wrist, the pearls for the neck. This just in: The Reds aren™t going to the Oscars.”

The Reds aren™t going to contend this year. With the double whammy of the trade and the loss until next August of Edinson Volquez, they™re not contending next year, either. Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Francisco Cordero are owed $35 million next season. Harang is as tradeable now as Manhattan for beads.

Apparently, the Reds aren™t on the hook for all of Rolen™s $11 million in 2010. Jocketty wouldn™t say what the team™s obligation is, so feel free to wonder. Not that it matters. This was a short-term move by a club that has to think long term with everything it does. The Reds sell the hens, then wonder where the eggs went. It™s bad thinking from an organization that needs to be smart every day, just to compete.

It doesn™t matter if Scott Rolen is Clubhouse MVP or if he™s going to field like Brooks Robinson and hit like Frank. The Reds cannot win on the fly. They can™t contend while rebuilding. They™re only putting lipstick on a flying pig. They™ve tried that for almost a decade. Trading credible young pitching for a relative senior citizen is not how you win in small-money places like this one. Especially when the contending portion of the 2009 program is over.