The Reds have dealt outfielder Josh Hamilton to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez and minor league reliever Danny Herrera.
This isn't a terrible move by the Reds, but it's not a fantastic one, either. Volquez is a good prospect who made great strides with his control and repertoire after a poor beginning to his season at Class A+ Bakersfield. He ended the year in the Rangers' rotation and pitched well. Herrera has posted some impressive minor league stats and he seems like a fun player (he throws a good screwball-like changeup that's sometimes below 60 MPH). But he's 5'8" and his fastball tops out at 86. It seems like he's pretty similar to Carlos Guevara, the short screwball-throwing reliever who the Reds left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft in the last two seasons. Obviously, the Reds didn't take Guevara too seriously as a prospect (he's now with the Padres), so I doubt they'll take Herrera too seriously, either. So mostly this trade comes down to Hamilton for Volquez.
Hamilton obviously has personal issues, and one wonders how healthy he's going to be next year, but he hit well both at home and on the road last year, and he'll be under the Rangers' control for probably his entire prime. Adam Dunn may be gone after 2008 and Ken Griffey is slowing down; even with Jay Bruce and a couple of other decent outfield prospects, I'd have preferred to keep Hamilton around if I were the Reds. Slugging outfielders don't grow on trees, and anyway, if I were a Reds fan, I'd be concerned that this trade would be an excuse to see more of what Norris Hopper can do or something. Volquez could become a very good starter, though.