I don't know that we really need to reflect on this trade anymore - I think everyone has a pretty good understanding of why we liked it at the time, and what wound up going wrong - but it's worth considering that December 18th, 2009 represents what has so far been a global maximum for our collective opinion of the front office.
Already, the front office had turned a dreadful 61-win team into an enjoyable 85-win team overnight. And while a lot of us weren't exactly thrilled about Griffey re-signing, Chone Figgins got locked up out of the blue. Then the front office came out of nowhere to steal Cliff Lee. And then, just a couple days later, it traded the team's least popular player for a guy with a bat.
At the time, Carlos Silva was an expensive, underperforming assclown, and I don't think anyone figured the M's would be able to move him - much less move him for a guy who could come in and help. And then the Zduriencik front office did it, shipping out a probable problem for a possible solution. At that point we were still getting used to the idea of having Felix and Lee at the front of a rotation, and the Bradley trade was just too much. We couldn't handle it. We liked the Zduriencik front office before, but on December 18th, 2009, I think a lot of us fell in love.
A few days later, the controversial Brandon Morrow trade went down. Soon after that, Casey Kotchman was brought in to start at first base. Felix signed his extension in January, which was awesome, but then Eric Byrnes was signed, and Mike Sweeney was signed, and Ryan Garko went away, and the team lost 101 games, and Bradley sucked, and this offseason began. There have been a number of local maxima and minima corresponding to individual events and moves and non-moves, but one year ago today - I think that's as positive as we've ever been. One year ago today, I think all of us believed our front office was among the very best in the game.
And, who knows - it very well might be, even now. But there's less reason to think so, and it's hard to keep people enthused when your product totally sucks. I think, overall, there's still a lot of confidence in the front office, but it's lost some fans, and those of us who remain are a little more wary than we used to be. Cracks have formed that we didn't anticipate. I don't know if that's our fault - I don't know if we can be blamed for not foreseeing the unforeseeable - but it is what it is.
December 18th, 2009. That was a good day.
(In a hilarious twist, you know who'd fit on this team right now? Carlos Silva. You know who doesn't? Milton Bradley. Surprise!)