[ED: And now there's a report out stating the previous report is bull. Making the following analysis irrelevant. Yay!]
Bailey went from one of the shining stars of Cincy's future to being dealt for a 35 year old corner outfielder, odd. Kenny Williams continues his run of off-season trading, and chalks up his first clear victory to go along with a questionable Nick Swisher move and the Javier Vazquez swap.
The Reds acquire Dye, coming off a .376 wOBA season in which he hit 34 homeruns and a higher percentage of line drives than any season since post-2002. The bat isn't the issue here, and Dye's Marcels projection calls for a .359 wOBA. Defensively, Chone has Dye projected at -6 runs, UZR had him at -15.1 (regular, not per 150 games), Justin at -7, and PMR -9.83. That's an average around -9, and if that's the case Dye's worth 2.2 WAR, or 11.05 million. That suggests Dye's salary isn't an issue, but what about the price paid in talent?
Bailey has a track record of minor league success that hasn't translated to the majors yet. The upside of those numbers translating is worth one (perhaps two) years of Dye. It's worth noting that Bailey only has 81 innings of major league exposure. Sure, his 5.58 FIP during that span is lackluster, as are his strikeout, walk, and homerun rates, but we're still talking about 80 innings from a 22-year-old starter. The Reds apparently soured on Bailey in part because of his bothersome demeanor, and yet, this isn't a move the Reds should've made. They're not extraordinarily high on the win curve (70ish) and best case scenario involves a dog fight for the wild card. I'm just not sure what this move accomplishes.
Whether Bailey withers or lives up to his potential is irrelevant. It's almost never a good idea to trade a young starting pitcher with a track record of solid minor league performance for an old corner outfielder with iffy defense. Dye's value will likely outweigh Bailey next season, and perhaps in 2010, but come 2011 the White Sox will have Bailey for an additional four seasons while Dye is either retired or close to it. At that point, I would fully expect Bailey's average season to be better than 2.2 WAR (about 180 innings, 4.59 FIP,adjust either as needed)
Kudos to Williams. Questionable for Walt Jocketty.