This BP article by Nate Silver is perhaps the single best short-form analysis of any franchise's administration I've read.
Ryno asked me what I thought about the Barrett trade the day after it happened, and I kinda ho-hummed it. Maybe it's because I like Bard a little more than I should. But, coming into this season, Barrett was probably the most valuable non-elite catcher in the majors (Mauer, Martinez, McCann, Martin, Posada) and some could have made an argument that his exclusion from that group wasn't such a no-brainer. Now, after less than a half-season and two incidents with teammates, he's sent off in what essentially amounts to a salary dump.
Barrett's 2007 weighted mean PECOTA Projection: .295/.357/.482
Barrett so far in 2007: .251/.299/.411, which is almost exactly his 10th-percentile projection ... meaning, he's playing as bad as he possibly could be considering his skill set, without the aid of amputation.
He could continue playing like shit and getting into fistfights with teammates. Or, he could revert to form and become, arguably, the sixth- or seventh-best offensive catchers in the majors (his defense is indefensibly bad, but whatever). What's most likely to happen?
What I'm saying is: What a fucking trade for the Padres. Even if it doesn't work out, what's the harm? You get somewhere in this game by either being bold or being rich, and the Pads are nothing if not the former.