My position on the trade then which has remained pretty consistent is if they *still* needed more minor league pitching depth four years into this rebuild, shouldn't some of the blame be on the front office for not having enough in the first place?
They traded Miguel Castro, Iglesias, Bundy, Villar, Sulser/Scott and probably one trade I'm missing for pitching depth. Why were those trades, plus 4 years of drafting in the top 5, not enough where they felt like they needed to weaken a playoff team to get even more depth?
The complete lack of pitching in the drafts and international free agency periods and the overwhelming focus on pitching in all trades has gotta be intentional. I think its a fair thing to criticize, especially if it made them more inclined to trade away from this year's roster than they would've been if they had a more normal and balanced approach to acquiring entry-level players.
Trading away anything from a contender after being a doormat for so long remains very frustrating. The Mancini trade I think they at least got good value and had a reasonable internal replacement (Stowers) for the bat. I wouldn't have done it but it made sense. The Lopez trade I still don't understand at all. An All-Star closer for a very uninspiring return. Bautista was ready to step up, but you always need more good relievers so its not like it was a cost-free replacement. I hope Povich turns into a stud, but I'll never think that the process and logic of that trade was anything but a disaster. Hopefully they get lucky and get away with it, like Bordick for Mora, but it was that level of bad, IMO.