I honestly cannot remember how I initially felt about the Koji trade. Obviously, I loved Koji; who didn't? He was FANTASTIC out of the bullpen. I'm pretty sure he basically rid of the slider once he became a relief pitcher, and it was amazing to watch a 88mph "rising" (c'mon, it appeared to rise and you all know it) fastball constantly blow right by hitters, only to wing in a DIRTY splitter every once in awhile. By the way, was there a reason he did not record ONE SAVE for us in 2011. Koji makes Jim Johnson's and Kevin Gregg's numbers look like garbage; well, Kevin Gregg is garbage.
2011 Koji Uehara: 1.72 ERA/0.702 WHIP/4.8 H/9/7.75 SO/BB
2011 Jim Johnson: 2.67 ERA/1.110 WHIP/7.9 H/9/2.76 SO/BB
2011 Kevin Gregg: 4.37 ERA/1.642 WHIP/8.7 H/9/1.33 SO/BB
I understood we, a last place team, had no legit need for Koji, other than having so much fun watching him pitch. So, it was the right decision to move him. At the time, I had only heard of Chris Davis' & Tommy Hunter's names, but I had never seen them play. I always enjoy learning of new players I previously had not truly known about, so I must have been a little giddy looking up their stats & learning I was going to watch them play. I was quickly astonished of Chris Davis' AAA numbers: .337 .397 .609 1.006 lifetime batting line at AAA & 24 bombs in 48 games during the 2011 season. I take a low payroll GM approach to baseball decisions, so naturally I wanted to give Chris Davis a true full season in the majors, as I did with Nolan Reimold. By the way, Chris Davis was made expendable because of Mitch Moreland.
2012 Chris Davis: .270 .326 .501 .827
2012 Mitch Moreland: .275 .321 .468 .789
Not to mention, both are equally defensive players, so...OUCH.
As for Tommy Hunter, I hadn't truly grasped some of the vital pitching statistics like FIP, HR/9, SO/BB. All I really looked at was his ERA of 4.10 in '09 & 3.73 ERA in '10, pitching in a hitter's park in Texas. I thought he was going to be a stud. Turns out, he should never come close to a major league rotation again, and really should be regulated to strictly one inning stints. He still can't throw a pitch below the belt, but he will be able to get away with that more if he is throwing 97mph instead of 94mph in long relief, or 91mph in a starting role.
I did not hate the trade at the time, although I frankly cannot really remember. I hated to see Koji go, but I understood why he had to go. It has turned out to be a very good trade by Macphail, as has several of his trades.