These grades are only temporary and could change in the future. My reviews aren't very scientifically based and are based more on my firsthand opinion. Thanks to the poster sammy17 over at http://royals.scout.com for inspiring me on this topic.
Gotay for Keppinger: F (definite loss)
Gotay is a young player with some upside left. He's hitting .342 and getting on base at an OK clip - considering his batting average. Weak on "D", but an excellent temporary stopgap and permanent backup 2B option. Keppinger hit one three-run slam in Boston, but 99% of the time sucked on ice. Definite "F".
Burgos for Bannister: A- (definite win)
No doubt Bannister has the WHIP and ERA of a #1, while having the "stuff" - and K/9 - of a #3 or #4. Bannister, at 25, could be a longterm solution in the #4 slot. Burgos is still 23, so time is on his side, but he is out the entire season. He's the very definition of a project - shaky at best in the big-league level thus far, but a little more upside than Bannister.
Sisco for Gload: C (even thus far)
Sisco has an overwhelming, but flat, fastball and struggles with control. At 24, he has miles more upside than Gload. Still plenty of time to turn it around. Gload has been overexposed by a veteran-loving manager, and has blocked the development of Shealy and Gathright. If Gload were kept on the bench, he would likely be at .290/.350/.450 instead of .270/.300/.420. Very little power. Still even, since both have produced slightly below replacement value with their respective teams.
MacDougal for Lumsden-Cortes: C- (slight loss)
MacDougal was extremely solid down the stretch last year for the White Sox. That has not continued this year. The definition of inconsistency. Cortes is doing well in A-ball, but Lumsden has struggled mightily playing up a level. We have more upside. They have "good"ness but wobbly and oft-injured "good"ness. Still, thus far, they definitely have the better end of the deal.
Howell for Gathright: C- (slight loss)
Howell was merely "ok" last year and has stunk this year, but the K:BB and K:9 numbers aren't bad. At least not bad enough to suggest he doesn't have lightning good stuff. Still, at age 24, he's only slightly older than Hochevar, and Hochevar likely would have the same success as Howell in the bigs this year. That's scary. Gathright has less upside, and provides an extreme lack of power at a corner-outfield position. Still, Howell has given up far too many hits. It's a slight loss, thus far.
Graffinino for De La Rosa: B- (slight win)
De La Rosa is a stopgap solution, and Graffanino is a backup infielder at best. De La Rosa still has some upside - it makes sense for a team like the Royals giving him a mile in the #4 slot. Just a few too many walks and hits to compensate for it. Anytime you can get a potential big-league #4 starter for a 30-something bench infielder, you go for it. Plain and simple.
Dessens for Odalis, et al: C- (slight loss)
L.A. dumped salary, which ultimately enabled them to nab Schmidt off the free agent wire. They are a much better team after having dumped Odalis. However, we are probably a better team with Odalis, because we are only paying him $3 mil. Odalis has been borderline tolerable as a big-league starter, but is really a AAAA starter best suited in middle relief at the big-league level. Dessens had a 7th inning-set-up-guy-caliber 3.56 ERA for the Dodgers down the stretch last year. Again, with Odalis' slight success in the early decade, and the fact that he was barely 30 at the time, it made sense at the time. Ultimately, it didn't pan out quite as hoped.
Bautistia for Affeldt and Shealy: D (definite loss)
Although it looked like a rip-off at the time. That's baseball for ya. Shealy has disappointed to all avail this season, while only posting slightly below average results last year for a first baseman. Bautista was wobbly at the very best, and likely won't amount to anything other than a 7th guy out of the 'pen in the bigs, but Affeldt has performed as a top setup man in 2007. Definite loss.
Cordier for Pena, Jr.: C+ (slight win)
I'm being friendly to Pena here, since he single-handedly exiled "The Shortstop Who Shall Remain Unnamed" from the starting shortstop position. However, his .280/.300/.350 line equals a negative VORP this season. He was the best alternative within our organization (I'm still not entirely unconvinced German couldn't have manned shortstop fulltime and committed less than 35 errors this season - which, oh by the way, Pena is on pace for over 30 errors this year). Still, errors alone don't tell the whole story on defense (range, arm, and ability to turn the D.P. must be included). I'm giving Pena the temporary pass.
Weighing all the trades evenly:
A 4.67. So, overall, a "C" if you round up.