So, Pirate fans, now that the details of the Abreu trade are out, I ask you: is it as bad as the Aramis Ramirez trade? No doubt it's a salary dump of historic proportions.
The Phillies got a guy who is arguably a good and very young prospect, but Aramis was much more rough around the edges when he was traded. Abreu's one of the best players in the game, no doubt about it. And the Phillies got some debts cancelled for him, and little more.
... after some discussion in the comments, I come away thinking that the big difference between the Aramis salary dump and the Abreu salary dump is the way the teams went about it. Both teams wanted to save money. Both players had reputations for being "lollygaggers" or less-than-acceptable defensively. But the Phillies maintained the illusion of wheeling-and-dealing, of driving a hard bargain for Abreu. For months. And they stockpiled outfielders to give the fans the impression that there was a need to move one of the team's very best players to make time for guys like Shane Victorino and David Dellucci. The Pirates (after Benson came up hurt) traded Aramis abruptly. Neither team got much of anything for their star players, but the Phillies appear to have avoided the PR disaster that the Pirates inflicted upon themselves with the clumsy handling of their own salary dump.
Is it dishonorable to trade away top talent for mere cash saved? I would think so, but maybe not. The dishonor may not be the salary dump but the getting into the position where a salary dump is needed. But was it truly necessary? No bank seized Abreu to auction him off in a sheriff's sale.