Specifically, trade Jacoby Ellsbury to the Rangers for shortstop Elvis Andrus.
Ellsbury is entering a contract year in 2013, but it does not seem smart for the Sox to put money into him for the future. Mainly, it is hard to tell what kind of player Ellsbury is.
He could hit 32 homeruns a season, like he did in 2012, or he could hit eight, like he did in 2009.
He could steal 70 bases, or he could steal 30.
He could be healthy, or he could prove to be injury-prone.
The point is, no one has seen enough of Ellsbury to know and—more than anything—that diminishes his value.
Nonetheless, because he has proven he can have highly productive years, he will be asking for money that is equivalent with that production.
Texas may very likely lose Josh Hamilton this offseason, which means money is more available and there is a need for an outfielder.
With Jackie Bradley Jr. potentially ready to play at the major league level, the Red Sox do not need Ellsbury in centerfield, but they do need a shortstop.
Elvis Andrus’ three home runs and 62 RBI are not overwhelming in the least, but his .286 average makes him a viable trade option.
Both Andrus and Ellsbury have speed at the top of the lineup, so there is no value lost there, but, rather, the Rangers gain a Gold Glove center fielder and the Red Sox get the everyday shortstop they have been missing.
It might not be the most fan-friendly move, but the Red Sox must look to get the most value from Jacoby Ellsbury.