With Ben Cherington in his second year it's time to make a trade to imrpove the team.
The Boston Red Sox need to upgrade their roster, and the best way to do so seems to be via trades.
With few impact free agents available, there are several trade scenarios that would provide a boost for the Red Sox.
2013 may become a bridge year to 2014 when several promising prospects seem poised to make their mark on the big club.
For now, here are six ideal trade scenarios for Boston.
It's hard to envision Jon Lester in another uniform.
This may be the craziest thought outside of trading Xander Bogaerts for a middle-reliever, but this rumor is actually true.
At first glance this may seem impossible. Why would the Red Sox want to unload Lester when his value is at an all-time low?
However, when you look closer, this makes more sense than many are willing to accept.
Myers could be that power-hitting outfielder that the Red Sox have long coveted. At just 21 years old, Myers hit .314 between AA and AAA and belted 37 home runs and according to Baseball Prospect Nation was the third-best outfield prospect behind only Mike Trout and Bryce Harper prior to his stellar 2012 season and the 13th-best prospect overall.
Capable of playing center field, Myers would be better served as a corner outfielder and would allow the Red Sox to build around Myers, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bryce Brentz.
Losing Lester would be a tough pill to swallow, but if Ben Cherington and John Farrell feel that he isn’t a true ace, then trading him now while he still has two years of team control left makes sense, especially when you can acquire a stud like Myers.
The Red Sox need to trade Jarrod Saltalamacchia for pitching.
After the signing of catcher David Ross, the Red Sox seem to have a surplus of big-league catchers.
While the book is still out on Ryan Lavarnway, he is younger and less expensive than Saltalamacchia.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe sees a potential trade with Chicago, saying, “Speaking of Salty, there may be a decent market for him. The White Sox, who don’t seem to plan on bringing back A.J. Pierzynski, could be players for Saltalamacchia. They could move someone like Gavin Floyd.”
Floyd is a decent pitcher who would provide depth in the rotation.
One sticking point may be that Floyd has only one year left on his deal, and the Red Sox may be reluctant to trade for a one-year rental.
In Ben Nicholson-Smith’s piece on the Red Sox, he sees the Mets, Rangers, Astros and Mariners as other potential landing spots for Saltalamacchia. Either way, pitching is a need and with the Red Sox also flirting with catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli, catching has certainly become a surplus.
Though his value is lower than last offseason, it is time to trade Jacoby Ellsbury.
With both Michael Bourn and B.J. Upton still available, the Red Sox will need to wait to make this move.
However, once they have signed, there is a significant drop-off to the next level of free-agent center fielders.
Ben Nicholson-Smith thinks “the Red Sox could also listen to trade offers for Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s now just one year away from hitting free agency.”
Even though his value is low, if the Red Sox think he is going to leave as a free agent after next season, they need to consider trading him now.
Nicholson-Smith thinks there would be multiple suitors, saying “the Rangers have liked Ellsbury in the past, and many others would express interest, given Ellsbury’s youth and MVP-caliber 2011 season.”
Unless the Rangers were willing to trade Elvis Andrus or top prospects, I would prefer to send Ellsbury to the National League so has less of an opportunity to exude his revenge on the Red Sox.
No matter what the Marlins say, try and trade for Giancarlo Stanton.
Though this may be impossible, and depending on the asking price it may not even make sense, the Red Sox should do everything in their power to trade for Giancarlo Stanton.
As Nick Cafardo reports, the Red Sox are involved, saying, “While Selig did not step in to change or block that trade, he may not look too fondly upon a deal for the Marlins’ biggest draw. Teams would have to give their very best to the Marlins for baseball’s best young slugger. The Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Cubs and many more are inquiring, according to a major league source.”
Stanton would give the Red Sox a young power-hitting outfielder to pair with Will Middlebrooks for the next 10 years.
Acquiring Stanton would require a miracle, but stranger things have happened.
Though he lacks power, Joe Mauer would fit well at first base.
The Red Sox need to find a first baseman, and the Twins want to unload Joe Mauer’s mammoth contract.
Though Mauer is catcher by trade, a shift to being a first baseman will help Mauer stay healthy.
Mauer started at first base 48 times between 2011 and 2012. He could still move behind the plate from time to time, but by playing first base he would limit the wear and tear on his body and be able to be a more productive hitter.
A lifetime .323 hitter with a .405 career OBP, Mauer would provide a significant boost to the Red Sox offense.
Nick Cafardo likes the idea, saying, “The Red Sox passed on the opportunity to claim him on waivers last season, but Mauer would really help them get back to being that good on-base team; he led the league with a .416 on-base percentage.”
Cafardo later added that “If Mauer had not signed that deal, Boston would have been a likely destination for him in free agency. He lives in Fort Myers, Fla., and has always been enamored with the Red Sox.”
It may not take much to land Mauer, but the more Boston offers, the more salary Minnesota would likely absorb. Mauer is still due to make $138 million over the next six seasons.
The Red Sox should try and acquire Justin Upton.
Jon Heyman reported that “Justin Upton has a 90 percent chance of being with the Diamondbacks when spring training starts as things stand now, one Diamondbacks person estimated.” That doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
Upton, 25, is under team control for three more years and would provide the Red Sox with the All-Star caliber right fielder they desperately need.
While this is a long shot since the Red Sox seem to want to keep their top prospects and return to building from within, there is still a chance they could pull off this trade.