I know I said yesterday I was done with trade ideas until the winter, but I came across some news today that intrigued me.
JJ Hardy to the Red Sox rumors heated up earlier in the season but died down due to his lack of production. Hardy has caught fire in the last week and will likely finish the season with another 20-plus home run campaign. The Red Sox would then control Hardy's rights until he becomes eligible for free agency after the 2010 season, and the Sox could very easily sign him to a long-term deal if he produces for them.
The second player the Brewers would send to Boston would be Mike Cameron who would provide the Red Sox with a very good back-up outfielder with an outstanding glove. Cameron would become a free agent after the season and if the Sox offer him arbitration and he declines, they would receive draft pick compensation as Cameron projects as a Type B free agent.
In return from Boston, I think the Brewers could get Clay Buchholz and Chris Duncan. Buchholz looks like the real deal and would look good in a rotation with Yovani Gallardo and Manny Parra for the next few years.
Duncan was recently acquired from the Cardinals, and he could be another bat used in the Brewers' lineup.
On talent and player control factors, I think the Brewers come out as big winners on this deal, so I think the Brewers would need to give up more to convince the Red Sox to part with Buchholz.
To really sweeten the deal for the Red Sox, I think the Brewers should pay the remaining portion of the contracts for Hardy and Cameron. That would come out to roughly $6 million in savings for the Red Sox.
That would leave the Brewers with holes at shortstop and centerfield to fill. Alcides Escobar would be called up to play shortstop for the long term in Milwaukee.
Centerfield would have a bit more flexibility options for the Brewers. Ryan Braun or Corey Hart could easily transition to center, and it would be easier to fill a corner outfield spot with Duncan or Frank Catalanotto until the end of the season. They could then spend money on a free agent over the winter.
The other option could see Jody Gerut have a chance to play full-time in center. Then Braun or Hart could take the entire winter to try and transition to center and be ready for 2010.
The Brewers could then insert Buchholz into their rotation as a regular starter. As I said, he would go nicely with Gallardo and Parra for many years to come. It would then be easier to fill out the bottom end of the rotation, and possibly move a pitcher like Dave Bush or Braden Looper into the bullpen to strengthen that area as well.
I know many Brewers fans would love to see Buchholz in Milwaukee, while Red Sox nation would hate to see him go. The Sox would get two bats and great defenders in return that would mix in with an already great team.
If this trade happened, I think the Red Sox would be the odds on favorite to win the World Series, and the Brewers would become stronger for the next several years.