Back in the days of Sega Genesis and VHS tapes, one of my favorite games was World Series Baseball. I remember it being one of the first sports games I ever played where you could trade players to different teams.
Of course, I took the liberty of making the Red Sox look more like an All-Star roster.
Kenny Lofton was the leadoff man. Mark McGwire batted cleanup. Pudge Rodriguez in the nine hole. Greg Maddux was at the front end of the rotation and Robb Nen would come in to close games.
To get these guys, I traded away what was a decent, but not great Red Sox roster at the time.
In today’s video games, you can’t fleece the computer like you used to. And much to the chagrin of Red Sox Nation, Theo Epstein can’t trick other general managers into making one-sided trades.
With Jason Bay telling Boston "No thanks," a glaring hole has been left in its lineup. The acquisitions of John Lackey and Mike Cameron help the team, but they don’t make the Red Sox a contender in the American League. To do that, the Red Sox will need to add another bat.
The choice on Sox fans' wish lists this offseason is Adrian Gonzalez because of his amazing statistics in a pitcher's park.
What many Boston die-hards fail to recognize is we can't just get this guy for a bucket of balls. He is to the Padres, what “The Situation" is to Jersey Shore. So to pry him from them, some big pieces are going to have to move.
In all likelihood, it’s going to take a major league player and multiple prospects to acquire Gonzalez. Padres GM Jed Hoyer is quite familiar with the Red Sox and their farm system, so let’s take a look the three players that he might have the most interest in:
I think most Sox fans would be dancing in the streets for a chance to trade Buchholz for A-Gon. Buchholz struggled for a couple seasons before finding some success in the second half of the ’09 season.
He sported a 7-4 record to go with an ERA of 4.21. He has never achieved the same success of that September night back in 2007, but we keep hearing he is going to be a solid top of the rotation pitcher. With the starting pitching depth after signing Lackey, Buchholz is a chip Boston can afford to lose.
In the spirit of giving, the Red Sox need to consider trading their big-game ace to the Padres. Beckett will be a free agent at the end of this season, and he’ll be looking to be paid top-dollar.
If you compare Beckett’s careeer stats to Lackey’s, you will see that they are almost identical. You don’t even have to be worried about Lackey’s nerves in big games—he won Game Seven of the World Series back in 2002 as a rookie. A big name like Beckett surrounded with some of Hoyer’s handpicked prospects might just be enough to land Gonzalez in Boston.
Ellsbury seems to be the best fit for the Padres. This past season, Ellsbury batted .300 in the leadoff spot, and stole a franchise-record 70 bases. He also ranked in the top-10 in fielding for center fielders, and made some really spectacular plays. But, let’s be honest, this trade is not all about stats.
In Jacoby Ellsbury, the Padres would be able to replace the face of their franchise.
He’s an exciting player who makes plays in the field and on the bases. And let’s not kid ourselves, Ellsbury is a stud. Pink hats all over Red Sox nation adore Ellsbury. I’m sure his face would sell some tickets to the likes of Kristin Cavallari and other So. Cal single ladies.
When you add in the fact that Ellsbury, 26, is only due $449,500 next season, my proposed deal of Ellsbury and some prospects would have to be intriguing to Hoyer and the Padres.
Santa won’t be dropping Adrian Gonzalez down the chimney this week, but it could be Christmas in July if Gonzalez does find his way to Fenway by the start of next season.