The recent discussion on A.J. Burnett got me thinking, so I’d like to open up a bit of a fun exercise for all of us. Let us pretend that you’re the general manager of the Red Sox right now. You’ve decided not to make any further changes the rest of the year, but you want to start planning for 2009.
OPTION A: You can trade Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard and Coco Crisp to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Miguel Montero, but you will be forced to sign either A.J. Burnett or Ryan Dempster (minimum contract: 4 years, $50 million) as a result of that. It is up to you if you want to resign Jason Varitek in this scenario or go with a Montero/David Ross combo. OPTION A can be combined with: OPTION C only.
OPTION B: Replace Kevin Cash with David Ross, let Mike Timlin walk and sign Will Ohman (3 years, $18 million) and Kyle Farnsworth (1 year, $3 million with a vesting team option for $4 million) to contracts. OPTION B can be combined with: OPTION D only.
OPTION C: Salary dump Julio Lugo along with Coco Crisp and Justin Masterson to the Cincinnati Reds for Edwin Encarnacion. OPTION C can be combined with: OPTION B if not combined with OPTION A.
OPTION D: Trade Coco Crisp for a minor league position prospect, resign Mark Kotsay to serve as backup outfielder. Allow Alex Cora to walk and inform Julio Lugo he is now the backup middle infielder. OPTION D can be combined with: OPTION A if Jacoby Ellsbury replaces Crisp in the Montero trade and Crisp is retained instead of being traded for a minor league prospect.
OPTION E: Give the job back to Theo.
What would you do?