It's rare for two contending teams to swap players, especially during the season.
However the Giants, with their rich arsenal of arms and the Red Sox, buoyed by a deep offense, are a study of contrasts. They each have an excess (if such a thing ever exists) of what the other wants. And therein lies the roots and the reality for an exchange to occur between these two top-of-the-line franchises.
For both teams, injuries have hit them in their respective weak spots. The Red Sox rotation and bullpen have both taken hits.The Giants are particularly hamstrung at the plate without Buster Posey, and for a few more weeks, Pablo Sandoval.
Here are a few players on each team that the other might be interested in as a means of plugging some holes, not only in present but also over the long haul.
The strong play of Jed Lowrie and the impending arrival of Jose Iglesias make Marco Scutaro a moveable player for the Red Sox.
The Giants are in a bit of a pinch in the infield, with Pablo Sandoval (wrist), Mark DeRosa (wrist) and Mike Fontenot (groin) all on the DL. Sandoval is about to begin a rehab assignment, and Fontenot should be back in a couple of weeks, however DeRosa, who has a left (glove) wrist partial tendon tear. No timetable has been set, however, given his history of wrist issues, DeRosa may be force to contemplate retirement.
Scutaro has only made 76 PA so far this year, however his .316 OBP is serviceable, and San Francisco would likely only need to part with a mid-level pitching prospect or two to acquire his services from Boston.
With Darnell McDonald on the 15-day DL and Mike Cameron struggling, the Red Sox recalled Josh Reddick from Triple-A Pawtucket last week. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote the following in his Sunday baseball notes:
Two scouts representing National League teams were thrilled to see the Sox bring him up so they could evaluate him in the majors. Reddick’s first game (3-for-5) was pretty good. He is on a few teams’ wish lists, and the feeling is the Sox may have seized an opportunity to get him up and showcase him.
The Giants may very well be one of those two teams. They have an old and rather average collection of outfielders at the moment, and Reddick, 24, who is stuck behind Ryan Kalish on the outfield depth chart, is likely not in Boston's long-term plans. His youth and likely availability make him an attractive option for San Francisco.
Lars Anderson, 23, is arguably the best hitter in the Red Sox system, however Boston's acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez all but guarantees that Anderson isn't part of Boston's plans. He's a great trade option though, and the lackluster Giants offense would get a jolt with Anderson's presence.
He's still probably a year away from arriving, but Anderson is someone who should truly rake in the majors. Brandon Belt would move to the outfield in 2012, and Anderson would take first base.
Offering up Anderson as part of a juicy trade package figures to be a path the Sox would have to take to obtain a pitcher like Madison Bumgarner or even, as a reach, Jonathan Sanchez.
Madison Bumgarner isn't dragging, but the Giants have so much relative depth at starting pitching that they would stand to listen to worthy offers on Bumgarner.
In Boston, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka continue to deliver mediocre results. Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield have been quite serviceable in their stead, however the Red Sox would surely love to fill a rotation spot with a young, reliable pitcher like Bumgarner.
The Red Sox would likely have to give up a few players to get Bumgarner. A package involving Lars Anderson, Josh Reddick or another high-level prospect, coupled with a pair of low prospects, might be enough to get a deal done for Bumgarner.
With his more established big league credentials, Jonathan Sanchez is an obvious upgrade over Madison Bumgarner.
To obtain his services, Boston would likely have to assemble a package that includes both Lars Anderson AND Josh Reddick, or at least something of that level of value.
Sanchez would give a tremendous boost to a Red Sox rotation that lacks depth. Parting with high prospects like Anderson and Reddick is difficult, but their paths to the majors have hit a dead end in Pawtucket and they should be moved while their value is high.
While Madison Bumgarner would address Boston's pitching deficiencies upon arrival, a developing player like Eric Surkamp, 22, might be a little easier for the Red Sox to acquire from the Giants.
Surkamp is destroying Eastern League hitting at Double-A Richmond. He's only allowed nine earned runs over 61 innings while maintaing a 3.45 SO/BB ratio.
Surkamp has a nicely projectable body for a starter, standing 6’5" and weighing only 190 pounds. It is not unreasonable to expect him to gain some weight, add a few miles per hour onto his fastball and emerge as a legitimate No. 2 or 3 starter in the majors.
By their standards, the Red Sox are a little thin in the minors at the moment, and someone like Surkamp would help address a long-term need.