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Imagining the Red Sox’s Next Moves

The Boston Red Sox have apparently signed Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to separate 5-year, ~$100 Mil deals.  While obviously huge offensive additions, the signings create a logjam of mythic proportions (out of what was already a logjam of epic proportions). The Red Sox now have Ramirez, Sandoval, Xander Bogaerts, Yoenis Cespedes, Shane Victorino, Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts, Allen Craig, Block Holt, Daniel Nava, and Will Middlebrooks vying for one of the 3 outfield spots, shortstop, and third base.  Speculating on the lineup permutations with the current personnel would be mind boggling and laughable; it’s clear that Boston will not be going into the regular season with the roster as currently constructed.

This means that we have a chance to make fake trades! Let’s get to some possible moves.

Allen Craig, Yoenis Cespedes, Daniel Nava, Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo to the Mariners for Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker

This is a doozy. It’s really two trades – one for Iwakuma and one for Walker.  Iwakuma is a free agent after next year and the Mariners have been shopping the right handed pitcher for a power bat.  Enter Yoenis Céspedes whom the Sox have been looking to deal before he becomes a (Jay Z) free agent after next year. The M’s dealt with the Hova when locking up Robinson Cano, and if Céspedes works out in Seattle they could look to resign him on the strength of that existing relationship.

Taijuan Walker is the Mariners top organizational pitching prospect and he may be one of the top in the game.  Seattle would be looking for a haul. Allen Craig would be the requisite Major League ready piece. The former Cardinals star had a down 2014, but finished with MVP votes in both 2012 and 2013 and the Mariners could look for him to bounce back in a healthy 2015.  The Mariners also add Daniel Nava for depth. The keys to the deal would be future pitching value in the form of Boston’s second and fourth rated pitching prospects, Anthony Ranudo and Matt Barnes. Neither profiles as the potential Ace that Walker does, but both are consensus rotation pieces with MLB etas in 2015.

I like this one a lot and while my details may be way off, a deal of Boston bats for Mariners arms seems to make perfect sense right now.

Allen Craig, and Mookie Betts to the Padres for Tyson Ross

The Padres are looking to make a big move, while also getting some athletic position players capable of playing in PetCo.  Allen Craig doesn’t fit that mold, but he’s just the type of buy-low/strike-gold player that the Padres need in order to get relevant.  Mookie Betts on the other hand is exactly that. As the Padres figure out what they have in post-Biogenesis Everth Cabrera, Betts is at once an immediate impact bat in the outfield and insurance in the infield. A minor league shortstop turned second baseman, he had already shown the ability to cover the spacious center field at Fenway. If Cabrera continues his .272 OBP/no power routine, Betts could move to short; if Jedd Gyorko flounders Betts can play the keystone; or if Yangervis Solarte isn’t the longterm future at third (lolz), Betts can play the hot corner.

According to b-ref, Ross would be a free agent in 2018.  That gives the Red Sox three years of team control.  However, according to Cot’s baseball contracts, Tyson Ross will be a free agent after 2016, so whatever trade is made for Ross will depend on his free agent status.  He’s still a guy who’s compiled a 2.95 ERA over 320+ innings the last two years.  He’s an All-Star and affordable.

Brock Holt goes to the Braves for LHP James Russell and prospect Andry Ubiera

Brock Holt can play all of the positions and the Red Sox need a left handed reliever.  They’re reportedly in on Andrew Miller, but will be looking to add an impact lefty reliever if he signs elsewhere.  I think the Braves will target a guy like Holt who can play second base for the first half of the season before transitioning to center field when BJ Upton sucks again and propsect Jose Peraza proves himself worthy.  This isn’t as sexy as the first two deals, but a trade that could make both teams better in 2015 and beyond.

Shane Victorino to the Seattle Mariners for a mid-grade prospect

Credit to Lookout Landing for this one.  There, they lay out how the Red Sox will be looking to dump the $13 Million owed to Victorino and the Mariners are in perfect position to take a chance on the spark plug that is the Flyin’ Hawaiian.

Yoenis Cespedes and Deven Marrero to the Reds for Mat Latos

This is another of the rental player for rental player deals.  I’m not convinced that the Reds and Red Sox match up particularly well, but Cespedes in the Cincy SmallPark teaming with Aroldis Chapman could be lots of fun.

Marlins and Red Sox make a trade

The Marlins are stock full of prospects and most of them happen to be major league ready starting pitchers.  I couldn’t figure out a trade that made sense, but I think the Marlins make another move this offseason to compliment the Giancarlo commitment and I think adding a real first baseman should be at the top of their to-do list.  Allen Craig for Tom Koehler didn’t make much sense, but that’s where my head’s at here.

 

As many permutations add there are out there for the roster as currently constructed in Boston, even more headache-inducing possibilities abound in the trade market. The Red Sox have positioned themselves to have a new roster for 2015, and we really should have expected large moves this offseason given how they gave up on 2014.  This is a club that has talent throughout the organization and will remain relevant more often than not given their deep pockets.

-Sean Morash

 

 

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