Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried to put on my objective hat and find ways to improve the Red Sox. I argued in favor of signing Brian McCann. I’ve argued against trading for Giancarlo Stanton. I argued that we needed one of Mike Napoli, Carlos Beltran or Curtis Granderson in the middle of the order. I’ve argued for letting Jackie Bradley start in center, and not letting Dan Butler start behind the plate. Even if you’ve disagreed with my takes, hopefully you’ve found them reasonable.
Because today, we’re throwing reasonable out the window. Today, we’re setting “forced trades?” to “on.” We’re setting our max salary to $250 million. And we’re getting every other front office in baseball drunk.
Today is not a day for modesty, plausibility or reality. Today is a day to dream.
Watch as I transform the Boston Red Sox from Very Good Team to Best Team Ever.
First person to take this seriously in the comments section wins a prize.
Red Sox trade Ryan Dempster, Bryce Brentz, Anthony Ranaudo and Burke Badenhop to the Rockies for Carlos Gonzalez.
Red Sox prospect fanaticism has gotten to the point where some people will probably be reluctant to give up Brentz and Ranaudo, but the man we’re getting back here is a superstar with a reasonable contract who’s in the middle of his prime. We will need someone else to possibly screw with Wil Myers now that Dempster is gone, but I feel like that skill is easy enough to learn. Sorry, Burke: we hardly knew ye.
The Rockies would definitely make this trade because quantity > quality, and they need pitching. Here, they get two starters, and Ranaudo was once really good in college. It’s a steal, I tell you! Brentz will love it, too, because there’s a lot of hunting in Colorado.
Red Sox sign Shin-Soo Choo, to a three-year, $39 million contract.
This one is pretty simple. The Red Sox value OBP and need a new leadoff hitter. Choo is very good at getting on base and is a strong defensive outfielder when used in a corner. Every new Red Sox free agent gets a three-year, $39 million contract, and Mike Napoli already proved that coming to Boston is much cooler than taking the best offer on the table. What’s another year (or four) and a couple (or 60) million dollars? Choo is ours for the taking.
Red Sox trade Jake Peavy, Alex Wilson, Mookie Betts and Ryan Lavarnway for Cliff Lee.
Remember, in this scenario, our payroll for 2014 is $250 million. So while it might look like we’re trading one hefty pitcher salary for another, rest assured that we are paying for both Peavy and Lee next season. With salary relief like that, how could the Phillies say no!
The Red Sox have a deep rotation heading in to 2014, but it lacks someone who consistently performs like an ace – Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz have their moments, but their periods of dominance tend to be fleeting. Such is not the case with Lee, whose addition would give Boston one of the best rotations outside of Detroit or Washington.
The Phillies lower the average age of their team by about 42 years with this deal, grabbing a future closer (er, middle reliever) in Wilson, a starter behind the plate (er, at first base) in Lavarnway and the immortal Betts, who’s basically what would happen if Craig Biggio and Rod Carew fathered a child. Peavy’s ERA will probably be 0.50 with a move back to the NL.
I’m sorry about Betts, you guys, but remember this is the Phillies we’re talking about. I’m sure we’ll be able to get him back in another transaction down the line.
Red Sox trade Will Middlebrooks, Ty Buttrey and Deven Marrero to the Padres for Chase Headley.
This one hurts me the most. From a subjective, non-analytical standpoint, I love Middlebrooks. I think he’s great with the fans, he has exciting power and he’s quite handsome. Unfortunately I think his hold on the hot corner at Boston will always be tenuous as best thanks to one Xander Bogaerts, and in this deal he’s traded for one of baseball’s more underrated stars in Headley.
The Padres have tried to extend Headley to no avail, so dealing him for a third baseman with four years of control left makes sense, and if San Diego is determined to put Jedd Gyorko at third they can make WMB a 1B/3B who sees plenty of time in the NL. Buttrey is a pitcher so he’ll win like three Cy Young awards in Petco. Marrero was a first round pick so he’s probably a future Hall of Famer. San Diego is getting a steal here.
Oh, and after we trade for Headley, we sign him to a three-year, $39 million extension.
Red Sox sign Masahiro Tanaka to a three-year, $39 million deal.
I don’t think I need to explain this again, do I? Welcome aboard, No. 4 starter!
Red Sox trade Franklin Morales to the Nationals for Danny Espinosa.
The Nationals need a replacement for Robby Ray! Morales is left-handed! This is perfect! What we lose in eyebrow, we gain in beard. Espinosa is our new utility infielder (sorry Brock o/ L).
Red Sox sign Brandon Wood, Ben Sheets, Grady Sizemore, Jeremy Sowers, Ryan Kalish and Jeremy Hermida to minor league deals.
I need this.
There you have it, Red Sox fans. I just put together the Best Team Ever without giving up Jackie Bradley Jr., Henry Owens, Garin Cecchini, Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart, Trey Ball, Christian Vazquez or Allen Webster!
Here’s how our current roster stacks up against my Sistine Chapel.
|Current Roster||Ben’s Roster|
|RF: Shane Victorino||RF: Shin-Soo Choo|
|LF: Daniel Nava||2B: Dustin Pedroia|
|2B: Dustin Pedroia||LF: Carlos Gonzalez|
|DH: David Ortiz||DH: David Ortiz|
|1B: Mike Napoli||1B: Mike Napoli|
|SS: Xander Bogaerts||3B: Chase Headley|
|C: A.J. Pierzynski||CF: Shane Victorino|
|3B: Will Middlebrooks||SS: Xander Bogaerts|
|CF: Jackie Bradley Jr.||C: A.J. Pierzynski|
|C: David Ross||C: David Ross|
|1B/OF: Mike Carp||1B/OF: Daniel Nava|
|INF: Brock Holt||INF: Danny Espinosa|
|OF: Johnny Gomes||OF: Jackie Bradley Jr.|
|LHP: Jon Lester||LHP: Cliff Lee|
|RHP: Clay Buchholz||LHP: Jon Lester|
|RHP: John Lackey||RHP: Clay Buchholz|
|RHP: Jake Peavy||RHP: Masahiro Tanaka|
|LHP: Felix Doubront||RHP: John Lackey|
|RHP: Ryan Dempster||RHP: Brandon Workman|
|RHP: Burke Badenhop||LHP: Felix Doubront|
|LHP: Andrew Miller||LHP: Craig Breslow|
|LHP: Craig Breslow||LHP: Andrew Miller|
|RHP: Edward Mujica||RHP: Edward Mujica|
|RHP: Junichi Tazawa||RHP: Junichi Tazawa|
|RHP: Koji Uehara||RHP: Koji Uehara|
I wanted to cut Pierzynski and trade for Carlos Santana or clone a younger Jason Varitek, but those moves might’ve seemed unreasonable. The only real negatives here are Nava losing playing time, but we’ll squeeze him in some time during all of our blowouts. Johnny Gomes is to be kept in the dugout as our mascot. This team could for sure win 140 games.
See? Being a GM is easy!