Thinking to myself last night, actually, of a trade scenario that just may work for both the Twins and the Red Sox. Now, the only reason I would consider pulling the trigger on this one would be to keep Santana from our vaunted division rival, the New York Yankees. I wouldn’t want to part with three average+ prospects that will be rather inexpensive for years to come, and what will be a GREAT utility outfielder in Coco Crisp. Crisp of course is very expendable with Ellsbury in the picture now, but to move him just to move him is not what should be done, nor is what the Red Sox would end up doing. There must be a reasonable return for him, something of value that will help the Red Sox either now, or in the future. So my trade scenario was: Justin Masterson, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, and Jon Lester for Johan Santana. Funny thing was, at around 6 PM today, with ESPN as my source, I heard that there was a rumor that was exactly that scenario, except that Michael Bowden would have been the fourth piece rather than Masterson. The Red Sox would not have to part with the untouchables (Buchholz, Ellsbury) and of course they would be keeping Santana from a division rival, a good divsion rival.
The upside is there with the talented and mostly unproven players that the Twins would be acquiring. Jon Lester could be a number two starter, and already has some big game experience to his credit. And it would be tough for the organization to part with Lester, after all he has been through. But I do understand the business aspect of baseball, and while Theo and co. may have some personal feelings, they still will do what is best for the Boston Red Sox. Justin Masterson has some potential as a reliever or possibly a starter depending on a teams needs/issues. Sox Prospects has his ceiling as a number two starter who may also have settle into a relief role depending on how he develops or where he ends up. Or instead of Masterson, it could be Michael Bowden who apparently has "ace potential." Jed Lowrie is a shortstop that already has a purpose, and that purpose is the insurance policy the Red Sox have in case Lugo is actually worse than what they thought they were signing during last year’s offseason (definitely was worse in 07,’ but lets give him at least a partial season to redeem himself, unless of course some crazy team will absorb his contract). From what I have read about Lowrie on various websites, he appears to be an average shortstop or will be, which definitely has value, especially when he is so young. And then there is our GREAT utility outfielder in Coco Crisp. He is amongst the best defending his position, if not THE BEST, but his bat has been a disappointment. However, there is hope, and a realistic possibility that he may get back on track offensively. And he definitely has a motor, and is exciting to watch.
But the conclusion would be this: The Red Sox would be giving up a potential number 2 or 3 starter, what looks to be an average SS, an above average pitcher (wherever he ends up), and an average outfielder (maybe above average if he gets his bat going). That is a lot to let go to obtain a pitcher who: Is an ace, but who will only be with the team for one year, unless the team works out a contract, which almost has to happen for the trade to even go down, I would think. And once signed, he will be between 22-25 million dollars a year, or so they say. That is a lot. So if they must complete this deal to keep Santana from going to the Yankees and in turn making them the favorites, not only in the division, but also in the American League, then I won’t think that they made the wrong decision. But I would rather a National League team ante up and acquire Santana. This would not only keep Santana out of the AL East, but also get him out of the league altogether. And then, from an entertainment aspect, fans may actually get to see a formidable NL opponent in the World Series.