Over at Talking Chop, the SBNation Braves blog, there seems to be a lot of mention of Red Sox OFers on the move. While most of these involve underpaying in a trade of Ellsbury for mid-level prospects (and I'll offer no guarantee that my idea is any better), one would think that there could be mutual benefit found in a trade between our illustrious organizations.
My idea is a trade of one-year contracts that provide value to both clubs in areas they could probably use a little boost in. The Braves obviously need some outfield help, and I propose that J.D. Drew could be the guy for the job.
Now, hear me out. It sounds far-fetched at the moment, because it is.
But, with $100M on the books already, the Red Sox are likely targeting:
Ortiz for DH
Beltre for 3B
V-Mart for C/1B
Crawford/Werth for OF
Papelbon or a replacement (in the form of a setup-man, if Bard's your guy for next season); bullpen help in general
Utility man to replace Bill Hall
Now, the first four are going to cost, say, almost $60M, with $5M leeway in either direction, depending on how ferocious the Hot Stove gets this season. Add in Papelbon (or replace him and and upgrade the bullpen in other areas) and a utility guy, and you're staring down another record budget.
While Drew is by no means washed-up, his salary would nearly pay for the addition of Werth or Crawford, allowing the Red Sox to focus more of their free agent dollars on retaining Beltre and V-Mart. While Boston isn't afraid to throw money around, I don't know that I see another $15+M raise in payroll for next season.
So, my plan is to ship Drew to Atlanta for Omar Infante and some bullpen help, of which the Braves have arms aplenty.
Infante's contract is extremely friendly at $2.5M, which is a significant reduction from Hall's salary a year ago (and, yes, I'm aware that contract was subsidized by the Brewers). He's also an all-star caliber utility man that can play 7 positions and was worth about the same as Drew last season, at least in terms of WAR. He would provide excellent back-up in the event of injury, of which both teams experienced plenty last season.
The Braves simply can't afford $14M, so I propose the Red Sox pitch in $4-6M of Drew's salary (which also is not far off his worth in WAR dollars from last season). Atlanta can pitch in a useful bullpen arm, say Dunn, O'Flaherty or Moylan. Each is solid in his own right and would provide a good deal of help to a bullpen that finished 12th in the AL in ERA a season ago. None are prohibitively-priced, with Moylan likely being the most expensive of the bunch at about $2M in arbitration.
So, on a scale of You're Out of Your Mind to This Rube's Giving Away Too Much, where do you rate this crackpot idear??