Recent history would attest to the fact that the Red Sox FO has done a pretty good job in the trade department (and much less so in the free agent department). The 2011-2012 off-season may or may not see a large turnover of the roster, but it is possible that one, maybe two trades can and will happen to improve the club. With that in mind lets look at the roster and the best assets the Sox have to offer when it comes down to the negotiating table.
....after the jump
1. Kevin Youkilis: It would be a sad day indeed if/when Kevin Youkilis is traded. Having been with the club for his entire 8-year career, he has become a fixture at the plate and in the heart of the order for the team. The crowd chants of "Yooook" would surely be missed as well as his countless 9 pitch at-bats. No for the hard part - Youk as a tradeable asset. Many teams this winter could be looking at holes and upgrades at the 1B position. The top two Free Agents (Pujols and Fielder) are waaay out of most team's league when it comes to the long-term contracts and $$ they will command. Youkilis has to be viewed as a 1B commodity and if he is, he's just a rung lower than the top tier. He's a middle of the order bat, with a solid glove that would only run a club 12 million for the season with a 13 million option or the 1 million buyout. UPSIDE: Salary savings, probably large market. DOWNSIDE: Hole in the middle of the lineup, Low-tier 3B options. VERDICT: I would only look at this type of move if I got a solid starter in return and maybe a bigger RF bat and Ortiz was already back in the fold.
2. Josh Reddick: Reddick is a young, cheap, major-league ready outfielder. Basically an asset that most major league teams would go for, especially low-budget teams like the Royals, Pirates, Astros, etc. Reddick has displayed power and some superb fielding at times, but has also shown lack of plate patience and has gone stone cold for stretches at the plate. The Sox also have the equally as young and potentially better Ryan Kalish waiting in the wings. If Reddick can be part of a trade to bring back pitching then he is an asset worth giving up. UPSIDE: Young, cheap outfielder who could be part of a trade package. DOWNSIDE: Opens a hole at RF. VERDICT: I think most fans would be ok with Josh going to another club if its the right deal. His bat can be replaced in RF fairly easily.
3. Jed Lowrie: Hard to believe that Jed Lowrie will only be turning 28 when the 2012 season begins. Maybe that's beause he seems to be in the body of a 40 year old. Lowrie's injury history makes him a hard trade, but his cost and potential helps to off-set that a bit. A team looking for some pop out of its infield or heck, an infielder that can at least put bat to ball on occasion. Lowrie is due for a change of scenery and could be sent packing without much loss due to the presence of Mike Aviles. UPSIDE: Still young, teams may still see potential, redundant on the roster. DOWNSIDE: Limits the bench and flexibility. VERDICT: Seems like a piece that could be enticing in the right package. Change of scenery may do him some good (or at least he gets away from the Sox medical staff)
4. Jose Iglesias: The young cuban short-stop with the flashy glove is obviously not ready with the bat (and may never be) so it may be time for some other team to take on the risk. A NL team that plays small-ball or with a ground-ball pitching staff may like to get their hands on the next Ozzie Guillen/Omar Vizquel type. UPSIDE: Young, cost-controlled somewhat and hyped defense makes the selling easier. DOWNSIDE: Not much else at SS in the system until you get to 19-year old Bogaerts. VERDICT: Use the potential label before it goes away and package up Iglesias for pitching.
5. The "Warn-Out-Our-Welcome" Duo: Lars Anderson, and Michael Bowden: Both Anderson and Bowden have had their chances at the major league level and blown-them. The 24 year old Anderson was almost dealt for Rich Harden while Bowden put up an impressive season in AAA and is only 25 years old. Neither looks to be in line for a job with the parent club (although Bowden might get another bullpen shot) but both could be useful players on other teams. UPSIDE: Clears roster space of 24/25 year old fring players. DOWNSIDE: Bowden may still be useful. VERDICT: Types of players that are fill-ins on larger deals or maybe PTBNLs.