It's May 3rd on the calender. Is anyone up for a little controversy? Peter Gammons sure is:
I can't help but agree with Gammons on this one. Jason Varitek was signed during the offseason to a four-year contract, so he'll be here through 2008. And backup Doug Mirabelli signed a two-year contract in the offseason, so he's secured in a Boston uniform through 2006. And Shoppach, at age 25, really wouldn't break into Boston until 2007. And that's only if Mirabelli were to be let go.
But -- and there's always a but -- there's an alternative.
Since Shoppach is hitting well this season (273/392/7 HR), and a lot better than last year (233/320/22 HR), maybe the Sox should trade backup Doug Mirabelli and call up Shoppach to be the backup behind Varitek.
The only snag, of course, is that Mirabelli is very valuable because he catches Tim Wakefield's knuckleball and we've seen how Varitek fairs doing that job (See: 2004 playoffs). But Mirabelli may be the best backup catcher in the league, and some teams might rather have a proven guy like Mirabelli than a project like Shoppach.
And that may be the only snag in this situation. We may be able to get more talent in return for Mirabelli than Shoppach, because Mirabelli, like I said before, is proven and could start on 75% teams out there. It's hard to find a proven catcher that can play every day. It's even harder to find a catching prospect that can play everday.
Peter Gammons also said in the article:
So if the Sox were looking for a first baseman, Aubrey Huff is a possibility. That also means we need to trade Kevin Millar, but we'll worry about that later.
Here's my list of possible first basemen we could trade for in no particular order:
- Aubrey Huff
- Mike Sweeney
- Craig Wilson
- Ryan Howard ("Hanley for Howard?" Diary)
I personally would like to see either Aubrey Huff or Mike Sweeney as a Boston Red Sox at the trade deadline. Sweeney, for once, is healthy and putting up some good numbers down in Kansas City. Huff struggled at the beginning of the season, but is decently young and can put up some great numbers, just like Sweeney.
To me, seeing a 1-5 of this would be great:
RF Trot Nixon
LF Manny Ramirez
DH David Ortiz
1B Mike Sweeney
I think it's doable, and may be very necessary at the pace Kevin Millar is going at right now.