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Trades: Oh the Realities!

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The title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I don't mean to rein in Randy. I kind of mean to rein in everyone else with some "facts" with regard to trades, real and imagined.

1. Adrian Gonzalez isn't walking through that door. Hey. I love the dream as much as anyone, and it's ridiculous to say that he's untouchable or unavailable. But when his "availability" is contingent on us sending San Diego 8-12 of our top 20 prospects, it starts to lose a little bit of its luster. I'm not interested in that kind of deal, and I very much doubt that Theo would be interested in said deal as well.

2. If Adam Dunn walks through that door, it will most likely mean that someone else who has meant a lot to this organization over the last several years will have played his last game as a Red Sox. I'm not saying we won't be brought to the point of considering this, I'm just saying that the Sox aren't going to trade for Dunn and use him in the field more than once a month or so. Somewhat ditto for Victor Martinez and Mark DeRosa in that they make a lot more sense on a team that doesn't have David Ortiz than one that does.

3. When it comes to defensive upgrades at SS, Jack Wilson is more likely than anyone else. This is partially good, because Wilson's relatively high salary for an all-glove no-hit SS means that Pittsburgh will probably be receiving the baseball equivalent of a wooden nickel. 

4. We can imagine that many of our minor leaguers have trade value, but here are the ones who actually do: Lars AndersonClay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, Nick Hagadone, Ryan Kalish, Luis Exposito, Stolmy Pimental, Josh Reddick, Mark Wagnerand to extend a bit to the bigs, Justin Masterson and Daniel Bard. Here are examples of minor leaguers with negligible or no trade value: Jonathan Van Every, Kris Johnson, Dusty Brown, Travis Denker, Chris Carterand Jeff Bailey. Neither list is all-inclusive, but a good rule of thumb is this: If you can easily imagine parting with the player, then it's probably easy for the opposing club to decline such a trade, unless they would have monetary reasons to do so (the aforementioned Wilson.).

5. Nick Green and Julio Lugo provide acceptable offense from the 9 spot and the SS position in general. Names like Miguel Tejada and Michael Young make no sense for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that neither would solve the actual problem at SS: fielding. 

6. While Miguel Cabrera is a fantastic pipe-dream, that Detroit firesale we were hearing about all winter won't come to fruition as long as the team is performing this well. Adam Everett could be available, I suppose, though I imagine Detroit would look for an NL team first if they make that decision. Ditto for Texas, who would have no real motivation to trade a player like Omar Vizquel right now. He might be a bit of a luxury for them as a utilityman, but he's a very affordable luxury for a team in 1st place. 

7. Jed Lowrie is coming back. My hope is that they're going to be conservative in getting him back on the field, but he will be back, even conservatively, probably by the end of the month. Wilson might be the only appropriate acquisition we could make happen by then. 

8. Me no wants to trade with Oakland. This isn't a fact, I suppose, but Billy Beane very rarely loses trades. The team, if any, that gets Matt Holliday from him this summer could very easily live to regret it.  On that note, however, Matt Holliday is probably the reason that the Sox haven't been as aggressive extending Jason Bay as some think that we should. If Holliday can turn it on and prove he can hit in that big park in Oakland and in the AL, then the Sox will probably make a push for him in the offseason. Say what you want about Bay being a better player, but Holliday is definitely better defensively, and I have to imagine that's something going through the minds of everyone in the FO.

9. We're not getting a prospect back from Brad PennyA role player is likely, one who would fill the hole of good defensive SS or of reliable RH 4th OF. That's still a good trade, because in a hypothetical world, we'd need that role player more than we would need a 5th starter when we still have Smoltz, Buch, and Bowden yet to start games in the MLs this season.

10. We've got some albatross contracts, just like many other teams. Spin it however you want: Julio Lugo and David Ortiz have negative value. If they depart, it'll be for nothing but some contract relief. Possibly. We're not going to be unloading J.D. Drew or Daisuke anytime soon either. Drew is a positive offensively and defensively, despite his real or imagined fragility and contract status. Daisuke would be giving up far too soon on an intriguing if still sometimes (all right, often) frustrating starting pitcher whose CONTRACT (not total cost, CONTRACT) is very reasonable from the Sox' point of view.

11. If a BIG move is coming this summer, it's probably going to involve something few of us would be emotionally ready for, such as the previously alluded to release of David Ortiz or a possible trade of Jonathan Papelbon. React in surprise if you must, but Paps will be 29 to begin next season, and while I don't think he'll be actively shopped, we're kidding ourselves if we believe that Theo wouldn't be prepared to go with Saito or Bard or maybe even Masterson in the closer role if someone puts a great offer on the table for Paps, who is looking for top dollar at every opportunity.

12. I guess that's all. Maybe I'm blowing smoke as much as the next guy, but I think it's important to be reasonable and thoughtful when thinking about trade rumors, especially this early in the season.