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Red Sox talking Allen Craig trade with mystery team

At least one mystery team. There might even be two!

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox are likely open to trading Allen Craig. He has upside, sure, and his money isn't staggering for someone with their deep, diamond-lined pockets, but he's also going to take on the Mike Carp role for them in 2015 if he isn't moved, and a $6.2 million average annual value for that should probably be dealt if someone else is interested in using him for more. FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports that the Red Sox are in "active" trade discussions with at least one team. The team is not named, meaning that we have ourselves an old-fashioned mystery team situation.

Craig was terrible in 2014, likely while dealing with the aftereffects of his 2013 foot injury. His swing was never quite right, and he looked nothing like the hitter who managed to bat .312/.364/.500 for a 136 OPS+ from 2011 through 2013 with the Cardinals. He is owed $6.2 million per year against the luxury tax, or $5.5 million, $9 million, and $11 million in each of the next three years if your team isn't about the competitive balance threshold. Whether he can get back to being that player is unknown, but for that low AAV and a max salary of $11 million, there are many teams who can take the chance that he'll be at least a little productive.

Again, the Red Sox probably don't feel compelled to move Craig, in the sense they can go into the season with him and find out if he has something left to offer them -- Mike Napoli is a free agent in a year, so Craig is built-in insurance against his decline or departure. At the same time, the free agent market is empty of hitters with real upside, and the trade market isn't looking much better. There is a reason the Red Sox are getting calls on Craig, and if the right deal pops up, he'll be gone before long.