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Stop suggesting the Red Sox should trade David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia

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The Red Sox are going to be sellers. Some otherwise great people will say they should dangle David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia. They are not great in this scenario.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It was a pretty good weekend for the Red Sox, as they took two out of three from a division rival, the Rays. What’s discouraging is that, even with that strong weekend play, the team still finds itself sitting eight games behind in the division and 7.5 games back in the wildcard race. The series win is allowing some of us to still hold on to a small glimmer of hope that Boston can claw it’s way back into contention. In our heart of hearts, however, I think we all realize just how unlikely that is. The reality is this season is mostly over, and it’s a ball club that will find itself selling in about a month at the trade deadline.

This isn’t new information, and we’ve covered many different deadline paths already. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many obvious trade candidates, and the ones that they do have likely won’t fetch much of a return. Another option would be for Ben Cherington to dangle Clay Buchholz and/or Junichi Tazawa. Although this covers the realistic options, it’s inevitable that a group of fans will call for David Ortiz and/or Dustin Pedroia to be dealt. If you are one of those people, stop doing that please.

As annoying that these trade scenarios are year after year, I will concede that they probably make sense purely in a baseball sense. In a vacuum, the Red Sox may be better by trading one or both of these players! By clearing the two veterans off their roster, Hanley Ramirez can be taken out of his misery in left field and be put in his rightful spot as the team’s new designated hitter. Furthermore, Pedroia’s absence means Mookie Betts can go back to his natural position at second base. Betts has been surprisingly good in center field despite his lack of experience there, but it’d be preferable to put him back in his rightful spot on the infield. The move would allow Jackie Bradley Jr. to get everyday reps in center field and clear players that would otherwise block Rusney Castillo. It all sounds good, right? Well, yeah, except for the fact that the game isn’t played in a vacuum, and there are other considerations they need to worry about.

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Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Losing Ortiz and Pedroia would be a massive blow to this clubhouse. Without being around a clubhouse on a regular basis, it’s hard to know how much the vaunted "clubhouse culture" really matters, but I think it’s safe to say ignoring it completely would be a grave mistake. This is especially true for a team in transition like the Red Sox. They’ll have a lot of young players taking over key spots over the next couple years — guys like Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez, Brian Johnson, Yoan Moncada, Manuel Margot, etc. — and having two of the best clubhouse players in the league on their side will be a huge boon. There aren’t many players who can provide a better influence than Pedroia and Ortiz.

There is also the simple fact that these players mean so much to this city. David Ortiz is sitting on 477 career home runs. Can you imagine if the 500th dinger of his career came in a different uniform? It would be devastating. There’s too much nostalgia here, and both of these players should be Red Sox for life. Although the front office shouldn’t be making moves based on nostalgia, the feeling of the fans is a consideration, especially in cases like this.

The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is that both of these guys can still help the Red Sox win! We’re not talking about old veterans who have no business holding down everyday roles. Assuming Ortiz wants to come back next season, they can both be positive contributors to a good 2016 Red Sox team. Despite all of his struggles this season, the DH has still been an average hitter this season with plus power. Smart bettors would put a little cash on him being much better in the second half of 2016. On a team that’s losing Mike Napoli’s power potential, they could use a power hitter to pair with Hanley Ramirez. Retaining Ortiz will be a lot cheaper than the other options out there.

Pedroia, meanwhile, has seen his offense come back in a huge way in 2015. He’s put to rest that he was turning into an all-glove player, and is back to being one of the better all-around middle infielders in the league. Most impressive has been his power bounce-back, proving once and for all that those injury concerns he always complained about were more legitimate than not. Although that progression could bring back a good return in a trade, it wouldn't be worth the many negative consequences.

It’s seemingly becoming a yearly tradition when the Red Sox struggle. When people slowly come around to the idea of selling at the trade deadline, people will bring up their crazy ideas. "If Cherington had any guts, he’d trade Ortiz and Pedroia!" they’d say. Don’t listen to them. If you’re the one saying that, cut it out. For reasons both on and off the field, it’s a dumb idea. It’s not going to happen, and we’re all better for it.