Let me preface my article for this week a little bit. The simple truth is, I do not think there is actually a single trade that can fix anything for the Sox. There are several holes that need to be filled, and we just do not have the prospect resources to fill them all. So we would need to rely a bit on free agency as well if we are going to plug the holes. I also do not know if anyone would be willing to give us the big things we need. It all just depends on how they value our farm. It is on the rise, but let's face it, we don't have the Moncada and Kopech of the Sale trade. So we need to get a bit more creative. With that in mind, let's explore our options.
Let's face it. There is one massive, glaring, humongous, obvious need for the Red Sox. And that is pitching. And not just any pitching, but ideally ace level pitching. We have Sale, but he won't be ready until June most likely, and who knows what he will be when he returns. ERod could be a solid number 2, but much like Sale we have no idea what we are getting after his Covid battle. Eovaldi is a huge health question mark, and after that it's a bunch of meh or unknown. Putting an ace at the top would solidify everything else into place. Can we, in all reality, get an ace in a trade right now? I do not know. But I am willing to give it a shot here, so let's explore some options.
Most front offices are pretty smart here, so it becomes harder to fleece a team for a big name. So we need to find a very specific set of circumstances to even have a shot. It needs to be a team that is rebuilding and/or in a financial crunch, that has an ace but not the rest of the pieces, and needs or wants to build their farm. So, a team like Seattle is out because, although they fit most of the description, they don't have a true ace. Opposite of that spectrum is the Mets, who have the ace but have the resources to keep said ace. An argument could be made for Syndergaard but we simply don't need more health questions that won't be ready for the start of the season. So, I went digging and narrowed the field down to the following teams: Pittsburgh with Jameson Taillon (even with the TJ surgery), Colorado with German Marquez, Cleveland with Zach Plesac, and Arizona with Zac Gallen.
Ultimately, the trade I am going to outline is the one with the Colorado Rockies. Partly because I think of the four names, Marquez is the safest. And partly because, admittedly, I see the Rockies front office as pretty dopey and thus more willing to make the move. Now, Marquez is still in arbitration, so we would have 2 years of control in this trade. Which means he would cost a bit more then normal. At least, on the surface. However, Colorado wants to shed some money. And they have a massive albatross just sitting there, that could be able to make the cost lower. And that is Ian Desmond. He would be under control for only one more year though, (plus 2 mil buyout in 2022) so it wouldn't be crushing for a team like the Red Sox. So, here is my trade proposal.
Colorado Rockies Trade:
German Marquez (SP)
Ian Desmond (CF/2B)
International Pool Money
Red Sox Trade:
Bobby Dalbec (1B/3B)
Michael Chavis (2B/LF)
Bryan Mata (SP)
Gilberto Jimenez (CF)
Matthew Lugo (SS)
Yes, I have already looked at the baseball trade values site that I hate and know the trade isn't equal. But as I have said many times, I don't like that site so please don't come into the comments telling me about it. Do I think the Rockies would accept this trade? I don't know, to be honest. Probably not, but A.) They are the Rockies and B.) They would be getting some young talent in return. They are not competing, so getting 5 young players could be enough for them. And they tend to like power potential, in that ballpark, so Dalbec and Chavis could be appealing to them.
From the Red Sox end, it is certainly a prospect hit, but not as much as it could have been. We retain our top 2 prospects, and replace Mata with a true ace. It clears some of the corner infield glut we have, and we still have younger players who could step up in a very similar style as Chavis and Dalbec anyway (Howlett, Northcut, Decker, Blaze Jordan, Hudson Potts, etc.).
So, in the end, this is the trade I would make to try and get us into contention for 2021 and beyond. We need an ace, and we might be able to find it in Colorado. Only time will tell.