Five Moves for the Red Sox
Here are five moves I'd like to see the Red Sox make.
1. Re-sign Johnny Damon. I think 4-years $40-44 million should do it. Give a club option 5th year if need be. If the Red Sox don't re-sign Damon - then the best plan B would be to trade with the Twins for Torii Hunter. However, plan B has some issues; Hunter is coming off a serious injury, he's making the same sort of money Damon wants for 2-years ($25 million for 2006 and 2007 IIRC) and he'll take a Bronson Arroyo and Kevin Youkilis to acquire. That's a bigger pricetag than what it would take to sign Damon.
2. Trade Manny Ramirez to the Mets for Lastings Milledge, Aaron Heilman and Xavier Nady. Put Milledge at Pawtucket for the year (preserving his rights for another year), Heilman goes into the bullpen as a long reliever and spot starter and Xavier Nady becomes the 4th outfielder and rightfield starter against lefties.
3. Trade David Wells to the Diamondbacks for Javier Vazquez. This move works very well financially for the Diamondbacks and gives them a front line starting rotation of Davis Wells, Brandon Webb, Brad Halsey and Russ Ortiz (the "WWHO are you trying to hit" rotation). That plus the big bats give Arizona a good shot at the NL West. Vazquez gives the Sox another power pitcher. When Vazquez is on - he's very good. Sox rotation of a healthy Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Javier Vazquez, Matt Clement and Tim Wakefield could be the best in the AL.
4. Trade Bronson Arroyo to the Nationals for Brad Wilkerson. The Nationals need a starter and the Sox need a left fielder (assuming Manny is traded). I would also be happy with a trade with Cincinnati for Adam Dunn if all it cost was an Arroyo or Matt Clement.
5. Trade flotsam and jetsam to the Tigers for Carlos Pena and have him platoon with Kevin Youkilis at first base. The Tigers probably won't offer Pena arbitration - so he should be had very cheap. Pena has a career .811 OPS vs righties (and a .925 OPS at Fenway in general) - while Youkilis has an .841 OPS vs lefties. That makes for a pretty potent platoon.