I’ll Take That. You Take This.

If you could unload a player from your favorite team onto your rival team, who would it be? And if you could poach a player from that rival team and put him on the team you root for, who would you want? These are the type of games I play in my head when it’s freezing outside and we’re still over a month away from baseball.

There are a few ways to approach these important choices. You could base your decision entirely on performance. In this case, you’d take the best player, and give up the worst player. Money could also be a factor. Whose contract would you like to unload? Who has a very appealing contract on the other side? Or you could factor in age and projectability. Who is going to help your favorite team in the long run? Who is a shell of his former self? You also might base your decision completely on your like or dislike of certain players. Which player on your favorite player would you prefer to root against? Which player on your least favorite team do you secretly like?

Here are my choices: I would send Kyle Farnsworth on the Chinatown bus to
South Station. That’s a pretty obvious choice. I did think about Carl
Pavano, but, honestly, I would never experience the pleasure of seeing him in a
Sox uniform. Pavano is more concept than reality at this point. The maddening inning that Kyle Farnsworth gives you is all too real. It helps that he has an expensive contract as well. There is a risk, however, in choosing Farnsworth. He does have upside. He has had a couple of dominant seasons. What if the Sox were able to get one of those seasons out of him? It’s a gamble I’m willing to take.

Who would I take away from the Red Sox? If it were based purely on performance, I would take Josh Beckett. But this is where personal dislike plays a part. Josh Beckett is the enemy. He’s been an enemy of Yanks fans since 2003 and he will remain that until he retires (unless he signs with them in 2011). There is a similar reason for not choosing David Ortiz. Big Papi is a Red Sock (quoting Raffy Palmeiro: "Period"). What’s so frustrating for this Yanks fan is that he actually has a swing and a legendary quality that screams New York Yankee. He is the Yankeeography that got away. Oh well. Because he is now an historic Boston sports figure, he cannot wear pinstripes. It just wouldn’t be right.

So that leaves me with a few other choices. I hear this Jacoby Ellsbury kid is something special. Plus, he’s a looker. What does that have to with anything?  Well, someone has to carry the torch when Jeter retires. But beyond that, he’s a valuable commodity because of his youth, talent, his contract, and the position he plays. The Yanks have plenty of talented pitching in the pipeline, but they’re still somewhat lacking in young positional talent. That said, Melky is close to a viable centerfielder, and he could improve to the point where Ellsbury would be a luxury. And there is also the idea in the back of my head that there is never enough starting pitching. That is why my final choice is Daisuke Matsuzaka. First, he’s good, and he potentially could be great. Then there is the important matter of his contract. The most expensive part of it is paid for and the remainder of it is well under market. He also possesses a grace that is so Yankee-like that it hurts me to see it wasted at Fenway. You get the dirt dogs, the rah rah guys, the emotional Papelbon types. We get the classy, introverted, quiet professionals (Joba screams into his glove. He is learning). We can agree on that, can’t we?

So who would your choices be?

63 comments… add one
  • oh man- i wish that the Sox would implement a no facial hair policy- that just oozes class! :) in all seriousness, Phil Hughes belongs in Fenway so he can play for his favorite team… I like AROD playing short so that Lugo can can disappear (I still cant get the image out of my head of him in a Rays sleeveless uni with puny under amour covered biceps)AROD for a full season at Fenway = record breaking number of 2 baggers.

    Ric February 21, 2008, 9:52 am
  • Man, this is tough.
    To start, you can have Mr. Schilling, that’s easy. No? Damn.
    My instinct is to take Slappy McBluelips, as much as I can’t stand him, he is, you know, the greatest player of our generation and I don’t buy any of that crap about him bringing his teams down, the Arod curse, etc.
    Joba’s looks like he’s a pretty unique talent although I hate the sight of his seeemingly smug face. I would have to wait on that until I see if he can actually become a reliable starter.
    I think Phil Hughes might be my choice actually, age, talent, contract, low level of hate index, premium on good starting pitching, etc.
    Who to give up…
    So that was a no on Schilling?
    Take Craig Hansen then, he’s a NY boy at heart anyway and possibly the biggest d-bag on the planet.
    Wow, this is fun, I could go on all day.

    LocklandSF February 21, 2008, 10:10 am
  • Hmm, Red Sox trade Javier Lopez to New York for Phil Hughes.
    Do it, Theo!

    Paul SF February 21, 2008, 10:13 am
  • i’d gladly hand over carl pavano. that is self-explanatory.
    i’d love to have pedroia on the yankees (as much as i think that might bother some YFs). he plays hard, produces and has fun. i don’t know where he’d play, but it would be a welcomed problem.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 21, 2008, 10:13 am
  • I’ll take Papelbon and you guys can have Brian Brunney!!!

    krueg February 21, 2008, 10:22 am
  • Enemy or no enemy Nick, I will take Beckett. He is exactly what the Yankees are missing. He’s a #1 and he has a dominant postseason resume. We have Hughes, IPK and Joba for the future no need to gamble on the what could be with Daisuke. Beckett is what he is and that’s a winner. Who would I trade? Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, Shelley Duncan and Kyle Farnsworth. Then FINALLY I will actually be a fan of everyone on the team. We can get rid of Mussina’s mouth, Giambi’s…well Giambi period, get value for Duncan before he has none (which should be sometime around June I would guess) and Farnsworth well nobody likes him anyway.
    “oh man- i wish that the Sox would implement a no facial hair policy- that just oozes class! :)”
    Right, because nothing says class like your LF’r wearing a lunch ladies hair net under his hat and your 1Bman sporting a chin full of 6 inch pubic hair. :)
    *This comment is not considered inflamatory because I did in fact put a :) after my comment.

    John - YF February 21, 2008, 10:28 am
  • Giambi looks like he eats babies.
    That is all.

    LocklandSF February 21, 2008, 10:30 am
  • I don’t ask much.
    I just want New York to swap Isaiah Thomas for Theo Epstein. We will throw in Farnsworth and a used Babe Ruth jersey in the mix just to be fair.

    DR February 21, 2008, 10:31 am
  • DR, well done. At this point, I’d swap Isiah for Al Bianchi (is he still alive?)

    Nick-YF February 21, 2008, 10:33 am
  • Even if Bianchi isn’t, it is a dramatic improvement.

    DR February 21, 2008, 10:36 am
  • John, if I were deciding on performance only, I think you’re right. Beckett does fill a role the Yanks don’t seem to currently have right now. But this game includes personality and likeability, and I can’t go there with Beckett.

    Nick-YF February 21, 2008, 10:37 am
  • just looked on Wikipedia. Bianchi is still alive.
    We have a new campaign.

    Nick-YF February 21, 2008, 10:38 am
  • “But this game includes personality and likeability”
    If those are the rules then I obviously choose nobody.

    John - YF February 21, 2008, 10:40 am
  • You don’t like anyone’s baseball persona?!

    Nick-YF February 21, 2008, 10:41 am
  • Honestly, the only member of the Red Sox that I cannot dislike is Manny. I understand that it this point it wouldn’t be the best move, but for sentimental reasons and entertainment reasons, it would be nice to bring him home. We have a Ritz-Carlton in New York too.
    The Red Sox would receive Farnsworth. I really cannot think of any Yankees that are truly loathsome other than him. Gentlemen one and all!

    DR February 21, 2008, 10:42 am
  • I’d take Youk from the Sox – good defense at 1B and his patient bat would fit right into the Yanks’ lineup. I like his tough, angry comepetitive edge (which some Yanks fans and opposing teams deride – I admire it) that reminds me of Paul O’Neil and the late 90’s dynasty Yanks. I just like him as a player and his skillz at 1B fits a Yanks’ need.
    Dunno who I’d give – Pavano, I guess. But there’s honestly not that much dead weight on the Yanks that I don’t think could be useful to another team.

    Mark (YF) February 21, 2008, 10:42 am
  • I’ll take A-Rod at short. You can have Lugo or Javier Lopez.
    As a Sox fan, I love Beckett’s cool efficiency (which is rather a marked change from two years back–far more fist pumps and screaming in ’06, a lot more stalking quietly off the mound in ’07) and his amazing ability, but he does come off as rather arrogant sometimes. That’s fine, though, really.

    Devine February 21, 2008, 10:45 am
  • I don’t know how positional needs play into this exercise. If they don’t, then I take A-Rod. Hands down. If they do, I probably take Joba and leave him in the setup role until the rotation falters.
    You guys can have Dougie. Enjoy.

    SF February 21, 2008, 10:48 am
  • Oh, shit! If forgot about MLFRS!
    Julio, meet a slab of NYC pine. A-Rod, meet Boston’s shortstop position.

    SF February 21, 2008, 10:52 am
  • “Dougie’s going deep tonight!”

    LocklandSF February 21, 2008, 10:53 am
  • “You don’t like anyone’s baseball persona?!”
    Let me clarify. The only Sox players I really don’t like are Varitek, Youkilis and Manny. I dislike Varitek and Youkilis, they just rub me the wrong way. They play the game the right way, it’s just more personal choice then anything. I am sure in real life they are nice guys. But in Manny’s case and I don’t like saying this because hate is a strong word, but he is as close to being hated as anyone in my mind. His uniform, the hair, his shennanigans at the plate, Manny being Manny, in my eyes are all disrespectful to the game. I have been told many times that off the field he is one of the hardest working players anyone has met, but that doesn’t translate on the field. I met the BP pitcher for the Sox a few months back and he made the same statement (although he said Pedroia was a close 2nd). Even with that,his actions on the field drive me BANANAS!
    Ortiz seems like a good guy, but I really have a thing for players who just hit. See Giambi. So really to answer your question no Nick if those were the parameters then no I don’t want anyone on the Sox. If we can expand this to all teams I will take Lance Berkman for the same package I offered for Beckett.

    John - YF February 21, 2008, 10:55 am
  • *I met the BP pitcher for the Sox a few months back and he made the same statement.
    Again to clarify, he said that Manny is one of the hardest working players. NOT that it doesn’t translate on the field. Sorry for the confusion.

    John - YF February 21, 2008, 10:58 am
  • Berkman is a great player. It seems, however, that his game is in decline.
    Expanded to all teams, I think David Wright is great.

    Nick-YF February 21, 2008, 10:58 am
  • if i could pilfer any team, i’d want carl crawford in pinstripes.

    Yankee Fan In Boston February 21, 2008, 11:00 am
  • “I have been told many times that off the field he is one of the hardest working players anyone has met, but that doesn’t translate on the field.”
    Huh? Other than his goofy personality, I would say his hard work translates directly on the field.

    LocklandSF February 21, 2008, 11:00 am
  • Off track…But what I like about Berkman is he looks like us! He’s not super in shape, he’s not super fast, he’s the everyday man. He plays the game with such reckless abandon a la Jim Edmonds and Darrin Erstad. 1B, all the OF positions, switch hitter, that’s pretty darn special.
    David Wright is a good choice as well, but I was again being practical (my downfall) and picking a position we needed. Had my practicality not kicked in I would have taken Chase Utley!

    John - YF February 21, 2008, 11:03 am
  • We won’t take anyone if you promise to take Giuliani back.

    Chris - SF February 21, 2008, 11:09 am
  • It doesn’t translate, look big picture. He is a superior hitter point blank. He will go into the HOF for his hitting, but if you are truly honest with yourself he is borderline below average in all other areas. Sure he has learned how to master LF in Fenway, but take him out of that comfort zone and he is not a good LF’r. His baserunning is awful. He rarely goes hard at of the box, he looks lost on the basepaths.

    John - YF February 21, 2008, 11:10 am
  • He is supposedly a great teammate too. That must rate. Significant contributions to 3 world series teams and 2 champs speak volumes.
    The Larry Brown approach to players doesn’t mean much to me. As Nick’s previous posts reveal, each person has there individual likes and dislikes for players that are inconsistent because of various unscientific reasons.
    Manny for Chad Curtis any day.

    DR February 21, 2008, 11:48 am
  • Well, when ever you hear anyone talk about how hard Manny works, it’s always related to his hitting/keeping in shape. People don’t realize this, but Manny has always been a workout freak, his baggy uniform hides the fact that’s totally ripped.
    The fact of the matter is I think he’s actually not smart enough to be a good defensive player/base runner, yes, I’m serious. I honestly think he’s got a child like mind that can only focus on hitting the crap out of a baseball and other tasks of routine, like playing a ball off the wall and firing it to second base.

    LocklandSF February 21, 2008, 11:49 am
  • Where’s Tony Womack? Can the Yankees hire him and give him to Boston? That would be sweet. I can’t think of a less productive player.

    AndrewYF February 21, 2008, 11:50 am
  • Buh bye Hank. Hello Manny of Washington Heights.

    Zooboy February 21, 2008, 12:21 pm
  • FYI – Manny spoke to the media today at ST, the Globe has it, good stuff. I really hope he keeps this trend going and doesn’t clam up again.

    LocklandSF February 21, 2008, 12:30 pm
  • The player I covet more than any other is Curtis Granderson of the Tigers. LOVE that guy. But that’s not within the rules. So…
    I wanted to stick the Sox with Hank, but Zooboy beat me to it. Therefore, it’s so long Moose. I would love to see him throw a hissy when Manny misplays a rope off the Monster. I also can’t imagine Tek taking any shit from him, so that means in my fantasy world that Mirabelli would have to catch Wake _and_ Moose.
    Beckett or Papelbon would obviously be a great get, and that pick has already been done to death, so I’ll take J.D. Drew. That’ll get take some of the hate-heat off ARod, and between J.D. and Bobby we’ll have two streaky guys to have in right at the wrong time. And take Julian Tavarez. He makes crazy cool.

    attackgerbil February 21, 2008, 12:42 pm
  • A Yankee in Big Papi’s Court? That’s tough. The two most likable Yankees are in downslope of their careers (Matsui and Rivera) and I’m perfectly happy with having the three young pitchers continue to rub me the wrong way for no real reason. Though, if pressed, I’d take Joba, if only to reverse the cult of personality that has sprung up around him in Yankee country. The bonfire of Chamberlain jerseys and shirts in the NYC area would be visible from space.
    And you know, I don’t really mind anyone on the Sox right now. Sure, I could give away a bench player, but I’m going to strike that as against the spirit of the exercise here. Bench players aren’t offensive, they’re just… bench players. But I am going to bend the rules a bit to find someone to send to the Yankees: Mike Lansing. Just thinking about that guy still makes my eyes cross. I’d love to see the Red Sox get him to pull a Keith Van Horn and unretire, only to ship him to New York.

    FenSheaParkway February 21, 2008, 12:46 pm
  • Joba was my pick, but he was just mentioned. I am envious that the Yanks have a catcher that can hit! Not only that, he always kills the sox, always. So I’ll take Posada, just so we never have to face him again. He would be the most expensive backup catcher the world has ever known.
    Then I would give you Lowell. Only because it would be too weird for words.

    Pat February 21, 2008, 1:12 pm
  • I’d take Mariano, thus allowing Boston to have a Mariano, Oki, and Papelbon scenario.
    I’d give up Crisp and Snyder, thus improving NY’s outfield and bullpen, making it fair to everyone.

    Brad February 21, 2008, 1:23 pm
  • “*This comment is not considered inflamatory because I did in fact put a :) after my comment. ”
    thanks for the dig- i made the joke because nick made the “class” claim in the post. but no more of ‘dem confounded jokes to inflame you! :) :) :)

    Ric February 21, 2008, 3:11 pm
  • first comment on here, gotta say I love the site guys :)
    Anyways, I agree on Ortiz. After all these years, I just can’t see him in pinstripes. As a Yanks fan it pains me to say that I’ll pass on Papi, but he really does fit the Sox. Beckett though I can deal with. Yeah he’s killed the Yanks on two different teams, but I’ll consider it a make good from the Baseball Gods to cancel out the Randy Johnson catastrophy.
    But why stop with one swap? Here’s something I’d love to wake up to:
    And you know what, just to be fair, I’ll give you guys Pavano for free :)

    Will February 21, 2008, 5:38 pm
  • Will – wouldn’t you want to swap Igawa and Dice-K directly? “Here, have our terrible Japanese pitcher for your good one!”
    Seems like a much more appropriate swap for me, even if Beckett’s a better pitcher.
    Let’s see…
    You guys can have JD Drew. He really seems to fit the whole ’emotionless robot’ stereotype and would fit great in the corporate culture (although I’d pay serious money to watch Paul O’Neill provide color commentary for every time Drew strikes out looking), and the whole ‘older, overpaid outfielder’ thing is a theme in New York.
    As for me, I’ll take Joba. As someone mentioned above, it would defuse the greater New York area Cult of Joba, which would be worth it all by itself. But from a purely baseball perspective, I’d love to have him coming out of our pen or starting for us. A close second would be Phil Hughes, who I also think will be really good and who has some Boston ties.

    Micah-SF February 21, 2008, 6:44 pm
  • I feel left out of the party now, after reading two different allusions to it: what are Phil Hughes’ Boston ties again? I thought he was born and raised in California. What am I missing?

    FenSheaParkway February 21, 2008, 7:13 pm
  • Hughes has family in Rhode Island and grew up a Red Sox fan. His dad is also a big Red Sox fan, if I recall correctly.

    Micah-SF February 21, 2008, 7:39 pm
  • Can we give them Gagne again? No?

    Lar February 21, 2008, 7:52 pm
  • Thanks Micah. I can now amuse myself by imagining the Hughes clan giving Phil crap at Thanksgiving time.

    FenSheaParkway February 21, 2008, 7:59 pm
  • You take Moose. Gimme Buchholz and all those laptops of his.

    Mike A. February 21, 2008, 10:56 pm
  • AG – If you think ‘Tek wouldn’t take any crap from Moose, and think ‘Belli would take more of it. Well. Let me just say.
    Antics from Moose = a lot of cold stares between he and ‘Tek
    Antics from Moose = Mirabelli punching his own pitcher
    I honestly can’t see any other way it would go down.

    QuoSF February 22, 2008, 12:40 am
  • The Yankees I would want on the Sox would be Hughes (duh.) and… um… I do have a great deal of respect for Matsui, although his game has fallen off a bit.
    As for the Sox to ship out: I’m not a huge Schilling fan, but he’d be a strange Yankee. I’m not crazy about Lowell, either, actually. I like the guy fine, and he’s played well, but he’s almost old enough to play for New York at this point.
    I wanted Theo to let him walk, and just call up Lowrie to play third, or maybe trade a bag of balls for a post-operation Eric Chavez with Lowrie in the wings in case he still sucks. Hell, we just won a World Series, let’s call up the kids and build up the farm again.
    (I actually really like Crisp, Lugo and Drew, sort of perversely, because I think they’re incredibly underrated by the fanbase, the first two for their defense, Drew because he’s such a weird character. He has a hyperbaric chamber in his house! If Manny did that, everyone would talk about it all the time…)
    And does everyone agree: Pedroia is our Jeter?

    nv February 22, 2008, 5:36 am
  • Point taken, Quo.

    attackgerbil February 22, 2008, 9:55 am
  • NV, Lowell is only 33, he just looks 40.
    Eric Chavez? Doesn’t he strike out 1 out of every 4 times at the plate?
    “let’s call up the kids and build up the farm again”
    Other that not liking Schilling, I’m having a hard time making any sense of your post.

    LocklandSF February 22, 2008, 10:58 am
  • Add this to the list Lockland “And does everyone agree: Pedroia is our Jeter?”
    So if you listen to the comments around here are you saying Pedroia has bad range, is getting his own cologne and loves to hit on Hollywood starlets?

    John - YF February 22, 2008, 11:05 am
  • “loves to hit on Hollywood starlets?”
    And getting denied by said starlets if you believe the recent rumor.

    LocklandSF February 22, 2008, 11:16 am
  • The starlets would probably wonder why they keep getting propositioned by Frankie Muniz…

    SF February 22, 2008, 11:26 am
  • HAHA! Nice zing SF.

    LocklandSF February 22, 2008, 12:05 pm
  • You guys have covered all the bases, so I’m freelancing. If I could be Hal or Hank for a day, and do one thing that would leave me cursed for eternity by NYY fans, I would make a deal with the devil to give John Sterling and Susyn Waldman eternal life and then sign both to lifetime contracts as the NYY radio voices. (“Oh, my goodness, goodness gracious!”)

    I'm Bill McNeal February 22, 2008, 12:23 pm
  • Manny for Damon…but we’d have to have Manny for the same amount of years left on Johnny’s contract (though manny wouls make 20+ mil a year in contrast to Damon).

    walein February 22, 2008, 12:33 pm
  • Micah: great point. didn’t think of how much sense Igawa<->Dice-K would make. Actually, I wrote that whole post with the Igawa-Beckett swap, and then realized “you know what, I do want Dice-K”, so thats where Mussina came in. But I’ll gladly take your good japanese import for our… would you believe just sub par? ok ok he’s terrible lol

    Will February 22, 2008, 3:56 pm
  • Okay, let’s see, Schilling(if only because he’s about all done) and Kyle Snyder…
    for Joba and Mariano Rivera.
    “But this game includes personality and likeability, and I can’t go there with Beckett.”
    I just perused through MLB’s rules and I saw no mention of personality or likeability being included in the game of baseball.
    Seriously, I understand that certain people can rub you the wrong way; A-Tool grates on me something fierce.
    But to be fair, there are a number of baseball players I have hated over the years for various reasons, but only a handful of them would I absolutely positively be opposed to having on my team, and one of them, Jose Canseco, I at least tolerated after a bit, when he came to the Sox.
    So, while I do agree there are players on opposing teams that I absolutely hate, I might absolutely positively love them if they came to play for the Red Sox.
    Beckett might be intolerable to many who aren’t Sox fans, but excluding him from your team ’cause he’s a bit of a wanker?
    That might not be analogous to cutting off your nose to spite your face, but it’s close.

    Brian February 22, 2008, 4:02 pm
  • Man, Jose Cansco. Easily my least-liked Red Sox ever. Even when he was on the team, before all the steroids stuff came out.

    Paul SF February 22, 2008, 5:02 pm
  • Yeah, Jose Canseco was hard to take as a member of the Red Sox.
    I absolutely dead on hated him when he was with the A’s.
    I never grew to like him with the Sox but I did tolerate him.
    He is a loathsome sort of creature.
    I can’t imagine too many players of his era liked him then, and I guarantee that number has dwindled since his steroids revelations.
    As far as my least favorite Red Sox players of all time… I have wracked my memory and while there are several, Bob Watson, Tony Clark, Brian Daubach and Jose Offerman to name a few, by far the top of the list all time, will forever be Eric Gagne. I don’t hate him per se, but by the end of September I hated, with a passion, seeing him stride to the mound for the Red Sox.

    Brian February 23, 2008, 11:21 pm
  • who would I give up in a heartbeat? 2 words: JULIO LUGO. there, that was easy.
    who would I want? I’ll take that Molina kid as our backup catcher.
    there – both our problems solved. Yanks? just beginning.
    but wait – this isnt supposed to be a fair trade right?

    Lyndsay May 7, 2008, 4:08 pm
  • oh wait, forgot about Jeter. dammit, well take Lugo anyway, I don’t care what you do with him. teach him to pitch or something, just…get him out of here!

    Lyndsay May 7, 2008, 4:11 pm
  • I would also trade Drew for Matsui. same position basically, but more production from Matsui.

    Lyndsay May 7, 2008, 4:15 pm
  • Brian – why Daubach?
    Carl Everett was always a douche. great player, but a huge douche. so was Derek Lowe. and he was inconsistent.
    I don’t think anything irks me more though than a Lugo at-bat.

    Lyndsay May 7, 2008, 4:18 pm

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.