Red Sox fans spent a full 24 hours online Tuesday night picking apart the intricacies of former MLB GM Jim Bowden's proposed trade package that he believed could land Juan Soto on the Yankees.
Bowden is not, in fact, in charge of these negotiations. Dissecting his inclusion of, say, Jhony Brito or Everson Pereira is an impotent way to waste one of the limited days you've earned on God's green earth. He is putting names on paper. He is not in the room. If you think his packages are misguided or light, then congrats! You have shouted while encased in a plastic bubble.
And, plus, for what it's worth, Bowden's Red Sox package is far more insulting. Come on. Right in front of you.
Whichever team trades for Soto will only be acquiring one year of the slugger before his expensive free agency must be addressed. The package that obtains him will be lighter than most expect -- say, from a Yankees angle, two of Michael King/Chase Hampton/Drew Thorpe, plus some FCL talent. But just because the package is comparatively light does not mean the Red Sox can dump all their garbage in San Diego, then skitter away in the night like raccoons pulling off a heist.
Yankees' Juan Soto trade package from Jim Bowden isn't nearly as ridiculous as Red Sox
Hard and fast rule: If you, a Red Sox fan, would make a given trade "in a split second," the opposing team in the trade conversations would not. No exceptions.
The Red Sox spent the second half of 2023 (and the first half, and the offseason) begging to trade Alex Verdugo and his 15-homer power, often benching him in a series of resets that never sparked. He is a free agent after 2024. One year of Soto for one year of Verdugo is no way to go through life, son. The worst-kept secret in baseball is that Verdugo won't be on Boston's Opening Day roster. Teams across the league will be lowballing the Sox from the minute the curtain rises on the Winter Meetings. Offering him in a Soto package is far more embarrassing than dangling reigning ROY runner-up Miguel Andújar and Clint Frazier in hordes of hypothetical 2018-19 offseason trades.
Who else, who else? Ah, Tanner Houck, a starter/reliever who loves to dominate for four innings, but managed a 5.01 ERA/4.08 xFIP in 2023. He's a little better than his results. He's turning 28. Add Miguel Bleis, one of the Sox most exciting pre-2023 low-level breakout candidates who tore his shoulder apart last season, and Luis Perales, a starter with a 1.68 WHIP at High-A, and you've got a deal!
Sorry. Misread that. You've got a deal if you're a Boston fan having a fever dream, or if you're former MLB GM Jim Bowden, who's a former MLB GM for a reason. Sorry, Sox. It's a bummer for you that Bleis is nothing but a realistic third piece in this type of deal, but after a lost 2023, he just is. That's the only portion of this offer that makes sense. The Padres have no desire to gift you Soto for two distressed assets you're trying to dump and two intriguing prospects with flapping red flags. Maybe pick up Andújar or Frazier off waivers to sweeten things?