WHAT IF: Is It Time To Trade Trot Nixon?

That’s right. You heard me. Is it time to trade Trot Nixon? Nixon is coming into the final year of a 3-year, $19.5 million contract he signed in the winter of 2004. Since then, he’s been hobbling around with injuries. He saw 48 games in 2004 and 124 in 2005. There is no question that Trot Nixon is a good hitter, as evidenced by his 3-year OPSs of .975, .887, and .804. There is also no question that he simply can’t hit left-handed pitching.

Having to find someone to hit left-handed pitching to alternate with Nixon is a pain. You have to find the right person, and you’re also giving up someone who can play the outfield. Basically, your fourth outfielder (and more often than not, your only backup outfielder) has to be a right-fielder who hits lefties. That restricts yourself pretty well. There is no question that Nixon can hit. Up until May 16, he was hitting .343/450/.588. But then when he aggravated his knee, he then hit .252/.323/.399. Then when his oblique acted up in August, he continued his decline, hitting .229 the rest of the way.

There is no dout that when healthy, he can mash. None at all. If we trade him now, his trade value is lower than his talent, no question.

But what if we can get a good bullpen arm in return, or a good second baseman? Or Nixon and Arroyo for Lyle Overbay and a mid-level prospect? Or for a centerfielder, allowing us to sign someone for right field (Jeromy Burnitz, Brian Giles … there are more options for RF than CF on the free agent market)? The thing is that Nixon is entering his free agent year. If he returns to .975 OPS stature, then I’m sure we’ll attempt to resign him. But what if his injury woes continue, or he middles out at a .825 OPS? The older he is, the less he can get around right field (a second centerfield for us, which would make us trading him attractive to teams whose right fields are normal) and the more he gets hurt … perhaps it’s time to trade Nixon.

This club has shown the willingness for roster turnover, to keep bringing in fresh faces. Some work, some don’t. Nature of the business, but they’re applying the right methods, not holding onto people just for the sake of having a long-tenured member of the organization back. Nixon is still a quality bat, but is he as quality as he appears? I’m saying no, not with his inability to hit lefties, with his ever growing injury concerns, the need at other positions with no way to fill them (center?) … perhaps it IS time to trade Trot Nixon. It’s food for thought. We’re sort of in a in-between phase with being out of the playoffs. Not much is happening, not many rumors are happening because of the playoffs.

So I offer this to you. Would you trade Trot Nixon? Who would you trade him for? What would other events would happen as a product of this? Think of it as a fun way to pass time.

WHAT IF … Theo Epstein tells you, his assistant, that he has decided to trade Trot Nixon. He wants you to speak to other teams and get the best offer. He then wants you to map out that offer to him, and draw up possible future events (strictly on the field, discount fan reaction which does factor in, by the way) stemming from this trade. Don’t get carried away with the future events, just “replace” the holes the Red Sox have as a result of this trade (including current holes).

I’ll start it off.

  • The Boston Red Sox trade OF Trot Nixon, SP Bronson Arroyo, and C Kelly Shoppach to the Milwaukee Brewers for 1B Lyle Overbay and CF Brady Clark.
  • The Boston Red Sox then sign RF Brian Giles to a 2-year contract worth $15 million, with a team option of $9 million that automatically vests if he recieves 1200 plate appearances over the two years.
  • The Boston Red Sox announce Jonathan Papelbon will move to the rotation. Mike Timlin is signed to a 2-year, $5 million contract. Mike Myers is re-signed to a 1 year, $800,000 contract. Chad Bradford and the Red Sox avoid arbitration with a 1-year, $1 million contract. Several relievers are brought in to compete with Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen for the final two bullpen spots behind Keith Foulke, Mike Timlin, Mike Myers, Chad Bradford, and Lenny DiNardo.
  • The fourth outfielder is signed to a one-year deal with $1 million – Dustan Mohr.

Have at it!

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