It pains me to no end to compliment Boston's Boy Wonder of a GM, but when he goes out and follows my advice and signs the under-appreciated Mike Cameron, it's hard for me not to give credit where credit is due for an intelligent move. Now the only question is, can Theo Epstein follow through and improve his team even more?
As always, there are reports of the Red Sox being interested in Adrian Gonzalez. You'd have thought with all the interest they're expressing for A-Gon, that the deal would already be in place, but Theo is allegedly balking at the asking price of Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury. To the untrained eye, this hesitancy makes total sense. After all, while Buchholz is a bit more expendable because of the signing of John Lackey, Ellsbury had himself one heck of a year: .301 AVG, 114 wRC+ and 70 stolen bases. That isn't the type of player you part ways with on a routine basis, especially considering his age. And yet, Ellsbury only posted a 1.9 WAR last year, a result of some utterly horrendous defense.
Cameron on the other hand has boasted WAR above 4 each of the past two seasons, a more than adequate replacement for the departed Native American. Plus, the Red Sox would be getting Adrian Gonzalez, an often unheralded, yet supremely effective run producer during the latter years of this past decade. Cameron could serve as an adequate short term stop-gap while allowing the Red Sox to bolster their lineup and still have an effective defensive club in 2010. With players like David DeJesus and Carl Crawford entering their primes and looming in 2011 free agency, and with Josh Reddick among others regarded as a viable prospect for CF, the Sox could just as easily reload for the long term in the outfield and not ever have to to think twice about missing Jacoby Ellsbury.
So if you're Theo Epstein, do you pull the trigger on this supposed trade to get A-Gon?