Who's up for a completely unfounded, wistful trade proposition from a first-time poster?
Like the Cardinals, the Red Sox entered camp this season with a past-their-"prime" veteran and a middling career Minor Leaguer as the sole lines of insurance for an oft-injured All Star. For the Redbirds, the parts are played by Ronny Cedeño and Pete Kozma as understudies for Rafael Furcal. For the BoSox, it's Lyle Overbay and Mike Carp for Mike Napoli/David Ortiz.
Let's continue the comparison, shall we? Like the Cardinals, the Red Sox entered camp this season with a one-tool, B-tier prospect roadblocked in the short term and for the forseeable future. The prospects: the Cardinals' minor league mashing first baseman Matt Adams and the Sox's slick shortstop Jose Iglesias. The respective roadblocks: St. Louis' Allen Craig and the brittle bodies of David Freese/Matt Holliday, along with Boston's Stephen "lesser of two" Drew and wünderkind Xander Boegarts.
The Cardinals theoretically have enough offense to stomach a Brendan Ryan-esque performance at short, and an infield defense which could jump from middling to top-notch with the addition of Ryan's very particular set of skills. Though the likelihood of acquiring the real deal seems lower than his slugging percentage (to borrow from Chris Duncan, Ryan "smoked some bridges" on his way out of town), Iglesias is a cost-controlled defensive whiz without Boog's baggage.
The ability of the Red Sox to field a lineup worthy of contention in the American League largely rests on the hips of Napoli and the heels of Ortiz. Though Napoli has put together a fine (and injury free) Grapefruit League campaign, Ortiz came gimping out of the gate, and hasn't logged an at-bat since his late-August injury. Overbay has managed a .765 OPS in 39 spring PAs; Carp sits at .647 through 31. Matt Adams (.899 in 48 for those of you following at home) could provide depth in an area of weakness for 2013 and beyond.
I sign off on it, do you?
EDIT: (3/19) I suppose it pays to check the news before going on a rant. Stephen Drew is still sidelined with concussion-like symptoms and appears unlikely to appear on Boston's Opening Day roster, which puts Iglesias in position to open the regular season as the Sox's everyday shortstop. Which shoots this idea to hell until Drew's feeling up to snuff.