I am not necessarily saying that this team needs to be "blown up" because there's still a ton of talent here and I'd like to see what it's like when everyone is healthy. A healthy and productive Ellsbury, Crawford, Youkilis, Bailey, and Melancon would do wonders for this team. That said, if they're going to blow it up, here's the recipe (i.e., here's what I'd pursue as GM). You have to be realistic about what your guys are worth. And you have to be willing to live with a rebuilding process that will take a year-plus, meaning that 2014 is the year to expect the Red Sox phoenix to rise from the ashes. But I believe it could be a very exciting process. Ok, here we go. Guys already in the system to form the 2014 core: 2b Pedroia C Lavarnway 3b Middlebrooks LF Crawford (I just don't see any way they can move the guy without eating the bulk of his contract) RF Kalish 1b Gonzalez SS Iglesias (maybe he still won't hit much but that's ok...put him in the 9-hole and watch him eat up everything anywhere near him at SS) OF Brentz SP Bard SP Doubront SP Barnes (kid is dominant...could see him in the majors easily in 2014) RP Wilson RP Tazawa Now, this means that the Sox would be looking to move: Youkilis, Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, and Ellsbury. Yes, I know. Crazy stuff. But clearly this core right there is not getting it done. They are all tremendously talented, no denying that. And Lester and Buchholz have reasonable contracts. But they are also guys (Ellsbury and Lester especially) who could fetch a TON in return, so they represent some of the team's best tradable assets. Move #1: Trade Youkilis to the Brewers for P Wily Peralta, their top pitching prospect. They have a gaping hole at 1b and their farm system is kind of bare after their trade for Grienke. But Peralta is a very intriguing pitcher. 23 years old, career minor league numbers of 3.76 era, 1.34 whip, and 8.5 k/9. His issue is walks. But he's strong, has really good stuff, and is the kind of pitcher you take a chance on. Move #2: Trade Beckett to Atlanta for P Randall Delgado and P Jonny Venters. The Braves have enough cash, and they have tons of pitching talent all throughout their system. Delgado has tons of upside, but adding Beckett would give them a ridiculous rotation of Hudson, Hanson, Beckett, and Beachy. They also have plenty of bullpen arms to replace Venters. The Sox get one of the best relievers in baseball and another dynamic young arm to groom for 2014. Move #3: Trade Lester to the Diamondbacks for P Trevor Bauer and P Patrick Corbin. Look, Bauer is one of the very best pitching prospects in all of baseball...that's no secret. And Arizona would be hesitant (to say the least) to give him up. But look what they're acquiring: one of the game's best pitchers, a consistent performer (from year-to-year) in the toughest division in baseball. Imagine what Lester will do in the NL West. And Lester's contract is very friendly for a team like Arizona. Bauer is someone that someday might be as good as Lester, but right now, no contest. This would be a blockbuster deal, but it's hard to argue how it wouldn't work out for Arizona - they'd be getting a premier pitcher. But for the Sox, why do it then? Because Lester seems to be part of that culture that needs to change in Boston, and adding Bauer and another dynamic young pitcher would be a tremendous haul for Lester. Move #4: Trade Ellsbury and Buchholz to Colorado for OF Carlos Gonzalez and P Tyler Matzek. Yes, there, I said it. Talk about a blockbuster. Look at the best seasons for Ellsbury and Gonzalez: Ellsbury (2011): .321/.376/.552/.928, 146 ops+, 32 hr, 105 rbi, 39 sb, 8.0 WAR Gonzalez (2010): .336/.376/.598/.974, 143 ops+, 34 hr, 117 rbi, 26 sb, 5.8 WAR So at their best, Ellsbury's best was a little better than Gonzalez' best. Plus, the Red Sox are throwing in Clay Buchholz, who immediately would become the Rockies' best pitcher. So why on earth would you do it if you're the Sox? Well, first, Gonzalez has been far more consistent than Ellsbury. Second, he's locked up for semi-reasonable money through 2017 (avg of $14.2 million a year from 2013-2017), which is his age 31 season. And third, you're adding another intriguing pitching prospect in Matzek....he has a lot of ability; you're hoping it pans out. So what are we left with, looking at 2014? C - Lavarnway, Saltalamacchia 1b - A. Gonzalez 2b - Pedroia 3b - Middlebrooks SS - Iglesias/Bogaerts LF - Crawford CF - C. Gonzalez RF - Kalish/Brentz DH - ?? (would need to find someone) SP - Bard, Doubront, Barnes, Bauer, Delgado RP - Matzek, Venters, Peralta, Corbin, Alex Wilson, Bailey That rotation would be incredibly exciting. Tons of young, cheap, power arms with huge upside. The lineup would have plenty of thump (I envision it looking like this): LF Crawford 2b Pedroia 1b A. Gonzalez 3b Middlebrooks CF C. Gonzalez DH someone (a veteran) with power C Lavarnway RF Kalish SS Iglesias That lineup would still score a ton of runs, and it would be excellent defensively. Put that lineup out there with a young starting pitching core of Bard, Doubront, Barnes, Bauer, Delgado, et al., and you have the makings of a phenomenal team that should be excellent for a long time - most of those guys would be making peanuts. And all those trades actually help the clubs I'm suggesting the Sox trade with. Yes, they give up some quality pieces (Bauer and Carlos Gonzalez especially), but they'd be getting back guys that are also tremendous and are worth acquiring. So again, I'm not suggesting the Sox blow it up, but if they do, this is a plan I'd love to see them pursue.