Latest Red Sox Rumor – Clement, Vidro, Milledge

Several emailers have alerted me to a post made over at Sons of Sam Horn late last night.  A respected poster lays out this scenario:

Red Sox trade Matt Clement and Alex Cora
Nationals trade Jose Vidro and Jay Bergmann
Mets trade Lastings Milledge and Xavier Nady (with some chance of Victor Diaz instead of Milledge)

Red Sox receive Milledge and Nady
Nationals receive Clement and Cora plus cash if Clement pitches over 150 innings
Mets receive Vidro and Bergmann plus a PTNBL from either Nats or Sox depending on Vidro’s health. (Livan Hernandez could end up with the Mets as well)

I paraphrased a few things but this is all from the post.  I haven’t heard anything about these players lately, but I thought the rumor would make for interesting discussion.  My thoughts:

From the Red Sox point of view, it’s either a steal or a salary dump.  It’d be a steal if Milledge were indeed the centerpiece.  However, there are some who believe Milledge is not even a top 100 prospect.  Don’t gasp, Mets fans – David Luciani knows what he’s talking about and still respects Milledge.

If the Red Sox are acquiring Diaz and Nady for Clement, I can’t see a big improvement to their club for 2006.  It would have to be motivated by the $19MM owed to Clement over the next two seasons, but the Red Sox aren’t having budget problems so it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  The issue of whether the Sox have starting pitching depth from which to deal has been debated endlessly; it depends on how you evaluate their young guys.

The Nationals wouldn’t be surrendering much to get Clement.  I’ve been told Vidro’s health is still questionable, and he makes $23MM over the next three seasons.  The team would love to get out from under that contract.  24 year-old Bergmann looks like a decent enough reliever, but not a top tier prospect.  The Nationals would definitely have to bump someone out of the rotation to give Clement a spot.  They are currently six deep with Tony Armas, Ryan Drese, Livan Hernandez, Brian Lawrence, Ramon Ortiz, and John Patterson.

The deal makes the least amount of sense for the Mets.  It’s been stated repeatedly that the team wants to hold onto Milledge, and that is thought to be the only reason they haven’t traded for Barry Zito.  So the addition of Vidro and his albatross contract doesn’t equate here.  Add Livan Hernandez and you might have something, but the 30 year-old may not be ace material anymore after posting a 1.43 WHIP in 2005.

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