As an owner of Carl Crawford, I almost fell out of my chair when I received a Tweet notifying me there was a potential blockbuster brewing between the Boston Red Sox and Miami Marlins. In case you haven't heard, allegedly someone (either on the Red Sox or the Marlins side) decided it would be a good idea to float the idea of trading Carl Crawford to Miami in exchange for Heath Bell and Hanley Ramirez.
As a Carl Crawford owner, I instantly succumbed to a big Homer Simpson, "d'ho" upon reading this. Crawford? In Miami? Playing for Ozzie Guillen? No thanks!
As for the Red Sox, why would they want a fickle shortstop regardless of his potential and another struggling overpaid reliever even if his troubles turn out to be temporary?
Nonetheless, Buster Olney saved the day by reporting the supposed deal was a farce.
Still, the talk of trading Crawford acted as a catalyst for my own imagination. And, yes, as a fantasy owner, I believe its my prerogative to dream up such scenarios (remember, they called it 'fantasy baseball' for a reason).
All this led me to a startling conclusion - the Red Sox should deal Crawford to the Phillies in exchange for Cole Hamels.
Sound implausible? Maybe - but consider the benefits to both clubs (and fantasy owners).
Living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I can tell you that there is little or no hope among fans that the Phillies are re-signing Hamels. If the reported $130 million, six year offer they made to him is true, it would be almost laughable as he will certainly be seeking CC Sabathia type money. At this point, it is almost unimaginable that he won't be wearing Dodger blue come the spring.
Added to the mix is the potential that the Phillies seem destined to say so-long to Shane Victorino. The Flyin' Hawaiian (he of the .254 batting average and eight home runs) has worn out his welcome in Philadelphia as the magic has all but vanished.
Therefore, the Phillies will have two vacancies in the outfield come this offseason. They will need a left fielder since John Mayberry Jr. continues to play himself out of the equation and Dominick Brown has done little to impress anyone.
Finally, the Phillies need a leadoff hitter. Would anyone argue that Jimmy Rollins would be much more proficient in the two hole as opposed to leading off when his OBP is .314?
Crawford has a career OBP of .333 - not great, but not awful. Still, his combination of speed and power would give the Phillies a dynamic to the offense they are missing.
The benefit to the Red Sox is obvious. They become instant players in the chase for the World Series while becoming favorites for an American League wild card. It sends a message to the league, fans, and the team itself that they are geared up for another World Series title. With a 3.07 ERA, excellent strikeout to walk ratio (125/30), and the excitement Hamels brings, it would be a no-brainer for them.
As for the fantasy world, the deal works well, too. Crawford lands in a place where there will be high expectations going forward but little for the remainder of the year. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard owners would reap the benefits of their players seeing more fastballs as the Phils could simply turn Crawford loose on the base paths. Hamels' owners get a net zero effect on home field play, but could see a continued dominance in wins as the Red Sox (465 runs scored on the season) provide considerably more offense than the Phillies (392).
Is this trade proposal audacious? Yes. Could it happen? I wouldn't bet a dollar on it.
Still, as a fantasy fanatic, it would make me very, very happy.
Sources: Yahoo! Sports
Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A New York resident until 9/11, he considers Pa. his adoptive home. A passionate Yankees fan and Pennsylvania sports enthusiast, Robert is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.