The only possible moves for 2013 only should be FA signings ... perhaps of the "bridge" one year deal type variety. Since the budget is no longer a restraint, I am not going to criticize any short term deals designed to keep fans watching NESN and in the seats, but I do not want to see us trading prospects for guys with 1 of team control, or players on the down swing of their careers.
I really see no point in holding onto any players who will be FAs after 2013, unless we plan on extending them.
Ellsbury: I don't see the point of extending him this winter. Too many questions. Too much money needed to do that with Boras as his agent. The draft pick value after he becomes a FA next winter is lost if he is traded after 2013 starts. He should be traded if the value offered in return is better than the estimated value of the sandwich pick gained if we keep Ells and he walks.
Salty: We have Lava who is unproven but promising. We have Swihart & Vazquez on the farther away horizon, but the catcher position is so important that it would be quite a gamble to put all our eggs in the prospect basket. It's a tough call on extending him, but I suppose it depends on the cost and length of the deal. 27 is still rather young for a ML catcher, especially one who has not played 100-120+ games a season behind the plater for 9 years. My projection is that Salty will be traded while his stock is high, and we will pray that Lava is improved enough behind the plate to be an asset by 2014. My own position is that Lava might get more in return via trade than Salty due to his many years of team control, low cost, and high ceiling. If I had to pull the trigger, I'd try and extend Salty 2-3 more years, and if he says no, trade him. If he says yes, trade Lava or pencil him in at DH if Papi walks.
Breslow: I like this guy. However, he is 32 and will turn 34 in August of 2014. I'm leaning towards trying to trade him rather than extend him. Maybe as part of a bigger package. I'm not sure what his value is to other teams, but my guess is several contending teams would love him on their team next year.
Sweeney: I wanted him traded at the deadline, as apparently Sox management did as well, but he ruined that plan. He does provide some nice and needed defense in RF and CF, but he has no long term future with this team. His trade value may be low, but in a package, he may help us upgrade somwhere.
Hill: Probably has some trade value, but not much. He might stay and continue here on 1 year deals or arb acceptances.
And then there are the FAs to be in 2015 or older players who don't appear to be a big part of this team for 2014 and beyond:
Bailey: He probably stays for 2013, even if just to build value for a 2014 trade. Pray for good health and his value should rise as he pressumably will pitch well.
Aceves: appears to have worn pout his welcome as he did in NY. It's a shame, because he could be the very best long relief pitcher in MLB today. I think he will be traded after his arb or pre-arb signing.
Aviles: we are loaded with SS prospects, some of which appear to be ready for 2013 and certainly by 2014. He will be traded this winter, as his cost will be a bit too high for a utility IF'er. His stock should be up agfter a decent season, especially doing a surprisingly good job in the field.
A Miller: Seems to have found his role. He has some nasty nasty stuff. I'd like to see him stay, but would be open top offers or package deals.
Morales: I'd like to see us keep him around. Lots of potential.
Atchison: Still has 2 pre-arb years left. Amazing for a soon-to-be 37 year old. He has done a great job for us, but should not be part of our 2014 plan. His value to a 2013 contender should be more than his value to us for 2014 and beyond.
Looking at most of these players one by one might not make you feel like we can get great return for themt as part of larger packages, either grouped together or combined with prospects, they can help tip the balance on a trade offer to convince a team to choose our offer over others. Many of these players can be key role players for a contender next year, and although we might not think some of these guys are all that good, they are better than some contending teams current choices at key positions. Most contending teams have some pretty big weaknesses, whereby guys like Ellsbury, Salty (or Lava), Breslow, Aviles, Sweeney, Aceves, Hill, and Atchison represent a significant upgrade or at worst a very nice upgrade of their bench. Including these guys in trade offers may also lessen the need to part with key prospects.