Inspired by an e-mail from a reader named Mike, I wondered if this scenario was possible ...
Theo Epstein picks up his phone and calls Jed Hoyer. "Dude," he says. "I traded old man Lowell to Texas, I'm moving Youk to third and I need Gonzalez. What's it going to take?"
Hoyer: "I told you this before, Ellsbury, Buchholz and a prospect I get to pick."
Epstein: "You can't have Kelly. But I'll get back to you."
Epstein clicks off Hoyer and calls John Henry. "Mr. Henry, Theo Epstein here. I need $100 million to sign John Lackey and Mike Cameron, then I can trade for Adrian Gonzalez. The bridge is closed, we're going for it."
Henry: "Theo, why do you always sound so serious? We're running a baseball team. $100 million? Sure. Larry has a plan to charge tourists 10 bucks just to look at Fenway from the street. $100 million is no problem."
Epstein calls two agents and within a day signs Lackey and Cameron. The next call is to Hoyer.
"Jed, you can have Buchholz, Ellsbury and Westmoreland and I get Gonzalez and anybody you have named Ramon Ramirez. Deal?"
Hoyer pauses. "Sure, nobody pays attention to baseball out here anyway. They're all out rollerblading. It's a deal."
The Red Sox then sign Xavier Nady to platoon with Hermida in left field and trot out this lineup for Opening Day:
You have to admit, it's not implausible. If it happens, credit Mike.