John Lackey is 32 and has approximately $53.38 million remaining on the final 3.5 years of his contract.
Barry Zito is 33 and has $55.25 million remaining on the final 3.5 years of his deal.
You see where I’m going with this?
Trade Lackey for Zito straight up. Trade one problem pitcher for another.
Lackey returns to California and the forgiving embrace of the National League, Zito returns to the American League and pitching coach Curt Young, who had him in Oakland from 2004-06.
Each team assumes some risk. Lackey obviously has some sort of elbow problem. Zito has never played outside the Bay Area and Boston isn’t exactly the mellow capital of the Western Hemisphere.
Zito has a full no-trade clause but might waive it for the chance to matter again.
It’s probably crazy and the Giants might even prefer to keep Zito given Lackey’s elbow. But it’s not totally crazy, is it?
UPDATE, 12:01 p.m.: Dozens of readers took this post in the spirit it was intended, just a way to spark some baseball discussion. Thanks to everybody who is chiming in.
I realize this is crazy talk but part of loving baseball is contemplating such things. As legend has it, the owners of the Sox and Yankees once discussed swapping Ted Williams for Joe DiMaggio over a few stiff drinks.
Lackey and Zito are no Ted and Joe. But it’s at least something to consider. The way I figure it, talking about baseball beats talking about most other things.