MLB Trade Rumors: Could the Nationals and Red Sox Strike a Multi-Player Trade?

Christopher Benvie@CSBenvie81Correspondent IIMay 16, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MAY 14:  Kelly Shoppach #10 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates his home run with coach Alex Ochoa #36 of the Boston Red Sox as he rounds the bases in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park May 14, 2012  in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox have a surplus of players whom the Washington Nationals are in need of, pure and simple.

The most glaring hole in the lineup for the Nats is at catcher, as the team has been plagued by injuries at the position. Wilson Ramos tore his ACL, and since taking a hard shot at the plate, rookie backstop Sandy Leone has been on the disabled list.

For a young team trying to fight in an extremely competitive NL East, not having a surefire catcher is a problem. Suffice it to say, Jesus Flores is not the answer in Washington.

In a tweet posted by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, both the Nationals and Anaheim Angels may have catcher Kelly Shoppach on their respective radars.

Shoppach is enjoying his best season in the majors thus far, posting a .265 batting average with six RBI and five doubles in just 16 games for the Red Sox.

Having his veteran presence behind the plate may be just what the Nationals need. 

The Sox are fortunate enough to have both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway in their system and could afford to trade Shoppach away.

On an unrelated note and purely speculation on my part, ESPN's Buster Olney appeared on WEEI-FM's "The Big Show" with Glen Ordway and Michael Holley this afternoon. He informed the hosts that the Red Sox are positioning themselves to trade Kevin Youkilis.

If that should be the case, the Nationals are actually a team that could use Youkilis.

Obviously the team would not need Youk to play third base since they have Ryan Zimmerman there. However, currently Adam LaRoche is playing first for the Nats.

LaRoche is playing out of his mind right now, but the question is, how long will that last? Historically, he is just a .269 career hitter, whereas Youk can provide a .300 average, with a career .389 OBP that can add a solid piece to the middle of the Nationals lineup.

In turn, the Nats could also deal LaRoche to fill in other voids if need be.

The Red Sox could look to acquire pitching depth from the Nationals in the form of John Lannon, Chien-Ming Wang or even Brad Lidge.

While a multi-player deal may not be feasible, the idea of Shoppach to Washington could very well happen, depending on the desire of the Nats to stabilize their offense.