Interesting little article over at BBTF. Its probably written by a Red Sox fan so there is that small hint of irrational thinking. Still its interesting. More or less, its talking about what the Red Sox should do to get a good catcher.
One of his suggestions is to trade for a young catcher. To avoid giving away too many prospects to do this he suggests taking on bloated contracts. In the M's case he suggests trading for Jeff Clement and Carlos Silva. You lose Clement who projects to be a good/great catcher if he can stick at the position and stay healthy. Carlos Silva sucks both as a person and a player. He is also making 36 million over the next 3 years. Clement projects to be pretty good and Silva isn't quite as bad of a player as last year shows (although my hatred for him will burn strongly for the next three years) so I don't think this plan makes sense if its a pure salary dump.
If you say that Clement is a 3 WAR player (4 seasons including arb? I suck at service time.) and Silva is a 1.5 WAR player then we are trading 36 million for Silva and 15 million in Clement arb salary. We are trading 15.5 WAR * ~6 mil/WAR = 93 million in value at a price of only 51 million effectively giving them 42 million in value. This means we need to get 42 million in value in return to come out even. All this is really rough but this pretty clearly shows that this type of trade doesn't make sense if its just a salary dump. Clement has too much value. Clement might be around longer than 4 years if I messed his service time up too which would make him even more valuable.
I'd love to get a guy like Lars Anderson if that was possible but maybe we could grab one of their pitchers like Masterdon since they already have too many good SP. There are ways that this could make sense because we need to get rid of some catchers and Clement has the most value by far and has his fair share of question marks. With NYY and Tampa looking good next year the Red Sox have a lot of pressure to improve their team. Their most obvious hole is at catcher and it makes sense in their case if they can get somebody who will help them out. That motivation plus a pretty tight catcher market might make this the time to sell Clement.
There are a ton of reasons to hold on to Clement and if the return wouldn't be high enough then you definitely hold onto him. I think it is an interesting thing to think about though.