Originally Posted by ND_Sox_Fan
If the trade comparison is about the money, Ethier is owed $69 million from 2014 through 2017, while Alexei and Jake are owed a combined $60 million from 2014 through 2016 (Jake through '15 and Alexei through '16).
Further, the full-year contracts for these players are $13.5 for Ethier this year, while Jake is taking home $14.5 and Alexei $7.
Therefore, using any likely proration period, the money in the contracts over the lifetime are roughly equal (especially with the $5 million sent to the Sox).
Anyone taking the Alexei contract is certainly eating a liability, and while Jake might offer some real value over the next two seasons, he will likely not be the deciding factor in the Sox's ability to contend over that time.
As for Alexei, I'm not sure it is certain that that would be eating a liability. His tools don't seemed to have diminished, only his execution. He still makes fantastic plays and turns the double play well, his arm is still there and he's running the bases as well or better than ever. If I was looking for a guy to score from first, I'd take Ramirez every day of the week. I wouldn't be surprised if he bounced back with a change of scenery.