It would be the height of understatement to say Theo Epstein’s decision to lavish a gargantuan 5-year pact upon the thus-far underachieving John Lackey will not rank amongst the Red Sox GM’s most well-regarded acquisitions. Nor would it be a mistake to call the bazillion or so dollars San Francisco agreed to pay left-hander Barry Zito (above, left) one of the more ill-fated free agency decisions this side of Mike Hampton. The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, no doubt mindful that any trade destination for these former aces would probably require swapping one pile of garbage for another, has a helpful suggestion for Epstein and his Giants counterpart, Brian Sabean ; “Trade Lackey for Zito straight up…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.”

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.