Just when you thought it was safe to sit back, watch a few College Bowls, play your new X-Box games and just chill until New Years, the Red Sox suck you back in with just one word. Tejada. Immediately, you start getting the ice-cream headaches and forgetting your kids’ names again.

The sports talk speculation about Manny being traded, along with the constant reminders that the Sox need a center fielder, shortstop and leadoff hitter, have been like nails on a blackboard for weeks. My gut feeling, which has been proven to be correct an astounding 9% of the time (with a 9% margin of error), tells me this is going to happen. I’m not really in the “trade Manny” camp, but if he’s going to be traded, Tejada makes it a lot less painful. A solid shortstop, protection for Papi, and a clubhouse leader. Just Miggy being Miggy? Unless you believe this, which I don’t.

The other problem this resolves is the uncertainty. If the deal goes down, the next steps are clear: left and center, one of them a leadoff hitter. Then bring on 2006. Facing Manny 19 times every year won’t be fun for Sox pitchers, but this deal does make sense IF the Red Sox are planning on trading Manny. I’d prefer to keep him right where he is, but if he’s that unhappy or pissed off or whatever, and he’s going to start having hammy tweaks and Pharangitis bouts, make the deal.

SG Nation, what do you think?