Growing up around Boston, my beloved Boston Red Sox would routinely trade away promising prospects in the offseason and midseason to get the final piece that the team felt would help them to a World Series victory. The Jeff Bagwell trade to Houston in 1990 was the epitome of this wrongheaded thinking.

This, along with letting a number of great players leave via free agency (Fisk, Lynn, etc.) led to the comment, "Why don't we get players like that?" being echoed whenever a former Red Sox player puts a good season together. Keep your eyes on Johnny Damon and Bill Mueller this year, folks.

Every team makes its mistakes, but right now I think General Motors (NYSE:GM) has to be looking at the production agreement announced by Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Fuji Heavy Industries' Subaru and thinking, "Why can't we get partners like that?"

According to the announcement from Toyota and Fuji Heavy Industries, Fuji will begin making the Toyota Camry at the company's Indiana plant, which currently makes Subaru sedans and wagons. The companies' plans call for production to eventually expand to 100,000 Camrys per year. In addition, the companies are also discussing using Toyota's hybrid technology to make Subaru hybrids.

Of course, General Motors once had a 20% ownership stake in Fuji, but it sold that stake in 2005 and Toyota picked up 8.7% of it. Throughout the years that GM had a stake in Fuji, there isn't evidence of much activity between the two. There was the re-badging of the Subaru Impreza as the Saab 9-2x, and some gains from combining purchasing power for parts, but there's not much more that I am aware of beyond those two examples.

Personally, I doubt whether GM could have worked a similar deal with Fuji Heavy Industries. Labor agreements and a large focus on trucks and SUVs, which aren't Subaru's area of expertise, make me think the pairing would not have worked. Besides, the cash that GM was able to extract from selling its stake in Fuji is ultimately more important to GM right now. Recently, the same cash needs have caused GM to sell back its stake in Suzuki as well.

Of the three Japanese auto manufacturers that GM partnered with originally, this leaves the company with only Isuzu. One could argue that Isuzu is also the company GM has the most in common with -- both make trucks -- and has had the most success with. However, the big hope remains that GM will be able to restructure its North American operations and turn the corner. It may not seem likely, but the Red Sox changed strategy and won a World Series in 2004. It may take a number of years, but change is possible.

Nathan Parmelee has no financial stake in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.