Monday, November 21, 2005

Trade

ESPN is reporting that the Sox are about to trade prospect Hanley Ramirez, pitcher Anibal Sanchez and a minor-league pitcher to the Florida Marlins for pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell.

The Marlins would have traded Beckett at the deadline last season, but their insistence that Mike Lowell be included in any deal scared off, well, everybody. Lowell hit .236 with eight homers last year, and his big contract made him even less attractive. However, Lowell did win the Gold Glove at his position, and the Sox were able to get the Marlins to pick up some of the dizzying $18 million Lowell is due to be paid over the next two years.

The Sox picked up a solid but injury-prone power pitcher in Beckett -- when he's on, he's among the top pitchers in the league, and even with shoulder problems and his annual battle with blisters he was able to go 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA. But in the process they are getting old at two positions. Lowell will be 32 at the start of next season and will play a positon that could be filled neatly by Kevin Youkilis, who will be 27 next year. And they're moving 22-year-old Hanley Ramirez in favor of keeping 30-year-old Edgar Renteria and his 30 errors at short.

Beckett clearly is the key to this deal. But Beckett will play only every fifth day. If Lowell doesn't start hitting again, this deal could blow up in their faces.

If I were the GM, I would have been trying to trade Renteria.

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