An ace in place
It looks like a physical is all that is standing between us and Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. We had to give up Hanley Ramirez, a poster child for our new improved farm system as well as pitching prospect Anibal Sanchez and Jesus Delgado. Personally, I think Delgado was a great part of the trade as he's not liable to be ready before 2007 and even then he'd probably only be a middle reliever. I can also part with Sanchez without too much regret. Ramirez does hurt a bit but I have to ask myself, when would he have come up? We still have three more years in the Renteria deal and with Pedoria in the farm system (and possibly in the majors next year) we don't desperately need a second baseman.
As long as Beckett is healthy, I think it was worth it. He's already got some great stuff at the tender age of 25. This means that he can both still grow as a pitcher as well as easily be an integral part of our pitching staff for a decade. The only downside of the trade is that we have to take on Lowell's huge contract. True he's a gold glover winner but he's the worst hitting gold glove winner (and that's saying something) and he's vastly overpaid. There's a rumor that the Sox might pass Lowell off to a third team and eat part of his salary. Again, I highly approve. Since Beckett's probably only going to make 4 to 5 million this year with arbitration, I view it as just paying a little more for Beckett (and he's still worth it).
This deal is already being called the best of the off-season and the best Boston trade since Schilling or possibly even Pedro. While only time will tell, it's not that bad a comparison. We managed to get an amazing player and not have to give up too much.
What I don't like is the word going around that the Sox have given up on Bill Mueller. It looks like they're not even talking to him because they'd only want to sign him to a one year deal and he's at that age when you're looking for your last long contract. The fact that the Sox are willing to keep Lowell if they can't move him further indicates that the Sox are passing on Billy Ballgame. Both the Twins and White Sox seem to want him and I hope that, if he does go somewhere else, that he is appreciated for what he can bring.
In other news when will Scott Boras and Johnny Damon realize that no one, I repeat, no one will give him eleven million for seven years. That's just ridiculous. He'd be smart to go to Boston for a four year deal, asking seven to nine million. I think if he asks for any more the Sox are gonna pass and since the Yanks don't want him and the Mets already have an overpaid centerfielder, it means that there aren't a lot of places that can cough up the cash to take him on. The Cubs maybe but they aren't going to give much more money than Boston would. Sammy Sosa taught them a leasson about offering too much money over too long a contract to an outfielder.