BoSox Trade Recap: Insult to Injury Edition

As you assuredly know by now, last night former Sox prospect Anibal Sanchez tossed a no-hitter—for Joe Girardi’s Marlins, who have a better shot at the playoffs than the Bostons. Because second guessing is our first priority, a look at the current status of The Trade:

Josh Beckett, 26: 14-10, 5.11 era, 176 ip, 165 h, 33 hr, 66 bb, 138 k
Anibal Sanchez, 22: 7-2, 2.89 era, 65 ip, 30 h, 7 hr, 39 bb, 53 k

Mike Lowell, 32: .286/.340/.474, 17 hr, 40 2b, 67 rbi
Hanley Ramirez, 22: .283/.347/.459, 13 hr, 35 2b, 104 r

Lowell has had a terrific year, and Beckett is still in his prime, with great potential. On the other hand….it looks like the Marlins might have two long-term, high-quality mainstays in Sanchez and Ramirez. We’re not quite prepared to say the Sox were fleeced. Yet. The Sox collapse this season certainly adds an unexpected dimension to any review.

91 comments… add one
  • Oh, god, now come off it – you’re really predictable, jumping on this bandwagon. The Sox’ front office isn’t immune from criticism by any measure (they’ve certainly taken some deserved lumps), but the Beckett trade is certainly not a test case for their failures. We (and I believe YF does too) know full well that playing in Florida is a different universe from Boston, and assuming that players would perform equally in both cities is simplistic — YF can certainly do better than this for analysis. Try to name the last rookie prior to Sanchez that threw a no-hitter – when you do please decide then if you can make any kind of snap judgments (in hindsight, at that) about this trade – the no-no just makes this deal an easier target, unfairly, since this deal is certainly not about 12 rookie year starts from Sanchez or the wonderful play from Ramirez – the “yet” in your post is at least another year away, as far as I am concerned. If Beckett flounders next year while Ramirez and Sanchez excel, well then we can start throwing the word ‘fleece’ around, justifiably.

    SF September 7, 2006, 10:02 am
  • Sanchez has 39 walks in 65 innings in the NL. That no-hitter was, as no-hitters usually are, a fluke. He’s clearly got good stuff: witness that low number of hits he’s allowed. But that kind of control will (like with Jon Lester) lead to a correction. He continues to walk guys at that pace, his ERA, I guarantee, will rise accordingly. Sanchez, obviously talented, seems to be benefiting from the dreaded “small sample size”.

    SF September 7, 2006, 10:07 am
  • I thought Lowell was having a better year — he must have faded recently. Two for two, Miami got better overall performance this year, plus youth, upside and two other minor leaguers.
    Then there was the $40 million dollar man for Marte, who went for Nono. This is not one of Theo’s better years.

    anonyf September 7, 2006, 10:07 am
  • SF, if you were as critical of Beckett’s performance as Sanchez’s … 5.11 era! And he’s over 8 against the Yanks and Blue Jays, isn’t he?

    anonyf September 7, 2006, 10:10 am
  • A little defensive there, SF? We detect a little defensiveness. Just a wee bit. “You can certainly do better than this”? Than what? Presenting the respective stats of the 4 players involved? Huh? Because playing in Florida skews the numbers? Fenway much?!
    Yeah, the “yet” is another year away, Perhaps 2. Maybe 3. By that time Lowell will be 35, and Ramirez, who’s stats are comparable now (and he’s in a pitcher’s park, unlike Lowell) will be coming into his prime. So Beckett needs to produce just to offset that. And if Sanchez becomes a solid starter….well, yeah, we need to wait to see. But reflexive defensiveness isn’t going to make that deal look any better—then or now.

    YF September 7, 2006, 10:11 am
  • Buster Onley’s blog really breaks down all the ex-Sox traded within the past 30 months and shows how successful they’ve been since leaving Beantown. I guess some major leaguers just get tired of being in Fenway and hearing “Ya dood, Varitek is wicked good, but Fisk was sooo bettah.” I’d get tired of that drivel too.

    bloodyank78 September 7, 2006, 10:22 am
  • Hey, I’ve been plenty critical of Beckett. The “do better” would be to understand exactly how limited the idea of facing off the stats of these players at this moment is. YF (I believe intentionally) throws out this simplistic comparison just to take a potshot at the Sox, which is both predictable and his right. I do it sometimes, admittedly. But this is a running peeve of mine: let’s not pretend (as some YF commenters here like to do) that I am the only one at this site who likes to take simplistic potshots at the enemy, ok?
    Bottom line about a deal like this is that the Sox (and probably the Yanks) will and should continue to make trades of this concept, whether they fail on an individual basis or not: AA high-level talent for Major League seasoned young, high-upside starters with tremendous stuff, somewhat cost-controlled. Our teams should always, if they can continue to draft reasonably well, make these deals. I wish YF had acknowledged that; that’s the limited aspect of his post, in my opinion.

    SF September 7, 2006, 10:22 am
  • oh shit, now SF’s going all reasonable and shit

    anonyf September 7, 2006, 10:28 am
  • Buster Olney’s blog really breaks down all the ex-Sox traded within the past 30 months and shows how successful they’ve been since leaving Beantown. I guess some major leaguers just get tired of being in Fenway and hearing “Ya dood, Varitek is wicked good, but Fisk was sooo bettah.” I’d get tired of that drivel too.
    Come on, enough of this BS stereotyping. I am guessing Buster (and you too, BY) knows a lot about why players excel in other atmospheres, other parks, other leagues, three years (!) after trades, but perhaps he’d rather just piss on the Sox, like the lot of you Yanks fans. Every player but Damon (who brought the Sox compensatory draft picks and financial flexibility) that he lists moved to the NL, and the pitchers clearly benefit the most from that move. He fails to acknowledge context just as YF did. This is what I find simplistic and not entirely useful. Where were the people talking about Sanchez on Tuesday, when he was still having a darn good season? This criticism (and again, criticism is legit) feels really opportunistic to me, particularly when it eliminates most of the factors why deals were made. I KNOW YF is better than that, Olney I am not so sure ;-).

    SF September 7, 2006, 10:33 am
  • Ouch, harsh.
    It looks really bad right now, sure. You gotta give it time, though. We shall see.
    Add in that the Marlins play in the NL. JV, compared to the AL East.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 7, 2006, 10:33 am
  • SF: that’s horsecrap. To say that it’s shortsighted to review any trade before—what, all players involved are retired?—is just ridiculous. The only tools we have to guage these trades are the numbers, which were presented above. And the post noted the remaining high upside for Beckett, as well as Lowell’s excellent season. Final word on this trade made be some time off, but it is altogether reasonable to take a guage of it now.
    I thought this was a good deal for the Sox when it was made. But the fact that Sox have collapsed—with Beckett one of the culprits—has to change the calculus by which we understand it. While this type of deal may still be of the kind the Sox and Yanks should persue down the road, this deal in particular, while seemingly a good idea last winter, may no longer be considered as such in the very near future. Face that reality, and stop shooting the messenger.

    YF September 7, 2006, 10:33 am
  • It is really odd that Lowell ended up being the one to perform well and Beckett was the bust (this year, anyway). It was generally predicted (with good reason!) to be the other way around.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 7, 2006, 10:35 am
  • To say that it’s shortsighted to review any trade before—what, all players involved are retired?
    Dude, where the hell did I ever say anything remotely like that?

    SF September 7, 2006, 10:36 am
  • Defensive, YF? I detect a wee bit of defensiveness over being called simplistic.

    SF September 7, 2006, 10:38 am
  • Well in your infinite wisdom, SF, when and with what tools should the rest of us simpletons be allowed to review Sox trades. Please let us in on what you consider to be acceptable criteria, if any exist.

    YF September 7, 2006, 10:42 am
  • I say it above: you can analyze it now, all you want. I just want all the context spelled out; it’s the best way to understand why deals are made, and how best to judge them as successes or failures. This trade is, to me, a prime example of why the final judgment of trades as failures or successes varies. In this case, it’s very hard for me to make a call. Other deals, perhaps not.
    Something like the Freddy Sanchez trade, from three years ago, is even crazier to hold up as evidence of a front office’s failing (as Olney seems to do). Sanchez was a higher-level prospect (but not near Ramirez’ level), and it took him three seasons playing in the NL East to begin to make an impact. He was traded at the deadline for players intended to help a contender; the Sox made the playoffs and were a sniff away from the World Series following that deal, and players in that deal were spun off for other guys who morphed into other players. These things just aren’t as cut and paste as putting stats up next to each other and making some sort of call.

    SF September 7, 2006, 10:48 am
  • Right. So I get reamed as simplistic for a post that was, as advertised, ” a look at thecurrent status of The Trade” and with the contextual notes that “”Lowell has had a terrific year, and Beckett is still in his prime, with great potential” and “The Sox collapse this season certainly adds an unexpected dimension to any review.” This, plus the dispassionate presentation of the stats of the 4 players involved in the trade. So please accept my apologies for the lack of clairevoyance in seeing exactly what these guys are going to be doing in 5 years, and who the Sox will have “spun off” from their end of the bargain.
    Always be wary when you’re told that reviewing the facts just isn’t good enough. “Yeah, the stats from Iraq are pretty grim right now, but, you know….it’s gonna be 5 years before we can really understand that operation and all of its ramifications. So any criticism about it is just simplistic—you need to understand the full context”

    YF September 7, 2006, 11:01 am
  • Aaah, a nice YF v SF ding-dong. Been a while since we had that on the site! Weclome back, gents.
    SF – to be fair, Rob Neyer had an article up last week about how the Sox have traded away a bunch of young, good players for older players that didn’t/haven’t worked out, so this isn’t just a post-NoNo thing.
    I completely agree with the need for context – being in the NL, in a less pressurized atmosphere etc, and I think SF’s within his right to argue that a look at the bare numbers isn’t fair. HOWEVER, the fact is that the two Marlins are much younger and cheaper than the two Sox players in this trade, which I also think should be factored into the context.
    I also agree with SF that the sample size is too small to reach a decision (though I’m in the camp that doesn’t believe Beckett will ever be an ace in the AL East). For me, the amusing aspect to all this is the bleating from many SFs about how the FO is building for the future and resolutely refuses to trade away youngsters and yet you have all these kids running around the big leagues – and playing well, regardless of context – who used to be in the Boston system. Something doesn’t add up

    Sam September 7, 2006, 11:06 am
  • Asking you to give a little more context (which I am happy to provide, frankly) is not asking a ton. I found your post simplistic, which it was. Trying to pull the Iraq war into this is, uh, a stretch. I wasn’t asking you to bend facts a la Dick Cheney, nor shround facts in utopianism a la every right winger on the face of the earth, I was only asking that you articulate the facts with some degree of sophistication. Sorry that I thought you more capable of that than you actually might be. I hereby lower my expectations of your abilities. ;-)
    Sam: when you trade a pair of 22 year olds for a 26 year old with four years of experience and tremendous stuff, and an accomplished every day player, that’s not just trading away youth. That’s actually trading youth FOR youth.

    SF September 7, 2006, 11:14 am
  • To be fair, check out Boston Dirt Dogs today. It’s basically what YF said… only without any perspective.
    SF’s just don’t wanna hear it from YF’s, which is understandable.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 7, 2006, 11:16 am
  • Sam: I left out the “context” of NL/AL and $ comparisons intentionally; the stats are there; let everyone read into them as they wish. The Marlins obviously did well financially. But let’s not overplay the NL/AL aspect here. Lowell is getting a bump out of Fenway, and Ramirez is playing in a pitchers park. Sanchez, with his low k total is not likely to become an ace; but the Marlins have an ace, and he may well become a solid mid or back rotation starter for many years. There’s some context.

    YF September 7, 2006, 11:16 am
  • Dirt Dogs makes YF look like Bill James.

    SF September 7, 2006, 11:20 am
  • Rob: I don’t care if it’s an YF, an SF, or a BJF who critiques player movement, trades, etc. I just want it to be a little more fleshed out. Honestly.

    SF September 7, 2006, 11:20 am
  • I’m still at a loss as to what needed “fleshing out” in the original post here? Ballpark factors? League factors? Financials? Some kind of caveat that we need to hold on to see how the thing pans out down the road (oh wait–that was there!).
    Seems like SF just maligning YF out of pettiness.
    PS: Looks like Andy Marte his a grand slam last night, too. Nice! (Too bad he’s hitting at the Mendoza line.)

    YF September 7, 2006, 11:27 am
  • I stated clearly what I thought was missing from the post. I wasn’t being petty.

    SF September 7, 2006, 11:32 am
  • Also nice to see you are back to referring to yourself in the third person. How unegotistical.

    SF September 7, 2006, 11:33 am
  • (now that’s petty!)

    SF September 7, 2006, 11:33 am
  • Come on, it’s easy to see that for this season, the Sox Front Office has completely crapped the bed.
    Sanchez and Ramirez are two players younger than Beckett and Lowell, and Sanchez doesn’t have Beckett’s somewhat checkered pass in the injury/blister front. Yes, the Sox are getting a young player in return, but not as young or as cheap (esp. when you take into account the extension Beckett received).
    The trade of Andy Marte to the Indians for Coco Puffs. Again, younger and cheaper (and in this case, better).
    The Mirabelli trade – Josh Bard is playing pretty well right now, no? Younger, cheaper and better.
    It’s hard to defend the Sox brass, who since the trade deadline have been saying “we won’t sacrifice the future” when this season alone, they’ve given up their future 3B, SS, C, (and potential all-stars at each position) and what looks like a front-of-rotation starter for a mediocre CF and a possible bust of a pitcher (I leave Lowell/Mirabelli out b/c I doubt they’ll re-sign either after this season).

    YFinBeantown September 7, 2006, 11:41 am
  • The Crisp/Marte deal as imbalanced or a screwup is even more insanely premature as a judgment than that levied against the Marlins deal.

    SF September 7, 2006, 11:47 am
  • “I stated clearly what I thought was missing from the post. ” No, you absolutely did not. All you did was call it simplistic, and when prompted as to what criteria should be added, suggested the abstract notion of “context,” without adumbrating what particular contextual markers you have in mind–while ignoring those included in the post. So, basically, bullshit.

    YF September 7, 2006, 11:50 am
  • What does “adumbrating” mean?
    Stop whining.

    SF September 7, 2006, 11:59 am
  • SF or YF,
    Would you make the same trade again? Ramirez & Sanchez for Beckett & Lowell and Lowell’s contract?
    I can’t fault the Sox, I thought Beckett was worth Lowell and his contract and 2 players unlikely to start for the 2006 Red Sox.
    The real shortcoming in the Yanks, Sox and Blue Jays scouting was not discounting the NL pitching stats sufficiently. I think the “Pavano/Wright over Beltran” screw up was far more damaging and obviously inept than the Beckett trade.

    JD YF September 7, 2006, 12:02 pm
  • Unless SF can come up with a word, used in correct context, that has us reaching for our dictionaries, then YF wins.

    Sam September 7, 2006, 12:02 pm
  • V. Zambrano : Kazmir :: Beckett : Sanchez?
    Theo = Steve Phillips 2.0?

    Nate September 7, 2006, 12:05 pm
  • Well, that’s a hard question. I imagine I would. The Sox are not contending this year because of lots of factors other than the performance of their shortstop. What Sanchez might have offered (instead of say, Lester, the most likely moment he would have been recalled) is quite pure speculation. In the AL East he may have performed no better than Lester. The Sox would likely be staring up at the Yankees had they not made this deal, and in the future Beckett, I hope, will excel.
    Not making the trade would have had little to no impact on this year. Next year? I think/hope we’ll see Beckett improve and make Dirt Dogs look like the opportunistic, sensationalist critics that they are.

    SF September 7, 2006, 12:08 pm
  • YF is pervicacious.

    SF September 7, 2006, 12:09 pm
  • YF Beantown, that’s also crap. Marte is performing nowhere near the level of Coco crisp, which is really saying a lot… Coco is young, cheap and betetr than Marte. I agree on the Mirabelli/Bard deal and have been vocally opposed to this trade since it occurred.
    My beef is with Sox fans who loved the Beckett trade when it happened but now are all pissy because Sanchez pitched a no-hitter in the AAAA National League. Ask Bud Smith or whatever his name is how great it is to pitch a no-no as a rookie.
    It is indeed simplistic and intellectually dishonest to simply compare these players and say, “Right now, Ramirez and Sanchez are performing better.” Why, YF, did you put Hanley Ramirez’s run totals, which is far more dependent on teammates, than his RBI totals like you did for Lowell? Is it because Ramirez has just 49 RBI? No mention either of Lowell’s Gold Glove candidacy vs. Ramirez’s 20 errors?
    No mention also of the fact that hitters and pitchers alike seem to perform better in the NL because the overall level of competition is weaker.
    Why wasn’t there talk of this trade being a bust when Sanchez gave up 8 runs in 4.1 innings against the Phillies July 30? Or after Beckett allowed just four baserunners in eight innings July 14? (Sanchez allowed five baserunners in nine innings last night).
    It’s incredibly disingenuous for intelligent baseball fans to begin crowing about this trade because of one game. Because that’s what this is about. Unless of course I missed all the people thinking the Sox might have gotten “fleeced” by acquiring a Gold Glove doubles machine and a 15-win pitcher who’s entering his prime?

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:10 pm
  • The Sox had to make this deal over the winter. They needed a frontline pitcher. Beckett is young, has proven abilitity, and a strong peripherals that suggest ace potential. They gave up a LOT in Ramirez, one of the top prospects in baseball. Sanchez and Lowell were the two throw ins—both have proven valuable. Absent the Boston collapse, this is still a good deal. But Boston did collapse. and Beckett has not lived up to potential yet. In other words, this may have been a necessary deal, but sometimes necessary deals can blow up in your face. This may or may not be one of them. But few thought that the players dealt to the Marlins would have such an immediate and positive impact at this level this soon. So this isn’t a case where Theo is necessarily to blame—but it may be a deal he comes to regret in hindsight. Context enough? It is not comparable to Zambrano-Kazmir. That was just colossally stupid.

    YF September 7, 2006, 12:17 pm
  • In flies Paul for backup! I gotta say, guys, this has been a very entertaining thread this morning.

    Kluv September 7, 2006, 12:18 pm
  • I also would make the trade again. Sanchez appears to be exhibiting the same strengths and weaknesses as Lester — walks too many but incredible mound presence that allows him to get out of self-imposed jams. Against NL opponents in a pitchers’ park, I could see Lester putting up Sanchez’s numbers, and vice-versa. The Sox knew Sanchez could be a great pitcher when they traded him — likewise Ramirez as a hitter.
    Beckett meanwhile has had an odd season in that his wins by and large have been fantastic and his losses horiffic. His 5+ ERA is mostly because of the nature of his nine losses. I don’t have the time now to figure it out, but I suspect the ERA of his wins is far lower than you’d expect from a pitcher with his record and overall ERA. To me, that means he’s got the stuff and he’s got it most of the time. It’s just a matter of adjustment and fixing the problems that cause the atrocities in his losses.
    JD makes a good point. Until this year, the AL didn’t truly realize how bad the NL as a league was. I think that will be factored much more into future trades and should be facotred into looking at this trade. beckett is adjusting from the NL to the AL East. He’s going to struggle. I don’t think he’ll struggle much next year.

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:18 pm
  • Funny, YF, why didn’t you say that in the first place?
    If anyone wants to attribute the Red Sox’ collapse to the one man who provided any semblence of offense during the Manny-less/Papi-less period and to the one pitcher who has not missed any of his starts, I’ll fight them right here.
    They’re not the reason for the collapse, and I don’t believe having Sanchez and Ramirez at AAA would have avoided the collapse. So I’m not sure what the collapse has to do with making/not making this a bad deal…

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:21 pm
  • Wow. This has been reduced to answering one’s own posts? Twice over? And then calling someone egotistical? Napoleon would be proud.
    And to think, a couple of weeks ago I was flamed by Sox fans and some Yank fans for being rigid in my statistical approach by insisting that lifetime numbers be the basis for comparison. And now here SF is saying, more or less, that we need to look at performance in a historical context. Thank you for confirming my point about the likes of Papelbon, Nomar, et al.
    It is indeed simplistic and intellectually dishonest to simply compare these players and say, “Right now, Ramirez and Sanchez are performing better.”
    But yet SF Paul, you gleefully did it with Nomar and Paps when it was in your interest to do so! Remember?
    Dookie down the toilet aside, the broader point that the Sox FO has fumbled since 2004 is an appropriate observation to make. Face it, the Sox have a payroll north of 100 million and they will be watching October baseball on TV. If it were the Yankees, SF and the rest of RSN would be filling pages upon pages of this site with posts about the ineptitude of the Yankees FO, despite their enormous resources. In fact, that has been done, despite the Yankees’ divisional pennants over the past couple of years.
    I’m glad that RSN is now coming to the reality that making the post season, year after year, doesn’t just come down to having the financial resources.

    lp September 7, 2006, 12:21 pm
  • The FO has made a number of mistakes (Clement, Renteria, Mirabelli), and ink has been spilled discussing them, so I’m not sure your point, lp. The Beckett trade is not one of them.
    I should have been a little more finely tuned with my logic. The sentence should have said:
    “It is indeed simplistic and intellectually dishonest to simply compare these players and say, “Right now, Ramirez and Sanchez are performing better,” and make that the basis for judging the value of a trade.
    I’d disagree that Ramirez is playing better than Lowell anyhow.

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:24 pm
  • No doubt it’s simplistic to say, “Player X is better than Player Y right now this season,” but I never said it wasn’t. And I never said, “Thus I’d rather have Player X than Player Y,” which is what the YFs (and some SFs) seem to be saying we should think…

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:27 pm
  • Paul: I added the rbi stat for Lowell because his job has been to drive in runs. I added the runs stat for Ramirez because it is surprising, (and not entirely team dependent). I did note Lowell’s excellent season. Ramirez may have a high error count, but his range factor has to be up there at the top of the NL. He’s pretty amazing out there. And he’s a decade younger than Lowell.
    Spare us the indignation about the timing of the post. We don’t follow the Marlins; when something like this happens, it naturally draws our attention, and the idea that this was about 1 game is preposterous, when the season stats for all 4 players are presented. Note that Sanchez is 7-2. Not 1-0. Bump his era up by 2 points and it’s still lower than Beckett’s.

    YF September 7, 2006, 12:28 pm
  • But this is still about one game, regardless. Presenting the season stats doesn’t do much because those stats are essentially unchanged from yesterday, when all these comments could still have been made.
    I’ll grant that no-hitters draw one’s attention, and most of my anger about this whole thing is aimed at Red Sox fans (and Gordon Edes in today’s Globe) who suddenly have decided this might be a bad trade — even though we knew from the outset that it might be a bad trade (Lowell’s bat speed and Beckett’s blisters). The timing is convenient for Buster Olney and Gordon Edes and Yank fans, as is those people’s memories…

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:32 pm
  • Paul, my point is that you were more than willing to compare players using very small and subjective sample sizes when it was in your interest to do so. Please don’t try and back off of an all-afternoon flame session that happened within the past couple of weeks.
    Papelbon vs. Rivera
    Nomar vs Jeter
    Weren’t you saying that it was appropriate to take smaller samples sizes of their stats to draw comparisons?

    lp September 7, 2006, 12:32 pm
  • Add another 100 innings pitched to match Beckett, and I’m willing to bet Sanchez’s ERA will have bumped up by those 2 points all by itself.

    Kluv September 7, 2006, 12:33 pm
  • NOTES: I don’t think anyone here actually said the 2 Marlin players were performing better. Stop ascribing to the post points it did not make. The Red Sox collapse alters the calculus of the deal insofar as, if the Sox FO had known it was not going to compete for a title this fall, they may not have dealt 2 blue chip prospects as they did, and they may not have been willing to absorb the Lowell contract. It’s a talking point. Who would you rather have over the next 5 years: Josh Beckett at 50 million or Hanley Ramirez at league minimum?

    YF September 7, 2006, 12:34 pm
  • Yes, I was, lp — It is appropriate To draw the very limited comparison to which those stats apply: “Who is performing better this season?” Not to take those stats and use them to gauge who will be better over their career, or whether a trade involving the two is a success or failure…

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:35 pm
  • lp:
    In this case, specifically, judgment is premature. I don’t have any “rules” for how to judge a trade: they are all different. In your case, you said that you NEVER judge players on partial accomplishments, only full careers. This, I believe, is incredibly limited. Just as judging certain moves independent of understanding why they were made, under what circumstances, with what interests in mind. Either extreme is exactly that: extreme.

    SF September 7, 2006, 12:38 pm
  • Frankly, YF? I’d rather have Beckett. Premiere starters are much rarer than premiere hitters.
    And I’ll be willing to say that Sanchez in his limited time has better stats and has performed more consistently than Beckett. His stats show that he has performed “better,” although like Kluv said, give him 100 more innings with those walks and the “once around the league” factor, and I’m not sure that will remain the case…

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:38 pm
  • With the NL pitchers having such a hard time in the AL East, what will happen with Matsuzaka this offseason? The Yanks had their scout at his most recent gem, I think they’ll pay up big time for the posting. Perhaps Japan has drawn much closer to the NL than we could have imagined. Or perhaps there will be a similar discussion next year about the wasted money on an unproven player. I’ve seen the guy pitch a few times, I hope the Yanks take the chance.

    JD YF September 7, 2006, 12:41 pm
  • “Not to take those stats and use them to gauge who will be better over their career, or whether a trade involving the two is a success or failure…” The post was clearly meant to take CURRENT STOCK. But the stats, in any case, are legitimately useful in prognosticating the outcome of the deal. Prior to this season Ramirez had no meaningful time in MLB. He has now demonstrated ability to perform at a very high level. Lowell also looked as if he were cooked.

    YF September 7, 2006, 12:41 pm
  • But the context of the comparison was much greater than that, and you know it. Jeter and Nomar wasn’t about “this season” or any single season even though Papelbon could only be about “this season” – which was my point.
    You are approaching “the definition of ‘is’” with your parsing of words. You should forward your resume to Tony Snow.

    lp September 7, 2006, 12:42 pm
  • Grow up, lp.
    In each ccomparison, the standards were clear: Rivera v. Papelbon this season; Nomar v. Jeter during Nomar’s career in Boston.
    There was no further extrapolation. Your memory selection is equally impressive — Bill Clinton would be proud.

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:44 pm
  • SF, your criteria as well as Paul’s varies according to your interests as Sox fans. It’s not flexibility it’s hypocricy.
    And I agree with you on Sanchez based upon my “limited” criteria.

    lp September 7, 2006, 12:45 pm
  • if the Sox FO had known it was not going to compete for a title this fall, they may not have dealt 2 blue chip prospects as they did
    Wow, if this isn’t the most obviously self-supporting and inarguable item in this thread then I don’t know what is. Of course YF is right in stating this, but it’s really, I hate to say it, a sub-mental comment. What’s the point of this? If the Sox’ front office knew that they would have a pitcher with cancer, a pitcher with back problems, a pitcher with shoulder problems, an injured catcher…etc. etc. then they would have acted differently? NO SHIT!!!!
    If Theo Epstein knew the future I am pretty sure he’d be somewhere in Las Vegas right now, throwing twenties around the Crazy Horse Too after playing several hours of roulette, and not taking risks trading minor league ballplayers.

    SF September 7, 2006, 12:46 pm
  • Incidentally, if I’m parsing the definition of “is” (a Clintonian trait), why should I send my resume to Tony Snow (Bush’s spokesman)?
    Seems that would be at cross-purposes.

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:46 pm
  • Paul,
    Clear, but not consistent, and certainly hypocritically homer is my point.

    lp September 7, 2006, 12:46 pm
  • SF, your criteria as well as Paul’s varies according to your interests as Sox fans. It’s not flexibility it’s hypocricy.
    lp: that’s flat out bullshit.

    SF September 7, 2006, 12:46 pm
  • Clearly consistent according to the individual situation, lp. If you cannot see that and must resort to facile name-calling, there’s nothing more to say to you.

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:49 pm
  • As much fun as this has been to read, it’s getting a little hot in here. “-Remember, this site was created by two friends who root for historic rivals. We believe that the discussions herein should reflect the essential character of that relationship, and our shared love of the game.”

    Kluv September 7, 2006, 12:52 pm
  • SF: I refer you to the YFSF code of ethics. I really don’t see what the point is “submental.” If the Sox knew last winter what they knew now, they might not have made this move. That’s a legitimate point, worthy of discussion.
    That you are consistently resorting to insult exposes the emptiness of your argument. You are not capable of defining criteria for judgment—just passing off baseless attacks, and couching them with the admonition that more “complexiity” is required.
    Here’s something that’s not very complex, and maybe when you’re done exploring the Poincare conjecture you can come to terms with it: The Sox shortstop of the future is tearing it up in Florida, and your would-be ace, Josh Beckett, tanked it down the stretch, failing so badly against the Yanks that you actually walked out of Fenway Park cursing his name last month (and don’t deny it, I was there.)

    YF September 7, 2006, 12:56 pm
  • It is less than complez to note that if Epstein had known what would happen, he might have done things differently, YF. The same things have been said about the Pena-Arroyo trade.
    The problem is you trade with what you have not with what you might have with the worst-case scenario, which clearly struck the Sox this year. I’m not sure either how it contributes to the conversation to say if things had gone differently, things might have been done differently. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 12:58 pm
  • I just don’t see anything at all discussion worthy in saying “if we knew then what we knew now we’d have done things differently”. It adds nothing to the terms of the debate, honestly.
    “If the Yankees had known that Carl Pavano would get hurt and pitch uselessly, they never would have signed him”. What a useful comment that is, right?

    SF September 7, 2006, 1:04 pm
  • Lastly, when you say something like this:
    “Because second guessing is our first priority”
    and throw in a barb about the Marlins being closer to the playoffs than the Sox, despite a lesser record in a lesser league, you are clearly antagonizing. We took the bait, so shame on us. But you backpedal away from this incitement like you can’t believe where this thread has gone. I find that disingenuous at best.

    SF September 7, 2006, 1:13 pm
  • Oh. I see. We’re not allowed to be even a bit tongue-in-cheek here anymore, at least when it comes to the Sox!
    Also, when it comes to thinking about this deal in the context of “if we knew then, what we know now” it’s submental, but in the thread above, when we look at the Anderson trade, then it’s completely legitimate and fascinating, and not at all submental. Got it.
    Glad there’s no double-standard here.

    YF September 7, 2006, 1:45 pm
  • Wow you’re pervicacious.
    I win!

    SF September 7, 2006, 2:10 pm
  • RSN, would you rather have Ramirez at ss and Zito (for the Becket/Lowell money) or Beckett, Lowell, and ? at SS
    Also, for the record, I agree with SF, we cannot say for sure Sanchez would have been good in Boston, for Joe G does not coach there (unless that changes soon) and they have had only minor ‘success’ with the young starters this season

    Seth September 7, 2006, 2:29 pm
  • Seth:
    That should really read:
    Ramirez at SS this year + what, a full year of Kason Gabbard or Dave Pauley or Sanchez, + Youk at third (no Lowell) and Hee Sop Choi at first?
    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to speculate that if the Sox had gone into the season with Ramirez at short, Jon Lester in the rotation from Day 1, Sanchez in the rotation when injuries struck, Marte at third (and no Coco – Stern in Center?! Oy!), Youk at first, no Beckett or Lowell, that the Sox might have been 7 games out long before they got swept by the Yankees. It’s unknown if that would have meant a better 2007 team (there are so many moves yet to come – who’s to say a pitcher like Jason Schmidt or Zito -or this year’s Beckett/salary dump won’t be on the Sox next year), it might have. I am comfortable with the trade, even though it hasn’t been a great year of results.
    The permutations of what ifs are really all over the place.

    SF September 7, 2006, 2:36 pm
  • You forgot something else. They would have a lot of free money this year to either try and get a pitcher to replace pauley/gabbard or spend some money on good relievers who with combination of the young pitchers should equal close to beckett production.
    Also it is easier to get a decent 1B then SS. Say they had Ramirez, Youk and say Sean Casey at first. The compares pretty well to Lowell, Youk, Gonzo.
    I think the red sox would do the trade again right now, knowing what they know about all players. But that does not take away from the fact that they let good players go. Specifically where they had a huge need, at SS (though I do not know the sox farm system and if they have anyone down there)

    Seth September 7, 2006, 2:55 pm
  • I’m screaming and pulling my hair out after reading these posts.
    We all know that you have to give up something to get something. And we all (at least to the best of my memory) have been in agreement all season that the NL is not as strong as the AL.
    With that in mind, I offer the following:
    1. Yankees fans are taking advantage of an extremely small sample size to rub salt in the Red Sox gaping wound
    2. Red Sox fans are being WAY too sensitive about it.
    3. Theo DID make some bad moves this season.
    4. You’re all idiots for focusing so much on this trade. If you want to bash Theo for a really bad move, what about the knee-jerk Bard-Meredith for Mirabelli deal. That trade is killing us now and will for several years. At least we got something for Sanchez and Ramirez. Belli’s time is about up.
    There. I feel better. Now cut that sh!t out.

    I'm Bill McNeal September 7, 2006, 2:56 pm
  • Ramirez’s defense is far below Gonzo’s, and Youk at third would be far below Lowell defensively. Don’t forget to factor that aspect in.
    I don’t see why eating Lowell’s salary in any way rules out the Red Sox from the Zito talks. I don’t have all the salary numbers, etc, with me, but I would guess the Sox will make a run at him this year, just like they would if they didn’t have Beckett. With Lowell, Schilling, Nixon and Ramirez all coming off the books in coming years, they’ll likely have the long-term cash to burn…

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 3:00 pm
  • Lighten up a bit, Bill. It’s just a (sometimes) friendly discussion. No need to call everyone idiots for focusing on the trade, considering it’s also the focus of pieces in the Globe and Clearly it’s a topic of discussion. I had my own post planned about it for tonight before YF stole my thunder :-P
    Eh, I might post it anyway…

    Paul SF September 7, 2006, 3:02 pm
  • Bill, you are right on almost every point.
    Theo made some bad moves, but I also can’t claim to be someone who thought the Bard deal was a bad one. That would be dishonest. I was happy that ‘Belli was back, as Bard was really, really terrible (small sample, I know). I had no idea Meredith would be so good, but he does pitch in a total hitters’ graveyard, if we want to do the park-adjustment thingy. Still, it turns out that I didn’t read that one right, nor did Theo, it seems. But again, more time will tell more, to be kind of stupid about it.

    SF September 7, 2006, 3:05 pm
  • There’s only one answer to this whole Beckett trade fiasco:
    Fire Epstein whoever was GM at the time!

    SF September 7, 2006, 3:19 pm
  • I go to class for a day and a legendary YF v SF battle breaks out. Haven’t been able to read all the posts, but I get the general idea, and I agree with YF: The Yanks are better than the Sox this season.

    Nick-YF September 7, 2006, 3:20 pm
  • OK, you’re not idiots.
    Well, not all of you.
    (Can’t I have fun, too?)

    I'm Bill McNeal September 7, 2006, 3:34 pm
  • Way to go out on a limb, Nick.

    I'm Bill McNeal September 7, 2006, 3:35 pm
  • I’m going on record here as someone who kept saying “OMGWTFBBQ!!” when the first rumors of the Beckett trade surfaced last year. I was thrilled about it at the time. I was even more thrilled about it on April 5th after Beckett had pitched his first game in a Sox uniform (and won). And here in September, even after hearing of Anibal’s no-no and knowing that Hanley is having a great rookie season while Beckett’s ERA sits north of five…I’m still thrilled about the trade.
    We’re way too impatient around here. I know baseball is a results-based business, but the immediate results of this kind of trade aren’t going to be accurate. One bad year does not mean Beckett is a failure, and one good year does not mean that Hanley is a perennial All-Star or that Anibal is the next Pedro Martinez.
    And really, why does there have to be a “loser” in a trade like this in the first place? Isn’t it more in the best interest for both organizations that all the players involved do well with their new teams? It’s great that Hanley and Anibal are succeeding with the Marlins–they’re good young talents. Lowell’s had a fine season at the hot corner for us, and presumably will again next year. Beckett’s pitched like an ace about 65% of the time (roughly the same percentage as Schilling) and remains the only guy in the whole rotation that’s stayed healthy. I don’t think the picture is as bad or lopsided as some here are making it out to be. Does it look kind of bleak in the wake of the Sox’s failing season? Yeah, it does. Does it mean this trade is going to haunt us forever? Not by any means.

    mouse September 7, 2006, 4:30 pm
  • Ha, I agree with YF on that one too, Nick.

    SF September 7, 2006, 4:32 pm
  • I for one am failing to understand how it became conventional wisdom that Beckett has completely flamed out at the tail end of this season: in his last 3 starts, he’s allowed 6 runs total. Thanks to our decimated lineup, he’s gone 1-2 in those games. Forgive the statement of the obvious, but that right there is the difference between 14-10 (mediocre) and 16-8 (pretty darn good).

    airk September 7, 2006, 5:58 pm
  • airk, even with a 16-8, Beckett would not be having a “pretty darn good” year. This just goes to point out the problems with win-loss as a stat.

    Nick-YF September 7, 2006, 7:11 pm
  • I would just like to congratulate SF for successfully using the word of the day.

    Kluv September 7, 2006, 8:01 pm
  • Theo deserves some, but not all the blame for the Sox struggles this year. He is not alone in making personnel decisions, and he is not alone in deciding how much to spend on players. The Sox won in 2004 because they finally tripped over one. They had a handful of good and great players supported by a bunch of guys who had career years. Most of those guys didn’t do much before that, and haven’t done much since. In addition, they had no extended key injuries, and had a solid bullpen, and a healthy Tim Wakefield. He kills the Yankees in case no one noticed.
    The problem with Beckett, and Crisp for that matter, is that they are victims of high expectations. Crisp had to follow in Damon’s footsteps, and Beckett was sold as a potential Cy Young candidate and Yankee killer. Come on, what did you expect! For the most part both players have performed exactly as I expected. Beckett’s a good #3 starter, and with Crisp, what you see is what you get. Sox people [fans and management] are being phony when they start talking about potential with these players. They got them to win THIS YEAR, for crying out loud! Not next year or 2-3 years from now. As for all the gushing over Mike Lowell, who I agree has been great, did you realize the Sox were forced to take him to complete the Beckett deal? Your team is aging in some very critical areas, and you may not be able to afford to wait for a bunch of people to develop to fill holes that you have now, or will have soon. This is where Theo has failed. He doesn’t seem to have a plan, except to manufacture excuses why the club isn’t winning and can’t compete with the Yankees. When he was asked why he didn’t make the Abreu trade he whined that the Sox can’t spend money like the Yankees. BS. He also cheaped out on the Damon deal, and it has come back to haunt him. He’s moaned about the injuries, which is legitmate except for the timing. The ship was sinking before the worst of the rash of injuries. [I’ll digress here to wish Lester and Ortiz nothing but the best for their speedy and complete recoveries…their situations go beyond baseball.]
    As for bad trades, every team makes dumb deals, so it is a bit unfair to blast the Sox in hindsight. Rather the criticism I have for the Sox FO is that they still haven’t decided what they want to be when they grow up…are they developing talent to win at some future date, or trying to win now, are they trying to compete with the Yankees, or they can’t compete with the Yankees [because of money]? Which is it? How do the Twins do it without money?

    dc September 9, 2006, 11:00 am
  • and another thing….the Mirabelli back and forth deal was only bad because somebody in Sox management didn’t realize they had no one to catch Wakefield….oops….so, they may have overpaid a bit to get him back…if you want to criticize the FO for a bonehead move, that little oversight [getting rid of Mirabelli in the first place], might be the winner…the bummer is Wakefield then gets hurt, making the move somewhat unecessary in hindsight.

    dc September 9, 2006, 11:10 am
  • I’ll agree, dc, that the Red Sox are trapped between the pressure to win now and the desire to win for a long period of time later.
    I’ll disagree that they got Crisp and Beckett to solely win now. They absolutely got them to win 2-3 years from now, which is why they signed each of them to long-term extensions. I also disagree that Beckett is merely a good No. 3 starter. This year, that’s what he’s been. But there’s no reason not to expect him to improve to an excellent No. 2 or good No. 1 starter (see my post later in this day). Likewise, I don’t understand why it’s “phony” to talk about potential with these guys… Do ballplayers not improve? Is it unrealistic to expect good young ballplayers to improve?
    Is it “phony” to say Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano have great potential? The Yankees clearly build themselves each year to win now, so if it’s BS to discuss potential with Beckett and Crisp, then it certainly must be to discuss it with Cabrera and Cano. Or is it only Yankee players for whom it’s OK to talk about potential?
    Everyone realized that Lowell was the throw-in on Beckett. Where did you get the impression we didn’t? I agree that expectations has a lot to do with the reception Crisp and Beckett have received, and conversely the reception Lowell has gotten. Sox fans particularly forget that there’s an adjustment to moving to a high-pressure market like Boston, particularly from a pitcher’s league like the NL.
    Whether it’s BS or not to say they can’t compete with the Yankees, who knows? Teams don’t open their books, so we can only speculate. But there’s no reason to disbelieve the FO when they say they want to win later without sacrificing the opportunity to win now. It’s a noble goal, but it’s difficult to execute. We’re now left hoping the Sox indeed will win later. If not, I doubt Theo will survive the fallout. But to completely discout the notion that the Sox are trying to win in the future based on absolutely no evidence is a bit, well, Yankeefanish…
    Frankly, it appears you’re twisting the facts of the Red Sox’ situation to fit your preconceived notions as to why you think they will fail. You HOPED Beckett and Crisp would fail. When they didn’t live up to expectations, you could crow about it. Now that we’re talking about their potential, which we’ve ALWAYS talked about, even when the Sox first acquired them, you say, “Oh no, it was only about this year. Talking about potential is phony”
    Sorry, dc, that doesn’t wash.
    Also, the mistake wasn’t letting Mirabelli — 35 years old, little power, little on base capability, mediocre defense, good for only one thing every fifth day — go. It was in panicking and giving up on two good prospects based on limited major-league playing time. It was a horrible trade from Day 1 that has only gotten worse with time.

    Paul SF September 9, 2006, 4:25 pm
  • Paul SF, I think you missed my point. All I was trying to say was that you didn’t get Crisp and Beckett to win “down the road” [exclusively]. The expectation was that you would compete this year too. That didn’t happen, neither player has performed up to expectations, leaving most fans feeling disappointed. If they do better next year and the sox win, then I suppose I’ll have to eat crow.
    Of course I hoped Beckett and Crisp would fail. I’m a fan of the “other” team. I hope you don’t expect me to believe you haven’t enjoyed every minute of ARod’s struggles.
    I could care less about Cabrerra’s and Cano’s potential. They are contributing to THIS year’s effort. If the opportunity comes up next year to trade one of them to improve the club, so be it. That’s the nature of the business. Sure, I’d like them to stick around, but I can’t control that.
    I don’t know about you, but I want to win every year. This notion that we can just wait until next year, or the year after that, is a bit, well RedSoxfanish.
    You’re wrong about Mirabelli. The mistake for sure was letting him go in the first place. I know he’s not a good player, but you had no one to catch Wakefield. When the experiment with using the other catchers failed early on, the sox had no choice but to overpay to get him back. You’re lucky the padres didn’t ask for Ortiz.

    Anonymous September 10, 2006, 1:39 am
  • sorry, forgot to sign my last post…gives me a chance to add something. There’s nothing wrong with looking ahead, but when I hear in the spring [every spring] that certain players are the second coming, and other teams have no chance, it tickles me when it doesn’t quite play out that way. That’s when baseball season is over, and finger-pointing season begins…in Boston anyway.

    dc September 10, 2006, 1:51 am

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