It is being reported that the Florida Marlins will trade SP Josh Beckett and 3B Mike Lowell to the Boston Red Sox for SS Hanley Ramirez, SP Anibal Sanchez and a player to be named later.
Here are my thoughts, considering everyone has been asking me about them since they got wind of the potential deal.
Josh Beckett is a stud. No way else to describe him. He can keep the runs down and he can strike people out. He's only 25 year old and pitching into his prime. He has the capability to be a number one starter, but will probably start the season as a number two or three starter behind Curt Schilling and maybe Tim Wakefield.
Mike Lowell is an over-paid third baseman who hit just .236 this season. 2004 and 2003 were good years for Lowell, but 2005 just didn't pan out. He's coming to a hitters ballpark, though, and will probably loving hitting off and over the Green Monster. He is a great defensive third baseman and has the ability to play first base. If he gets his power-stroke back, we may not to find another first baseman.
Hanley Ramirez, as we all know, has been the top Red Sox prospect for the past couple of seasons now and has a high expectations. He really hasn't played up to expectations, though, and at this point is probably dropping down top prospect lists, despite being 21 years of age. Ramirez is a five-tool player, so the future is still bright. But this may be the only move for Ramirez with Edgar Renteria locked up at shortstop for the next three seasons.
Anibal Sanchez really started to light up this season. He was striking people out left and right between Single-A Wilmington and Double-A Portland. He was ranked only behind Jonathan Papelbon and Jon Lester at SoxProspects.com for top prospects in the Boston system. I'm not completely sold on him like some people on, but he has the ability to be a terrific pitcher.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
I see Beckett being the number two starter in Boston behind the man in Boston, Schilling. Lowell will earn a starting job at either first base or third base, because the Sox can't afford to have his contract on the bench. He'll benefit from being in Boston with the nice launch pad and having a fresh start.
As for Ramirez and Sanchez? We'll see. Ramirez could start anywhere in the system, and Sanchez will probably see time in Double-A to start the season. Ramirez will probably see his first major league action this year in Florida.