If you're a Red Sox fan, it would seem that we've gotten our holidays mixed up the last few years.
Thanksgiving has become Christmas, again, and this year, the latest Red Sox trade tastes almost as the turkey taking up residence in my stomach.
Welcome Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and Guillermo Mota.
The first two names we knew about. Mota was added later on, with the Red Sox adding lower-level prospect Harvey Garcia.
Obviously the trade looks good for Boston. Beckett will contribute in the rotation. Lowell and Mota are unknowns. If Lowell stays, the hot corner is his. There is a possibility that either he or Mota or both could be moved to better the team in other areas, though I believe that they'll both stay. We'll have to wait and see.
This potentially spells the end of Billy Ballgame's Boston tenure. This also means that Kevin Youkilis could be the starting first baseman next season. Some will say that Youk's production offensively weakens his case for 1B, but Mike Lowell's increase at 3B over Mueller will probably cover the difference. So long as the two combine for 30ish homers, bat .290 and don't kill us in the field, I'll be a happy guy.
Mota is another intriguing piece of this puzzle. He's probably best known for backpeddling all over the field after punking (yes, punking) Mike Piazza. He could either contribute quality innings for Boston, be spun off for other parts, or become a dog in the bullpen for us to complain about later.
I suspect the Sox have more moves ahead of them, but this deal fills several needs before the GM meetings, something that will put them in better position to fine-tune next week instead of bargain-shop for important cogs. Most importantly, this move speaks volumes not only in the capacity of the Sox front office lacking WonderBoy, but also the degree to which that same management feels about the quality and depth of our minor league system. This past summer's draft, coupled with a very strong minor league growth over the past few years, has put Boston in the position to be able to trade lower-level prospects (as well as the highly rated ones) for players who will have an immediate and substantial impact on the team next season.