Wednesday, October 04, 2006
My original assessment of the Beckett – Lowell deal still stands. Both clubs acquired risky players with the Marlins trading dollars for more uncertain on-field production. At least in year one, Miami got the better of the trade by far. Even though Gordon Edes and Seth Mnookin’s source(s) have indicated that Theo was not in favor of the trade for whatever reason, the fact remains that he gave the headliner a contract extension. Perhaps, we can conclude that Epstein loves Beckett but not at the price of Hanley Ramirez, another Sanchez, two young arms, and Mike Lowell at $18 million. With conflicting information, the trade can’t be evaluated under the January 2006 Red Sox objective of reloading for 2007, although Beckett extension can be addressed.
As I said at the time, it is an unnecessary financial commitment at market rate that was given to a highly volatile pitcher. Unless one is sure that Beckett will become a true #1 starter (given his body of work, no reasonable person could draw that conclusion), Theo made a poor decision. If Beckett is a flop again in 2007, the Sox will be on the hook for $22 million in 2008-2009 or monies that can not be allocated to other areas at a time when the organization has planned to make another big push for a World Series victory.
Simply, the Sox better be right on Beckett.