Like I Blister in the Sun
Well the Red Sox pulled off their big off season move yesterday, acquiring Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell for their 3rd or 4th best pitching prospect (Anibal Sanchez), a shortstop prospect (Hanley Ramirez) they were so high on that post-Nomar they've had 2 shortstops and signed the most recent (Edgar RenterE6) to a four year contract, and a player to be named later (probably the same basket of baseballs they sent to Arizona for Curt Schilling).
Obviously if you're a Sox Asst. GM, you make this move. Especially as an Asst. GM who can point to the immediate success vs. prospect development, but this move was a no-brainer.
What I don't understand is - couldn't Florida have gotten more for Beckett and Lowell? Even the failed deal with the Rangers seemed like there was more value in return. With teams (supposedly) preparing to offer AJ Burnett 5 yrs. at $12M per, and the lack of free agent starters.... well you'd just think that there would have been a bigger market for Beckett.
There are probably more examples out there, but you get the idea. So yes, the trade was a no-brainer for the Sox and yes, it's a good deal for them. However, it's probably not as good of a deal as ESPN and the Boston sports writers would have you believe. Beckett had a fantastic 2003 (ERA+ of 132) but in all of his other full seasons has simply been good, not great. To call him an "Ace" would be disingenuous, but check the Boston media over the next few weeks. He'll be touted as the best pitcher in baseball history since Curt Schilling (the Boston media likes to forget about players like Clemens and Pedro who have moved on with their lives).
Really, there are only two concerns about Beckett - his health and his head. Nobody questions his ability, but he's yet to throw 200 innings in a year and yet to have that "breakout season" everyone expects from him. His talent and potential is too good to ignore, but I think before he's anointed the "next Roger Clemens" there are some things to keep in mind about his health. He's been on the DL 9 times. Nine. And he's only 25 years old. Most of the stints have been blister related, but he's had elbow trouble and back trouble as well. I've seen some ridiculous theories thrown around by Sox fans the last 2 days looking through rosy glasses about how either "Beckett is at the age where blisters go away" or "the cold weather in Boston will prevent blisters." The bottom line on Beckett's health is that yes, he was on the DL 9 times, but there are plenty of times he'd miss a start without going on the DL for that recurring blister issue - age and cold aren't going to magically stop that. Also Boston isn't exactly chilly in the summer.
As for his head.. well, I'll let the articles speak for themselves:
Enjoy your new idiot, Tito. He should fit right in.
- Routinely valued his own stats over his coaches and teammates:
Like right-hander Josh Beckett, the 2003 World Series MVP who was often more obsessed with his own statistics than the greater good of the team.
After coming out of a start against the Braves in September, Beckett was stewing over a hit that had been credited to Rafael Furcal.
If Furcal had reached on an error, Beckett would have gotten a quality start. Sitting in the dugout, Beckett demanded Rosenthal call the press box — during the game — and persuade the official scorer to change the call to an error. (Never mind how many plays shortstop Alex Gonzalez had made for Beckett all year.)
Rosenthal refused, so Beckett called the press box himself, then bad-mouthed the pitching coach to his teammates.
- He threw his team trainer under the bus:
The message awaiting Marlins players on a clubhouse board Tuesday read as follows: "To Whom It May Concern, Leave your egos at the door. JM. We won last year with 25 playing as a team." McKeon's edict was likely in response to Josh Beckett slamming a Marlins trainer and A.J. Burnett taking a jab at the front office Monday. Still steamed over getting placed on the disabled list immediately after a blister forced him out of Sunday's game, Beckett used the terms "jackass" and "idiot" to describe a team trainer.
- Beckett pissed off his veteran teammates:
During these playoffs, McKeon lit into one player who arrived a half-hour late for a team flight, then through curses told him to stick the cell phone he was talking on up his, well, you know. And Josh Beckett's overt arrogance has resulted in teammate Mike Mordecai angrily
dumping a basket of baseball in Beckett's locker after Beckett didn't help pick up balls after batting practice. (editor's note: Wait, when did the D'Backs trade that basket to the Marlins?)
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:38 AM