Last night Anibal Sanchez struck out 17 Braves. As he shines for the Tigers, Redsox followers have to consider, was the 2005 trade that sent him and Hanley Ramirez to Florida worth it?
|Anibal Sanchez in his Redsox minor league days|
Mention Jeff Bagwell and Redsox fans old enough to remember shudder involuntarily. Bagwell was a hot prospect in the Boston minor league system until he was traded for the somewhat-less-than-immortal relief pitcher Larry Anderson in 1990. Anderson played but one season in Ye Old Towne. Bagwell went on to smash 449 home runs in a glittering Major League career. That trade has quite literally haunted an entire generation of Redsox fans.
Last night Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez submitted a Pedro Martinez like performance in striking out 17 Atlanta batters in just 8 innings during Detroit's 10-0 win. Where do Boston come in to the picture? As recently as 2005 Boston traded both Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez to the Florida Marlins for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell.
Immediately after reading that you can ascertain that the trade was nothing as poor for Boston as the Bagwell debacle (from the talent mentioned). However, if it wasn't an absolutely terrible trade, then what was it for the Redsox? Good, bad or in-between?
First things first, the trade accomplished exactly what Boston wanted in the short run. In 2007 the Redsox added another World Series title to the one they won in '04, and both Beckett and Lowell were a huge part of that victory, and both were the toast of the town.
Josh Beckett, already something of a favourite in Boston for leading the Marlins past the Yankees in the 2003 World Series, set the tone with a dominant game one outing, striking out 9 batters and generally over powering the Rockies. Mike Lowell ended up with the Series MVP award (and to this day continues to be a wildly popular Redsox player, even in retirement).
How did the major two Sox farm system trade pieces pan out for the Marlins? Sanchez is full of promise, as indicated by his 17 strikeout showing last night. Hanley Ramirez is a bit of an enigma. He has fallen out with managers for a perceived lack of hustle, and has spent a considerable amount of time on the disabled list also. Put it this way, despite his, ahem, massive talent, he is no Jeff Bagwell. Not yet anyway.
There is also another element to consider from the Redsox point of view.
In the great Boston clear-out of 2012, the Sox front office managed to get away with dumping the enormous salaries of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett on the Dodgers. Not only did they get rid of questionable clubhouse personalities, they also cleared up a huge chunk of free-agency change for the 2013 season.
Apart from the financial success of the trade with the Dodgers, Boston also managed to land a few decent players in return (Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa look like particularly tasty pitching prospects in particular).
So, adding it all up, after trading away Sanchez and Ramirez, Boston won the World Series, eventually dumped Beckett's big salary, and have grabbed at least two excellent prospects through doing so.
Anibal Sanchez is going to be a decent-to-good front-line starter for the Tigers for the next 5 years, however, adding the fact that Hanley Ramirez can't stay healthy and taking into consideration how Boston got the most out of Beckett and Lowell, you can really only come to the conclusion that the trade was definitely still very beneficial for Boston.
One thing you can definitely say, it was also definitely no Bagwell situation part two.
|No one can deny Beckett got the job done in his early Boston days|