Looking Back: Marlins and Red Sox Trade... Was It Worth It?
Looking around the internet for some Marlins news, I came across a blog that posed a question that really made me think: If you could re-do the Hanley Ramirez trade, would you?
To answer this, you have to look at it through both the eyes of Red Sox and Marlins fans; but before I give you my answer, let me give you a little recap of what the trade was:
The Florida Marlins traded Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and Guillermo Mota to the Boston Red Sox for Hanley Ramirez, Anibel Sanchez, Jesus Delgado, and Harvey Garcia.
At the time, the Red Sox had gone to the playoffs and had been swept in the Division Series by the White Sox. Their fans really couldn't complain since they'd just won a World Series the year before. Yet, Red Sox nation still felt they were missing something.
That something, in many of their minds, was an above-average infielder and an ace pitcher.
By the time the offseason began, many teams were looking at the Marlins lineup in hopes of stealing away some of the talented young players Florida was replete with; the Red Sox were no different.
The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels were the two teams most interested in Beckett at first, and deals were very close to being completed with both teams for the young hurler. However, the Marlins kept trying to sweeten their end of the deal on both trades, and everything fell apart in the end on the negotiations.
Along came the Red Sox.
When the two teams began talking about a trade for Josh Beckett, the Marlins weren't actually interested in Hanley Ramirez at first. They instead were focused on Jon Lester. However, Lester was simply not someone Boston would even entertain hearing any offers for, so that was squashed right away.
In the end, after many negotiations, the Sox and Marlins agreed on the Marlins taking top prospect Hanley Ramirez, an above average prospect in Anibal Sanchez, and two other minor leaguers for one of the best pitchers the Marlins had ever had in their stable.
One thing the Red Sox had to do in order to get Beckett, though, was take Mike Lowell's contract off their hands.
In the end, this was actually a boon for Boston as Lowell was extremely helpful in getting them a second title this decade in 2007, as was Beckett.
Of course, the first season after the trade none of the players really excelled for their respective teams, especially Beckett, who posted an ERA of over five. However, they've all accounted themselves well since then.
Because of that first disappointing season, though, I would assume many Red Sox fans felt disappointed in the trade. Yet, then came the 2007 season for them, and Sox fans can't really complain about that year.
In 2007, Beckett had the best season of his career. He won 20 games and posted an ERA of 3.27. Mike Lowell also had a banner year during that championship run, hitting .324 to go along with 21 HR and 120 RBI. He also put up Gold Glove caliber defense at the hot corner for Boston.
Both were even better for the Red Sox in the postseason, where Beckett went undefeated and Lowell became the World Series MVP.
Florida Marlins fans might have felt a little skeptical about the trade at first as well, but considering Ramirez won Rookie of the Year as a Marlin that first year, they really have nothing to complain about.
So, when you look at it strictly from the Red Sox fan's point of view, you see that while the two major players they got in the deal had mediocre seasons for Boston in 2006, they ended up benefiting the Red Sox immensely the following year, giving Boston two of the most important pieces necessary to their 2007 World Series run.
Since that title, there have been slumps here and there for both players, especially with Lowell coming off of hip surgery. Since he's had the surgery, he hasn't really been able to get back to 100% percent.
However, Beckett and Lowell have been pretty strong players for the Red Sox, and have made contributions to their regular and postseasons.
One thing of note, though, is that since the Red Sox gave up Hanley Ramirez in the deal; and since Nomar Garciaparra left, they haven't been able to shore up the shortstop position.
Looking back on the Marlins view of the trade is another matter.
The year 2005 was a nightmare for the Marlins fans. The season was great, as Florida won 83 games. However, the nightmare began in the offseason, as the team had another fire sale of its young talent.
Player contracts were expiring and the Marlins, being their cheap selves, weren't about to pay any new, expensive contracts to these young players; so everyone was either released or traded.
Some of these trades were good ones, though, including the one for Ramirez. The Marlins seemed to have just decided to start all over with a Minor League team at the big league level, and adding Ramirez would help them weather that storm.
Sure, the Marlins had given up two of their best players from the year before, but they were adding a player who would become the second-best player in the National League next to Albert Pujols. They may not have known that then, but all fans know it now.
And since Ramirez is signed through 2012, he'll be a part of the franchise when they open their new stadium.
While Ramirez was the headliner in the trade to the Marlins, he didn't come alone. Anibal Sanchez was also part of the trade, and while he's not reached the level of Ramirez, he did have a remarkable rookie year throwing the fourth no-hitter in Marlins franchise history.
Sanchez hasn't played as well since then, suffering injuries and struggling to work through them over the past two years; but he finished the 2009 season on a high note, and Marlins fans are optimistic he'll come through for them next year.
In the end, the Red Sox got what they needed to get to and win a World Series, and the Marlins got what they needed to produce in the future.
Florida might win some titles in the future with Hanley; who knows?
Yet, the question still burns. Looking back on the trade, was it worth it? Would you do it again if you were pulling the trigger?
As a Marlins fan, I can easily say I would make this trade again. If someone asked me if I'd take Beckett and Lowell back for Ramirez and Sanchez the answer would have to be a resounding no.
I believe Ramirez will allow the Marlins to build a strong team in the future.
If I were a Red Sox fan, the decision might be a little tougher. Beckett and Lowell have been great for them, and while they aren't old, they probably aren't as durable as Ramirez has been and will likely be for the Marlins.
If I were a Sox fan, I would still probably make the trade, because let's face it, Beckett and Lowell helped the Red Sox win a World Series. Hanley Ramirez, regardless of all the potential, hasn't even gotten the Marlins into the playoffs.
The Red Sox, though, are still having trouble at the shortstop position, and a lot of their fans are wondering if they'll ever get a good shortstop to fill the position.
Boston has even contacted the Marlins about making a trade to reacquire Ramirez, but of course, Florida refused; and I can't imagine them changing their minds.
What I can imagine is that when Hanley's contract is up with the Fish, the Red Sox will be knocking on the door if they're still in the market for a shortstop, and they'll likely be the front-runners for his services then.
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