A roundup of reaction to the Red Sox’ biggest trade (pending physicals) since Theo Epstein lured Curt Schilling to Boston two years ago.
“(Josh) Beckett stands to become the Sox’ most significant trade for a young, cornerstone-caliber player since the club acquired Pedro Martínez eight years ago. Beckett does come with some injury issues. He’s dealt with recurrent blisters on his right middle finger for several years. A more pressing matter, though, is an unspecified issue with his right shoulder. According to a recent story in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Beckett needed 20 pitches to warm up before every inning over the last six weeks of the season and underwent two MRIs, one with Dr. James Andrews, after the season. Last season, he visited the DL once, in July, with an oblique strain.”
“The Sox now have an ace to stick at the top of their rotation, after last night’s blockbuster trade that is pending the passing of physicals. Not someone in the twilight of his career who might have just a couple of good years left, but a 25-year-old righthander, Josh Beckett, who already has accomplished some great things — shutting out the Yankees on three days’ rest in the deciding game of the 2003 World Series to win MVP honors — but in the eyes of many has just scratched the surface of his vast potential.”
“The deal for Beckett would be an enormous coup for the Sox for an assortment of reasons. Despite operating without a general manager in the wake of Theo Epstein’s departure, the Sox will have acquired a pitcher who could be their ace for years to come. They also will have managed to complete the trade without giving up left-hander Jon Lester, whom the Sox steadfastly refused to part with and whom some club officials regard as a better prospect than Jonathan Papelbon.”
“Three weeks from the day that he lost his rock star general manager, Larry Lucchino proved that he still had the one thing that matters most in a baseball man: nerve.”
“At the end of the season, Boston’s rotation had three 39- to 42-year-olds — David Wells, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield — along with Matt Clement and Bronson Arroyo. Now if they can sign Beckett, who is two years from free agency, to a long-term deal, they’ll have three premier power pitchers in their rotation in Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon (24) and left-hander Jon Lester (21), plus two premier young power relievers in Craig Hansen and Edgar Martinez. That’s pretty good work from Boston’s GM-by-committee of Jed Hoyer, Craig Shipley, Ben Cherington, Peter Woodfork and Bill Lajoie.”
“Beckett’s fastball can reach 97 mph and his big overhand curveball is among the best in the game. If he makes good on his potential, he could give the Sox a No. 1 starter as Curt Schilling winds down his career.”
“‘I haven’t heard anything yet,’ said Beckett, who added he would welcome the chance to pitch in Boston. ‘Actually, I’m a little excited about it.’
“As for his arm, Beckett pronounced himself healthy, boasting, ‘I don’t need any physical.'”
“The piece they had to have from Boston was (Hanley) Ramirez. The two sides began discussing a possible deal during the general managers’ meetings.
“A major-league ready shortstop, Ramirez would have been rated the organization’s third-best prospect by Baseball America. He fills an immediate need for the Marlins, who will lose Alex Gonzalez to free agency and have determined Robert Andino isn’t ready for the big-league job.”
“The pitcher who burned the Yankees in the 2003 World Series appears close to going to their biggest rival as the Red Sox last night neared a deal for hard-throwing righty Josh Beckett of the Florida Marlins.”
“The Yankees apparently had a chance to bid for Beckett when the Marlins called them yesterday, according to three other baseball executives. But the Yanks did not want to part with Chien-Ming Wang or Robinson Cano, both of whom the Marlins asked for and the Yanks have vowed not to trade. At one point, Florida wanted Wang, Double-A infielder Eric Duncan and a third prospect, one official said.”