After hearing about the trade, Dan Scotto, Richard Wade, and myself decided to run a quick roundtable discussing the pros and cons of the trade. We invited Randy Booth from Over the Monster to join, and he obliged, although swamped down by everyone else who wanted to ask for his opinion.
Dan Scotto: What does everyone think about Hanley? I hear great things but I'm looking at his statline and it's .271/.335/.385 in AA at age 21. I guess I'll start...minorleagueball.com just asked it, and answers ranged from "not exactly as bust, but not the uber star everyone thought he'd be back in 2002-2003..." to "I think Ramirez is a little overhyped because he's a Red Sox property..." to "I think next year is the make or break year." MinorLeagueBall's readership is probably a bit more stat-heavy than BA... but it appears that Ramirez was no longer untouchable, at least in the eyes of the informed public. I'm very interested to see how he rates in Sickels' book this year. My opinion is that next year IS the make-or-break year... tools need to convert into production at some point and age 22 in AA just isn't all that amazing
Richard Wade: I still like Ramirez. He was 21 this year in Double-A, he had a 101 mOPS+ while playing shortstop; Ramirez is a toolsy guy. 21 in Double-A is not old. He'll be 22 this season and he clearly has the natural ability and his skills are developing. think he's a solid pickup for the Marlins. Perhaps the Chowds traded him because they're simply enamored with Renteria.
Randy Booth: I got the pleasure to meet Hanley at the 2005 All-Star Game. That was my brush with fame. And, like the reports say, he seems to play better with a nice fan-base or, at least, people cheering for him. He stole back-to-back bases which led to the tying run. He thrives off of it. [Editor's Note: Let's hope Florida can get those crowds back for their sake.]
Marc Normandin: Ramirez has shown flashes of power for 100-150 AB at different levels in the minors so far, but it doesn't seem to be a constant...probably from growing pains and injuries. I think the flashes of power Hanley is the one that people are enamored with, but I'm not sure if its the real one. 21 is not old for AA, but I am concerned about his demeanor. I've heard from various places he has some growing up to do, but we'll see. I'm not sure if that had much to do with his 2005, but of the 5 Red Sox top prospects, he would be the one I wouldn't mind losing...of course, losing him along with another member of the 5 is disheartening.
Richard: Young guys can still be expected to "grow up" quickly at any time. Nobody has mentioned his fielding. I've heard he's quite good, but never seen him. Also, PECOTA's weighted mean Rate was a 111. And he makes adequate contact and is developing plate patience and potentially power. That's pretty good for a shortstop.
Randy: He's a pretty good fielder with a nice arm.
Marc: I've heard he's quite good and getting better. Athletic, toolsy, etc. He might not need the power if he can hit decently and field
Dan: What's his ceiling?
Marc 32155: .300/.360/.480 with great defense
Richard: I really think you're looking at a guy capable of an OBA & SLG above league average while playing excellent defense. Or, I agree with Marc. I was actually a little less optimistic on his power, though. He's already an above replacement level hitter in my estimation and I gather there's little doubt about his fielding.
Marc: That is his ceiling in my mind...I think of him for .280/.345/.445ish with great defense on a consistent basis. The power is definitely -ish though. I'd trade him before Papelbon, Lester or Pedroia.
Richard: Sounds reasonable.
Dan: It does. Not untouchable, though, by any stretch of the imagination
Richard: But was this a good deal for Boston? They already have Youkilis at third base. Youkilis is better than Lowell. Ramirez is better than Renteria. Both are younger. Is Beckett worth it?
Dan: And we move on to Randy's question... what the hell happens to Mike Lowell? Lowell's best attribute, at this point, is his defense. And Youk should be playing at third. Ii have no idea where Lowell fits in.
Richard: Does anyone think Beckett is worth taking on Lowell and giving up Ramirez and Sanchez?
Marc: Not I.
Richard: I don't either. 200 IP. If he reaches that, I'm closer to being on board.
Dan: I'm as high on Beckett as anybody who is not supposed to be seduced by what they see, but I can't help but think that Hanley was SO highly touted, that they absolutely missed an opportunity to sell high.
Marc: The problem with the 200 IP mark is that not that many guys really even get to that marker. Of course, the cost for Beckett seems to assume he will reach it.
Richard: Even if Hanley never reaches his potential, he's already better than the guy they have at short now.
Marc: Renteria wasnt going anywhere though. My main issue is not Hanley for Beckett...my issue is dealing Hanley along with Anibal Sanchez for Beckett and a bloated contract of a player with old player skills.
Dan: Well, how many deals did NOT wanting to deal Hanley at the deadline hold up? And who's calling the shots? Beckett has the stuff to be a #1, and stuff is seductive,
but he lacks durability.
Richard: Boston is heading in the wrong direction.
Marc: The only positive I can think of from Beckett regarding durability is that he passed through the injury nexus relatively well, excepting the blisters.
Richard: So... our defense of Boston is: Beckett has good stuff even if he's not going to eat up a ton of innings. We're talking a 3.80-ish ERA in a pitcher's park, and only like 170 IP. Plus you take on Lowell and give up two fairly promising prospects one of whom would make you better right now.
Marc: You put Youkilis on the backburner, or even if you play him at first, you lose out on his value, since his defense at third is very good.
Richard: I'm assuming that Lowell will start, just because of the contract. You end up with an inferior third base and shortstop for '06 because of this deal.
Dan: I can't help but think that Theo doesn't pull the trigger on this one... that if Theo were going to deal Hanley, he would have found a better match, but, that said, I think that Theo should have moved him at the deadline, w/ hindsight. Then again, the D'Rays wanted David Wright for Baez, supposedly. If you wanted to set a "range" of outcomes...
Beckett could fulfill his potential, still and become an ace... he's young. Lowell could bounce back and fit in nicely at a corner...but how likely is that?
Richard: Un. Beckett is hitting what should be his prime. Beckett is an established player.
You can reasonably feel confident that he will perform well.
Marc: Beckett isnt going to turn into Carl Pavano, but he's not going to be Josh Freakin' Beckett I don't think.
Randy: Lowell's status depends on Youkilis and Mueller, I believe. Lowell can start at third, Youkilis at first. But if we don't trust Lowell, we always have Bill Mueller. Then again, if we don't get a capable second baseman, Mueller can fill the 2B gap until Pedroia is ready (June?)
Richard: I'm guessing his status depends on his contract. Just a guess. Isn't Mueller a FA?
Marc: I can see the sox trading Lowell to Minnesota by the way. And yes Richard. I think Jim Bowden might have made this deal, his second interview was tonight
Randy: Say Nay on Bowden! My bad...
Dan: i think that what you see is what you get with Beckett, maybe a bit better... 3.60 ERA and 160 IP or so.
Marc: Dan, do you have Beckett's BABIP on hand? .Fenway's is .326 according to Sal B from 2002-2005.
Dan: I do. .292 and .293 the last two seasons.
Marc: So we can expect Beckett's BABIP to rise. The DH...tougher league.
Richard: I think you're looking at a RA in the 4's.
Marc: I think that's reasonable.
Dan: Logically, I think Richard is right. My eyes deceive me.
Richard: Beckett looks better than his stats do.
Marc: So the red sox will have three #2 starters, if Schilling is healthy.
After editing this roundtable, I realize there is essentially no section on Anibal Sanchez's worth in this. I will write an article detailing his pros and cons later. No really, I will. Seriously, I promise.