Revisiting the Insane Red Sox-Marlins Josh Beckett Trade

Josh Beckett with the 2007 Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett with the 2007 Boston Red Sox / Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Following the 2005 season, the Boston Red Sox and then-Florida Marlins linked up for a trade that would immediately alter Boston's championship potential.

And, as often seems to be the case for the Sox, eventually they even got back the best asset they surrendered in this trade, nabbing some more prime years from him on the back end. Classic Boston.

This multi-player deal directly brought the Red Sox to the top of the AL in 2007 (and nearly in 2008), and ushered in an excellent era of Marlins baseball, too.

Red Sox-Marlins Josh Beckett Trade Details

  • Red Sox Receive: Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Guillermo Mota
  • Marlins Receive: Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Harvey Garcia, Jesus Delgado

If not for the 2004 Boston Red Sox and their Hollywood story, the '05 unit would've been among the most celebrated teams in franchise history. With every core piece except Pedro Martinez returning (replaced by David Wells?!), the Sox went 95-67 in the regular season, but were swept by the eventual World Champion Chicago White Sox. Feeling stale just one year after they were oh so magical, the front office infused the '06 unit with some electric big-league talent, acquiring a 26-year-old Beckett, Mike Lowell, and a 'pen piece in Guillermo Mota.

In order to get their hands on Beckett and Lowell, the price was legitimately steep -- Boston surrendered their most pro-ready prospects in Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez, both of whom stepped in immediately in Florida and made noise.

The important thing to remember here? In '06, it seemed like Boston had pretty cleanly lost this trade. Ramirez, at 22 years old, won the NL Rookie of the Year, hitting .292 with 17 homers, while Sanchez, also 22, went 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA, finishing ninth in the ROY chase. Both of those talented kids could've really helped the moribund '06 Red Sox, who finished 86-76, finished third in the AL East, and were run off the face of the planet by the Yankees in a five-game sweep at Fenway in August. By any metric other than wins, Beckett did NOT show up in 2006 at all. His 16-11 season was undone by his 5.01 ERA. His fastball-curveball combo just didn't play the same at the Fens. Aw, shucks.

Then, 2007 happened.

Ahh, right. We should've known.

Beckett's postseason pedigree was already the stuff of legends. In 2003, he shoved the Cubs down after encountering a 3-1 NLCS deficit, setting the Bartman-ning of it all in motion, before also sending the Yankees aside in Game 6 of the World Series on the road.

In 2007, he had it all working from minute one, though. 20-7, 3.27 ERA, 194 Ks in 200.2 innings, and a second-place Cy Young finish. Down 3-1 again in the ALCS, he mowed down Cleveland in Game 5 on the road, setting the stage for a comeback and series MVP honors. Once they got to the World Series, Lowell won the MVP, tattooing Rockies pitching by hitting .400 with a dinger. He hit .324 with 21 homers and 120 RBI to nearly win the real MVP, too, finishing fifth.

Who Won the Red Sox-Marlins Josh Beckett Trade?

The Red Sox took this one home, of course. They got the ring, and they even got Hanley back, adding him as the catalyst to their 2016 and 2017 playoff teams. Anibal Sanchez eventually departed Miami, too, winding up on the Detroit Tigers team the Red Sox taunted in 2013. Luckily, he's now got a ring as well, getting the most recent laugh with the 2019 Washington Nationals, leaving Han-Ram as the only ring-less face of the deal; he was cut by the Red Sox midway through their title-winning 2018 season.