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A few Josh Beckett quotes on the trade...


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The winter clearance sale at Florida Marlins headquarters is about to officially begin. That Josh Beckett is about to leave the racks doesn't seem to bother him a bit.


The Red Sox and cost-cutting Marlins have come to a tentative agreement on a trade that would send Beckett, the MVP of Florida's 2003 World Series win over the Yankees, and three-time All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell to Boston for highly touted shortstop Hanley Ramirez, right-handed prospect Anibal Sanchez and a minor-league pitcher.


"I haven't heard anything yet," the 25-year-old Beckett, who added he would welcome the chance to pitch in Boston, told the Miami Herald. "Actually, I'm a little excited about it."


The five-man deal is contingent on all players passing physicals. The two teams were to exchange medical information on Tuesday, reported ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, so an official announcement is still not expected for a day or two. That leaves open the possibility the deal could still fall apart, sources outside the Red Sox organization have told ESPN's Peter Gammons.


The Red Sox have agreed to take on all $18 million of the money owed to Lowell over the next two seasons, a baseball official with knowledge of the discussions told Stark. The Marlins are expected to save $13 million next season and as much as $30 million through 2007.


In return, the Red Sox would give up Ramirez, their much-ballyhooed shortstop prospect, and Sanchez. The Marlins originally had targeted left-hander Jon Lester, but Boston balked at including him in the trade, so the Red Sox agreed to add a second minor leaguer if Florida took Sanchez instead, a source told Stark.


The Marlins called a news conference for Tuesday afternoon, but said the subject would be the team's pursuit of a new stadium, and general manager Admin Beinfest would not be available.


The Marlins, through a club spokesman, declined comment when reached by the Herald.


"When we're ready to announce something, we'll let you know," vice president of communications P.J. Loyello said late Monday night.


Red Sox president Admin Lucchino and assistant general manager Jed Hoyer declined to comment in e-mail responses to The Associated Press on Monday night. Hoyer remains in his position three weeks after the departure of former GM Theo Epstein.


Beckett told the Herald that he reached Lowell by phone and said Lowell was happy with the trade.


"I told him he's going to hit 40 homers, 38 of them when I'm pitching," Beckett said.


Over the weekend the Rangers were considered the frontrunner to land the hard-throwing Beckett. Texas were offering All-Star third baseman Hank Blalock and one of its two top pitching prospects, either Thomas Diamond or John Danks, for Beckett. Blalock, who turned 25 on Monday, hit .263 with 25 homers and 92 RBI last season and led AL third basemen in fielding.


New Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he received a call Monday afternoon from Beinfest, who told him "the Marlins are going to go in another direction with their trade."


Before Texas was told it was eliminated from the running, Florida asked the Rangers to expand their deal even further to include hot shortstop prospect Joaquin Arias, along with Blalock and a pitcher. In return, the Rangers would want a second pitcher back -- possibly setup man Guillermo Mota.


The Marlins, if that deal would have been completed, then would turn around and trade Blalock, who would block Miguel Cabrera's return to third base if Florida kept him. Teams known to be interested in Blalock include the Twins, Phillies and Devil Rays.


Coming off a third-place finish in the NL East, the Marlins have made it known they are looking to shed salary. Florida had an Opening-Day payroll of $60 million last season, while Boston began the year at $121 million.


Beckett went 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA last season, when he had problems with his shoulder and recurring blisters on his right middle finger. As for his arm, he pronounced himself healthy, telling the Herald "I don't need any physical."


Lowell, 31, hit .236 with eight homers and 58 RBI while winning the NL Gold Glove at third base last season. He averaged 24 homers and 94 RBI per season in the five years before that.


Ramirez, who turns 22 next month, is considered to be Boston's top prospect. He hit .271 with six homers and 52 RBI at Double-A Portland. Ramirez was selected for the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game as well as the Futures Game for the World team. Ramirez was twice named the Red Sox top prospect by Baseball America.


Sanchez, 21, split his time between Class A Wilmington and Double-A Portland. While at Wilmington, Sanchez went 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA, striking out 95 in 78 2/3 innings. Sanchez went 3-5 with a 3.45 ERA after making the jump to Portland, striking out 63 in 57 1/3 innings. Sanchez also was named to the Futures Game for the World team.


Beckett, eligible for salary arbitration, is expected to earn between $4 million and $5 million next season and can become a free agent after the 2007 season.

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Sometimes change can be good to get a fresh mindset. I'm sure Lowell will do well in Boston.


What's not to be excited about if you're Beckett? Boston is a great place to play.


Lowell has sucked for the last 18 months. He's not a good player anymore. He's off roids.



What Beckett shouldn't be excited about. The fact the Red Sox fans will expect him to have a 6-hit CGSHO every time he starts against the Yankees.

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I'm especially happy for Mike. If there's any stadium he should be glad to be heading to, it's Boston. He'll have a field day there hopefully.


Honestly, I'm not freiting over the loss of Beckett. He's an injury-ridden, inconsistent cry baby.


Personally, I'm extremely excited about Ramirez. He sounds like a hell of a player and the type of guy that could make a real good 3/4 combo in the lineup one day with Miguel.

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Hi all, Red Sox fan here. I moved to Florida about 4 years ago, so i watch a bit of Marlins games when the Sox aint on.


I first off come in peace.


Secondly, your going to love Hanely and Sanchez. If there fullfill there potential your looking at two great players for you guys soon.


Third off, Im so happy about getting Beckett, becuase ive turned to a big Beckett fan by watching most his starts the past 2 years.



I think Lowell could be a good suprise to us Sox fans, a nice pull hitter could do nice in Boston.


Good Luck next year and good luck getting a stadium ( I wanted to see a couple of Beckett's starts last year but its too far from Port St Lucie to go)

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