Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell
The final result of this trade ended up being better than the initial reaction to it. When then-Chief Baseball Officer Theo Epstein sent Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Harvey Garcia, and Jesus Delgado to the Florida (now Miami) Marlins in the winter of 2005, Josh Beckett was the prize.
Mike Lowell was seen as a salary dump by the Marlins and the Red Sox were derided for taking him and his big contract on. However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as both players were crucial in the Red Sox winning the 2007 World Series.
Beckett went 20-7 with a 3.27 ERA and 194 strikeouts in the regular season. He was even better in the 2007 postseason, going 4-0 with a 1.07 ERA and 35 strikeouts between the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series.
Lowell wasn’t too shabby, either. During the regular season he hit .324 with 21 home runs and 120 RBI. He followed that up in October by hitting .355 with 2 home runs and 15 RBI. His .400 average in the World Series helped him win World Series MVP.
Both players were mainstays on the Red Sox for several more years. Lowell re-signed and played the rest of his career in Boston before retiring after the 2010 season. Beckett was a member of the “every other year” club (see: Rick Porcello) and pitched pretty well in Boston but he became a headache and clashed with fans and the media (he was David Price in Boston before David Price was in Boston).
Beckett was shipped out to the Dodgers in August 2012 along with Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford in a massive salary dump that was the very definition of addition by subtraction. That trade itself is one of the best in Red Sox history because even though the Red Sox didn’t get any quality talent in return, they rid themselves of three headaches and a whole lot of salary commitments in one fell swoop.