Trade Details

Date: July 31, 1997

Boston Red Sox acquire

  • Right-handed pitcher Derek Lowe
  • Catcher Jason Varitek

Seattle Mariners acquire

  • Right-handed pitcher Heathcliff Slocumb

C Jason Varitek

C Jason Varitek

The Red Sox acquired Varitek when he was on the brink of becoming a major league player (playing every day at Triple-A). He would debut with the club later that summer and spend all 15 of his MLB seasons in Boston. Varitek developed into a three-time All-Star and key cog on the 2004 and 2007 World Series champion teams.

Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees Rivalry

Chronicling the origins and notable episodes of the intense MLB rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees franchises.

Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees Rivalry
Ely Sussman
While Varitek was in Boston, this already great rivalry was more intense than ever.

RHP Derek Lowe

Lowe is one of few pitchers in MLB history to earn All-Star selections as both a reliever and starting pitcher (2000 and 2002, respectively). He remained with the Red Sox through their 2004 World Series title, allowing just four runs in 19 innings during that postseason run.

RHP Heathcliff Slocumb

Difficulty throwing strikes stood in the way of Slocumb becoming a great reliever. He made even fewer appearances with the Mariners (84) than he had for the Red Sox. He was granted free agency after the 1998 season.

Trade's Legacy

It's the ultimate lesson on patience. The Mariners moved on too soon from Varitek and Lowe—both of them former top prospects—to make a subtle improvement to their 1997 team. In the long term, however, Boston fielded competitive teams on a more consistent basis throughout the 2000's, even breaking through to the World Series with help from this trade haul.
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