Prospects and young players are funny things. They can end up prized to the point of being overvalued, which makes it awful difficult to surrender any of the big ones for immediate gains. All things considered, though, Rangers blog Lone Star Ball thinks this was the right move for the organization:
I'm excited that we are getting Cliff Lee. He's the best pitcher the Rangers have had since...well, probably since the 70s. He's a dominant starter who has walked 6 batters and given up 5 homers all year.
The price is steep. We've said all along that the price for a true [top-of-the-rotation pitcher] would hurt. It was going to be painful. There is no question about that.
And this price is painful. It hurts to give up Smoak and Beavan.
But right now, my gut feeling is...that it is worth it.
With Lee, the Rangers immediately become an even more threatening World Series contender.