|August blockbuster signals new path for Red Sox, Dodgers||| Print ||
Written by Jim Mancari (Contact & Archive) on August 30, 2012
Just to recap, the nine-player trade resulted in Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and $11 million cash heading out west in exchange for James Loney and prospects Allen Webster, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Rubby de la Rosa and Jerry Sands.
Photo by SD Dirk, used under creative commons license.
Wow, what a deal!
The trade signifies that these two franchises are heading in opposite directions. Let’s start with the Red Sox.
After revamping the front office and bringing in Bobby Valentine to manage this offseason, expectations were high in Boston. But the team got off to a very poor start and hasn’t been able to recover.
Many players didn’t see eye-to-eye with Valentine, which led to the team dealing fan-favorite Kevin Youkilis. Now, a chunk of players who were supposed to lead the Sox back to the World Series are suiting up for another team.
This is not exactly a case of rebuilding but more so retooling. The Red Sox saved $260 million with this deal, which they are bound to invest heavily this offseason. Early indications have the Red Sox as serious players for All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton, who will command a lucrative contract.
Beckett had to go based on the negative vibe he brought to the team with the clubhouse antics last year and his golfing while-injured-stunt he pulled earlier this season. Crawford underperformed his contract mightily, so even his leaving did not come as a shock.
But Gonzalez was the team’s leading hitter and is one of the best all-around first basemen in the game. He seemed to be more part of the solution then the problem, but the Dodgers were likely to only pull the trigger on the deal if he was included.
Boston meanwhile did receive a few talented prospects, mainly the pitchers Webster and de la Rosa. They may not help the team immediately but could turn out to be solid performers down the road.
Looking at the trade from the Dodgers perspective, it’s definitely a bold deal. The Dodgers have put themselves in a position for a deep playoff run with Gonzalez and Beckett (Crawford will miss the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery). Taking on $260 million in salary commitments must mean that the new ownership has some pretty deep pockets.
Coupled with the trade that landed the Dodgers Hanley Ramirez, the team already has $75 million locked up for next year in its four new additions: Gonzalez, Beckett, Crawford and Ramirez.
The Dodgers certainly are hoping that Crawford and Beckett can return to the form that earned them their contracts in the first place. It’s definitely a gamble, but maybe a change of scenery will do them both some good.
The days of being cash-strapped by the McCourt divorce are long gone it seems. The Dodgers’ payroll is nearly $193 million already heading into next season, which places them second behind the New York Yankees.
The Dodgers may not be making many offseason deals this winter, but the team looks stacked heading into 2013.
As for the Red Sox, this trade certainly does not mean that the team is looking to cut payroll totally. Boston will try desperately to wisely reinvest the money this offseason as it tries to wipe the 2012 season out of existence.