Boston Redsox trade Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers
On Friday afternoon, news broke of a possible blockbuster deal being close to complete between the Boston Redsox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The deal would bring Redsox superstar first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, under achieving starting pitcher Josh Beckett, Tommy John surgery recipient Carl Crawford, and utility man Nick Punto to the Dodgers for first baseman James Loney, and four prospects. It has to be the biggest August trade in MLB history, considering the names involved and all the money involved. Some are calling it the biggest franchise changing trade for the Redsox since they traded Babe Ruth in 1919 to the Yankees. I believe this trade benefits both teams and I will point out why I think that in the next part of my article.
The Redsox benefit from this trade because they rid themselves of two huge contracts and another one that takes a nice size chunk of their payroll. Now they begin to get out from under the Theo Epstein shadow. Getting rid of Adrian Gonzalez’s remaining $130 million, Carl Crawford’s remaining $102 million, and Josh Beckett’s remaining $31.5 million. Now they have room to re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury and sign new players to improve the team and change the culture of the clubhouse. Ben Charington, the new GM, who took over for Theo Epstein, deserves a lot of credit for getting rid of Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett in this trade, it’s definitely the only reason they traded A-Gon. It’s not often you can trade a guy who has over $100 million owed to him over the next five years and JUST HAD Tommy John surgery. Hats off to Ben Charington for finding someone to take back these three contracts, especially one that seemed like a top three untradable one. They also get Daisuke Matsuzaka off the books after this season for $10 million, so their payroll should dip below $150 million. With the payroll at $175 million now, they got a nice chunk of money to spend, maybe we see Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton in Boston next year? Although it’s a possibility, I don’t think it’d be a good idea. They should wait a little bit before signing a free agent to another gigantic contract unless it’s someone like Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, or Andrew McCutchen. They now have the money and must fix the pitching in the bullpen and rotation and find a first baseman and shortstop. It’s now Charington’s job to finish the change in Boston and get this team back to being a playoff contender after this franchise changing trade. Great job by Ben Charington getting this deal done, even if he didn’t get a huge haul back in it.
The Los Angeles Dodgers benefit from this trade because they got another huge middle of the order bat to help them take down the awesome San Francisco Giants pitching in their quest to win the NL West division title. Also, Carl Crawford can still turn it around coming back from tommy john surgery. In my short life, I don’t remember a non pitcher undergoing tommy john surgery before so I don’t know the success rate of non pitchers after tommy john surgery. Let’s assume it’s 50/50, maybe Crawford does come back and puts up solid numbers. That means the Dodgers have all three of their starting outfielders locked up until 2017. Then you factor in Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez , and you got five good bats in that lineup. You also can’t forget the emergence of young catcher A.J. Ellis, who is batting .286, with 10 home runs this year. That’s a solid batting order right there. Now I firmly believe that Josh Beckett will benefit the most from this trade because he goes from the AL East to the NL West, which is a huge difference in good batters. He has pitched in the NL, the last time was September 2005, with the Florida Marlins. If he can get himself together, and have a year like he did in 2011 with the Redsox, where he posted a 2.89 ERA, he can be a complimentary number two starter, behind Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers rotation. The Dodgers figure to sign another starter this offseason anyway I believe, so Beckett could be a solid number two, or maybe even a great number three in a light hitting division in the NL West.
There is certainly A LOT of risk for the Dodgers in this trade, but there’s a lot of reward too. This is a team that can range from being a World Series contender to a team that can easily underachieve and miss out on the playoffs entirely. It’s a boom or bust team, but I like the risk, and think it’ll work out for the Dodgers. I’m 100% sure that Adrian Gonzalez will never have to be worried about, as he will continue being one of the best first baseman in the game and putting up great numbers year after year, alongside Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Hanley Ramirez for years to come. I have a good feeling about Josh Beckett, I think he will work out for LA, but I don’t think we’ll see the best of him until 2013. If the Dodgers make the playoffs this year, I think his playoff experience will help a bunch. The only one I’m worried about is Carl Crawford, but hey, who isn’t? I like the risk taking here by the Dodgers, they’re taking on lots of money, but they have the new owners ready to shell out money and they want to put a winner on the field immediately and that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. They also didn’t even give up much in the deal either, so an even great job by the Dodgers.
As for do I think will make the playoffs this year? I say they’ll win a wild card spot, but no the division, I’m sticking with San Francisco winning the NL West. Depending who plays Los Angeles in the NL Wild Card Play In Game, I think the Dodgers have a great shot at reaching the NLDS.