Is this real life? After nonchalantly warning that Adrian Gonzalez’s passage through waivers did not yet signify a move would take place, it seems the Dodgers were intent on completely overhauling their club. Various reports from innumerable sources suggest the Dodgers are set to acquire not only Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and Josh Beckett in exchange for a package of players including James Loney, recent Tommy John patient Rubby De La Rosa, 1B/DH prospect Jerry Sands, outfielder Ivan DeJesus and pitching prospect Allen Webster.
If the Red Sox aren’t kicking in any cash to help this massive deal go through, the Dodgers assume more than $250 million in salary. The bulk is owed to Gonzalez ($127 million through 2018) and Crawford ($103 million through 2017), with both players just completing the second year of their long-term deals. Josh Beckett nets a mere $32 million in the next two seasons. Chump change, really.
The Dodgers new ownership promised they would spend to contend but this…this is something else all together. Benny Fresh of MLBTB suggests this deal won’t be completed tonight but it looks like it is a go. Wow. Wow wow wow wow.
Said it before, say it again. Since 1959 there has been no reason for the Dodgers not to behave like the Yankees of the West. Starts now.
— Kevin Goldstein (@Kevin_Goldstein) August 24, 2012
Where to begin? The Red Sox, under new General Manger Ben Cherington, are pounding on the reset switch like the computer returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in Madden. With so much money coming off the books, the Red Sox are poised to either dive directly back into the free agent market for just about anything; or they can go a similar route to the Dodgers and assume somebody else’s expensive mistake.
The Dodgers get better IMMEDIATELY thanks to the significant upgrade represented by Gonzalez versus Loney. As for their future? They just assumed a quarter billion dollars of tremendous risk. As noted earlier today, Gonzalez is a durable slugger who will end up overpaid but, in this world, who isn’t?
Carl Crawford is a one hundred million dollar wildcard. Currently staring down the barrel of six months worth of rehab after Tommy John surgery, Crawford battled injury and ineffectiveness since joining the Red Sox. Crawford was a legit 5 WAR star for the first six years of his career, the Dodgers believe he will return to those levels (or close to them) after his elbow heals.
Josh Beckett might benefit from pitching in a much friendly ballpark in front of a less hostile media horde but it ain’t gonna put 3 mph back onto his fastball. If Beckett gets back to where he was, he becomes the second best pitcher on the club. If not…well Dodger Stadium has a funny way of keeping aging/declining pitchers around.
Nick Punto is also a professional baseball player included in this deal. For this he should be commended.
The Red Sox get one of the worst everyday first basemen of the modern era, a live armed reliever/starter in De La Rosa, a decent prospect in Webster (though not the Dodgers top arm Zach Lee) and other things. They also get to spend all the 2011 money — the incredible outlay of that made them consensus World Series favorites before the season — all over again, should they see fit.
If anyone can think of a comparable situation in baseball, in any sport, in recent history, feel free to share. The details are not yet set in stone but this deal…as currently constructed…this is surreal. Any contract can be moved. No deal is a team killer. The Dodgers have already completely changed the face of the baseball marketplace as we know it and the offseason hasn’t even started yet. The Red Sox essentially get a complete re-do on their massive 2011 spending spree. Whoa boy. Got a butt? Better hold onto it.