LOS ANGELES—After a full day of wheeling and dealing, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox have officially completed a nine player trade that will land Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon.
The Dodgers land Gonzalez and Beckett along with veterans Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. Between Gonzalez, Beckett, and Crawford, the Red Sox shed nearly $270 million in salary.
News first broke Friday morning that the Dodgers had won waiver claims on both Gonzalez and Beckett. However, it seemed unlikely that Boston would make a trade. The Red Sox and the Dodgers then entered in negotiations over the next 24 hours. Before anything became official, it seemed clear (through twitter) that a deal was not only imminent, but had indeed already occurred.
Boston will receive first baseman James Loney, along with four prospects. Rubby De La Rosa is the centerpiece of the deal, an outstanding right handed pitcher that made his debut Wednesday after returning from Tommy John surgery.
Allen Webster will also head to beantown. Webster, a right-handed pitcher, is the #2 prospect in the Dodgers farm system. Boston will also get infielder Ivan De Jesus and outfielder Jerry Sands.
The Red Sox have just about gutted their entire team now, as Dustin Pedroia and John Lester are the only familiar names remaining from Boston’s glory days. The team will surely look to rebuild quickly through free agency rather than slowly through their farm system, as winning has become a necessity in Boston.
The Dodgers continue their busy 2012 season. Weeks after adding Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino, Los Angeles adds three more big names to the roster.
Although Josh Beckett has struggled on the mound all season, and Carl Crawford has had a tough go at bat, the addition of Adrian Gonzalez behind Matt Kemp gives the Dodgers a formidable 3-4 punch. Although the Dodgers will more than likely give Beckett a spot in the rotation, it is unclear how they plan to use Crawford, if at all.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has an enviable position: deciding how to arrange a batting order that will include Kemp, Gonzalez, Ramirez, and Andre Ethier.
Gonzalez will make his debut tonight and bat clean-up behind Kemp and in front of Ramirez.
A few days removed from a sweep at the hands of their bitter rivals and division leading San Francisco Giants, it looks clear that Los Angeles will try to win the West by sheer force.
By Eric Lemus