Yesterday the Boston Red Sox acquired James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan DeJesus, and two players to be named later from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto. The two PTBNL are expected to be Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands. This trade combined a salary dump and a deal to strengthen the farm system. The Red Sox sent approximately 262.5 million dollars worth of contracts to the Dodgers and provided only 12 million dollars salary relief. It is just the second time a player with over 100 million dollars left on his contract, and the first with two.
This was an extraordinary trade. It’s probably the biggest trade of the 21st century. The Red Sox eliminated two of the biggest problems on the team while only paying roughly 5% of the salary owed to the former Red Sox. They also acquired 4 quality prospects and a big league first baseman. On the other hand the Dodgers filled four major needs. They now have a left fielder and first baseman for the future, a starting pitcher with playoff experience, and a super utility man. How they’ll fit remains to be seen, but they figure to fare better L.A.
This trade truly begins the Ben Cherrington era of the Boston Red Sox as he was able to eradicate Theo’s bad deals (with the exception of John Lackey) with this trade. If this wasn’t a Lucchino move, this mean that Ben has established himself as a legitimate MLB GM. This now gives him the chance to spend money to back bad contracts of his own. Hopefully he won’t make the same mistakes Theo did in the final years of his tenure as Boston’s GM, but he may. The best idea would probably be to hold on to all the money and only use it when necessary. Sadly, this is Boston and there are expectations that need to be lived up to, so the money will likely be used very quickly.
All things considered, I love this trade. Although I believed Crawford was going to come back and be productive, the contact was ridiculous and to get rid of it was huge. Also dumping Beckett is fantastic. Everyone knew it was time to move on it was just a matter of finding a suitor for him. Losing Punto is a non factor. We didn’t lose nor gain anything by sending him to L.A. The only real lose is Adrian Gonzalez. He was a great player for the Sox, but he wasn’t the Adrian Gonzalez that we had seen in San Diego. He just didn’t fit right in Boston. Bundle all those things together and get 4 good prospect plus a first baseman in return, you’ve had a good day.
It’s no secret that Josh Beckett has lost a lot of fan support since last September. Just yesterday it was reveled that he and Clay Buchholz went golfing even though he was “resting” a lat injury. Shortly after people were calling for him to be traded or just outright released. Now this is a little unrealistic, it’s not like he’s completely unproductive (although tonight he looked it) there’s still trade value. Obviously the Sox would have to eat most of his contract ($51 million over the next 3 years) so the question is a waste of $20 million+ worth keeping the fan base and taking a bad influence out of the clubhouse. I’m not saying I’m on board with it, but if Ben Cherrington is here are some teams that may be takers.
San Diego Padres: This may seem like an odd match, but this is the same team that was willing to take John Lackey, plus with 3 of their starters on the DL they could use a pitcher right now. Beckett could also be a teacher to their young pitchers, but in baseball only.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Another interesting team, but they want pitchers at any cost. Their staff has filled up, but I’m sure they’d welcome Beckett to the team.
Los Angeles Angels: The Angels have a lot of bad contracts and they want pitching depth, so in an extreme case they could swap contract for contract. It’s not likely, but it’s a possibility.
Kansas City Royals: People have been saying all they need to contend is pitching, and with a system full of quality prospects they could match up nicely. It’d be difficult to get them to part with prospects, but the amount eaten by the Sox would determine the size of the return.
This is only list of teams that could take Beckett off our hands right now. All are long shots, but still possibilities. I think what this proved the most was that trading Beckett would be difficult and futile. They won’t get a huge return and they’d still have to pay him. I’m sorry if you hate him, but he’s likely here to stay.