Dodgers Acquire Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez And Carl Crawford In Blockbuster Trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers claimed both Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett off waivers from the Boston Red Sox, and the two teams quickly pulled off a huge trade that involved nine players, including outfielder Carl Crawford.

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Over The Monster: How Unlikely Was Red Sox-Dodgers Deal?

The Red Sox-Dodgers monster trade has been called many things: huge, amazing, expensive, ridiculous… the superlatives don’t end.

Matt Sullivan at Over The Monster has written about what he calls the “incredible improbability” of the deal, and details all the steps that had to happen for this trade to come down, from Frank McCourt’s bankruptcy, forcing MLB to take control of the Dodgers, leading to the delayed sale of the team, the Dodgers’ early overachievement and Red Sox’ underperformance, the needs of both teams and even a seemingly unrelated development: the Joey Votto mega-contract.

He concludes:

This trade is a big win for the Boston Red Sox as they gain both financial flexibility and some intriguing young players. For the Dodgers it is a big risk, but it is a calculated one, meant to excite the fan base and fill in gaps in talent on the major league team right now and in the immediate future.

That sounds about right. It could work for both sides, and only because all the above factors aligned, it happened. We might never see something like this in baseball again.


The Future Of Josh Beckett And The Dodgers

Josh Beckett made his debut for the Dodgers on Monday night. It was an outing that Red Sox fans surely recognized. What sort of role do the Dodgers anticipate he'll have next year?


Keri: The New Market Inefficiency Might Be An Inefficient Market

It's been popular to refer to the Los Angeles Dodgers as "Yankees West" -- heck, I did it just ten minutes ago -- but that overlooks the fact that the Yankees are actively working to get under the competitive-balance taxes established in the new collective bargaining agreement. The days of unlimited spending are over for the Yankees, who still owe Alex Rodriguez at least $143 million over the next five years.

That leaves just the Dodgers. The Yankees aren't even pretending they're "Dodgers East" these days. There was only team in baseball who could have thought it was possible to look at Carl Crawford as a tariff that came along with Adrian Gonzalez, and that team was the Dodgers.

Maybe they're on to something. From Grantland's Jonah Keri:

t some point in the past decade — maybe right after the publication of Moneyball, maybe later than that — the baseball world became obsessed with efficiency. The sabermetrically savvy A's and the scouting-adept Twins got very good while spending less than nearly every other team. The Rays followed suit. Those on-the-cheap wins caused other teams' philosophies, and the way the media cover the sport, to change.

The Dodgers, then, would be the first team in a while to say "To hell with efficiency." There aren't style points awarded for wins accumulated with a low payroll. And if they have to do things the inelegant way, shoveling money at players and being financial bullies, that's fine with them. As long as they win. That's their only goal, and they'll spend to get there.

The Yankees, Keri argues, are more about making a profit right now. That's the real reason they want to get under the salary cap competitive-balance tax. It has to do with the other teams getting their wins for cheaper, too.

The Dodgers have no such concern. Their first step has been to reenergize the fan base that was thoroughly sick of Frank McCourt. That's been a success. The second step is to win. After that, I'm sure they're hoping ot make a profit, but they'll worry about that later. There are 29 other teams and then there are the Dodgers. Keri thinks they might be on to something here.


FanGraphs: On Whom Could The Dodgers Have Spent That Money?

When the new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers took over, they were not shy about declaring their intent to raise the team's payroll. Magic Johnson actually said "'Do we want to be the Yankees?,' the answer is yes." That was not an ambiguous statement.

But sometimes it's hard to spend a lot of money, even if you try. Joey Votto signed a big extension, and natural fits like Matt Cain and Cole Hamels went off the market. The Dodgers were looking at Josh Hamilton, and maybe Zack Greinke, as the only ways to prove they were serious about becoming Yankees West. Even then, Dodgers couldn't assume they'd go to the highest bidder. Maybe Zack Greinke has had a secret yen to live in Pittsburgh, and he's had it since he was six.

Dave Cameron at FanGraphs took a look at what the Dodgers could have done this offseason instead of absorbing $260 million of contracts for three players, two of whom could offer dubious production. He assumed the Dodgers could get anyone they wanted for this thought exercise, and here's what he came up with:

So, you can’t just look at this and say that the Dodgers could have signed three premium free agents this winter with the $60 million they just spent, since the future commitments drop off significantly after Beckett’s deal expires. To line this up more with what they got, we need to essentially look for two potential long term deals and one shorter deal, though we’ll give ourselves the freedom to move money around within the deals to fit other options as long as the future commitments come out similarly.

He presents three different groups of players, with Nick Swisher, Anibal Sanchez, Zack Greinke, Mike Napoli, Ryan Dempster, and Josh Hamilton getting mixed and matched to approximate the contracts the Dodgers took on.

The Dodgers couldn't assume they could go down to the free-agent store and pick players directly off the shelf, so they took a risk. But if they could have gotten whomever they wanted, would it have been preferable? It might have been. But the Dodgers made their point, committed their money, and built their roster. Magic Johnson sure wasn't lying up there. They weren't being coy after all.


A Mind-Blowing Year In Dodger Spending

The Los Angeles Dodgers spent an awful lot of money in acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from the Boston Red Sox.* Never mind the prospects, who are interesting but not mind-blowing. The money in the deal is the real story. Yes, Boston is paying the remainder of this year's collective wages, but that leaves $262 million suddenly dropped onto the Dodgers' books.

*I'm deliberately leaving Nick Punto out on account of him being the sort of guy you only acquire by accident. I bet Ned Coletti just sneezed while on the phone with Ben Cherington and then both parties were too lazy to delete him from the paperwork. Nick Punto!

As many have pointed out, this is nothing new for the Dodgers, who also managed to spend $37 million in acquiring shortstop Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins a month before the Gonzalez trade. The trades were preceded by big-money contracts extensions for star outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

But does anyone know just how much they've spent since last November? $400 million? $500 million? Going through Cot's Baseball Contracts (and prorating the 2012 salaries for mid-season acquisitions) gives us the following:

Player Acquired Total cost
Juan Rivera Free Agent $5,000,000
Mark Ellis Free Agent $9,000,000
Matt Treanor Free Agent $1,000,000
Matt Kemp Extension $160,000,000
Adam Kennedy Free Agent $800,000
Jamey Wright Free Agent $900,000
Chris Capuano Free Agent $10,000,000
Jerry Hairston Jr. Free Agent $6,000,000
Aaron Harang Free Agent $12,000,000
James Loney Trade $5,000,000
Todd Coffey Free Agent $1,000,000
Clayton Kershaw Re-sign $19,000,000
Andre Ethier Extension $84,000,000
Yasiel Puig Free Agent $42,000,000
Hanley Ramirez Trade $37,000,000
Randy Choate Trade $600,000
Shane Victorino Trade $3,000,000
Brandon League Trade $2,000,000
Joe Blanton Trade $3,000,000
Adrian Gonzalez Trade $132,000,000
Carl Crawford Trade $107,000,000
Josh Beckett Trade $35,000,000
Nick Punto Trade $2,000,000
Total $675,000,000

Six hundred and seventy-five million dollars. Or, if you want a more down-to-earth comparison, that's enough to feed one Ramen-eating college student for longer than the human race has existed. By a lot.

The cash that was sent over as part of the most recent deal ($12 million) barely makes a dent in that pile. The craziest part of the Dodgers' incredible spending spree is that acquiring three major contracts -- contracts that the Boston Red Sox could no longer afford -- in one fell swoop didn't account for even half of their spending since the start of last winter.

The mind really does boggle.


Dodgers/Red Sox Trade: It's Not The Size Of The Payroll, It's How You Use It

The Red Sox and Dodgers swapped GDPs of small countries on Friday, and that makes it especially hard to evaluate the deal today.


Red Sox Say Farewell To The Epstein Alibi

Ben Cherington has shown what he can do with a unique opportunity to give his club a fresh start. Now comes the even-harder part: rebuilding the Red Sox.


Players React To Dodgers, Red Sox Trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox completed the deal of the year this weekend, and twitter reaction is flooding in from all players involved. The trade sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to LA in a huge salary dump for Boston.

The centerpiece of the trade, Gonzalez, is showing off his philanthropic side as he is more concerned with charity than baseball. The Red Sox are currently running a Jimmy Fund campaign, and Gonzalez says he will not abandon that. Also, if you could help Gonzo out with any new charities, he would be much appreciated:

Beckett expresses his love for Red Sox Nation:

Nick Punto is thrilled about his flight accommodations:

Matt Kemp probably speaks for all of Baseball Nation:

If you can read Spanish, feel free to check out Luis Cruz's tweet. High school classes may at least help decipher some of the words. Finally, reaction would not be complete without the imitable Shane Victorino:


Minor League Ball: How Good Are Prospects In Blockbuster?

If this deal really does happen -- and there's now every reason to think it will, or already has -- the Dodgers will receive three big stars (or ex-big stars), while the Red Sox will get ... James Loney and a bunch of young players who are completely unknown to the great majority of baseball enthusiasts, especially east of the Rocky Mountains.

Fortunately, Minor League Ball's John Sickels has the skinny on all four of Boston's new young players: Jerry Sands, Ivan DeJesus, Rubby De La Rosa, and Allen Webster. After the reports, John sums up:

In exchange for enormous salary relief and a fresh start, the Red Sox received a disappointing veteran first baseman, two pitchers with a decent chance to perform well in a major league rotation, a guy with a solid role-playing power bat, and a guy who can be a solid utility infielder. Ultimately I think it is the development of De La Rosa and Webster that matters most, plus the financial flexibility offered by the salary re-set.

For the Dodgers, this trade puts them even more fully into "win now" mode, while putting more gaps in the farm system.

The disappointing first baseman, of course, is Loney. He is exceptionally unlikely to be with the Red Sox next season, considering his performance with the Dodgers these last few seasons.

As Sickels notes, the keys to this deal are 1) the Red Sox's new-found financial flexibility, and 2) the potential of Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, both of whom might play key roles for the Sox as soon as next season.


Dodgers Don't Wait For Offseason To Flex Financial Muscles

When the Los Angeles Dodgers' new owners took over last spring, there was every reason to think they would be big spenders. We just didn't think it could happen this soon.


With Big Trade, Red Sox Returning To First Principles

In recent years the Red Sox seem to have lost their way, essentially behaving like any other big-market franchise. Their blockbuster deal with the Dodgers signals a return to old ways.


Red Sox-Dodgers Trade: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett & Carl Crawford Heading To LA

This one went from crazy idea to alarming reality in a hurry. The deal is done, although according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, not yet official -- the Boston Red Sox have unloaded almost $275 million worth of contracts (and three highly-paid baseball players) onto the Los Angeles Dodgers in return for a smattering of prospects.

According to Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox are saving a ton of money:

The deal will be worth in excess of $275 million to the Red Sox including luxury tax savings and salaries for the remainder of this season and beyond. Over the next six years, the Dodgers will receive $12 million from the Red Sox, with the payments to begin next year.

Departing Boston are Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto, with Allen Webster, Rubby de la Rosa, James Loney, Jerry Sands and Ivan DeJesus Jr. arriving in exchange. It's a bold, brave move by the Dodgers, who are taking on significant risk in acquiring both Crawford and Beckett, both of whom have completely failed to produce this year.

But both were paid like All-Stars because they once were all-stars, and it's that sort of production that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti's hoping to receive. But there are no guarantees that the pair will rebound. Crawford last hit well when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, and Beckett's excellent 2011 has been sandwiched by two decidedly subpar campaigns.

Not even Gonzalez has been performing as hoped, with a .812 OPS from first base to go along with his $21 million per year salary, a major disappointment after his stellar first season in Boston. Nick Punto is kind of irrelevant, because he is Nick Punto.

The prospects going the other way appear at first glance to be a mixture of 'meh' in Sands and De Jesus and 'pretty good' in de la Rosa and Webster. James Loney is presumably in the trade as some sort of joke.

But the prospects aren't the big story here. This trade is about the Ned Colletti and the Dodgers flashing an incredible amount of cash and the Red Sox falling over themselves to let them spend it on their players. You simply don't see trades like this happen very often, or ever.


Red Sox-Dodgers Trade 'Pretty Much Done'

You’ve been waiting up all night, haven’t you, waiting to see if the huge Boston Red Sox/Los Angeles Dodgers trade is finished?

No, of course you haven’t. You just woke up, it’s Saturday morning, and you’re lazily checking here to see if there’s any news.

There is one bit of new information:

The teams have 48 hours from the time the waiver claims were made to complete this trade; that would make the trade-completion deadline sometime Sunday afternoon. There’s still quite a bit of paperwork to be finished, based on Ken Rosenthal’s tweet, but it seems as if the process is moving along, and could be finished as soon as sometime Saturday.

For more on the Red Sox, please visit Over The Monster, and for more on the Dodgers, please visit True Blue LA.


Red Sox-Dodgers Blockbuster: Where Things Currently Stand

It doesn't look as though we're going to see official confirmation of the Red Sox-Dodger blockbuster tonight, although something's certainly coming down the pipe. Players are already being scratched from games, sent to the minors in order to acquire PTBNL eligibility and having their posters taken down at Fenway Park, so the completion of this trade is little more than a formality at this point.

Still, it's not officially done quite yet. Let's see where things stand at the moment.

The Red Sox have apparently agreed to send first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, left fielder Carl Crawford, utility infielder Nick Punto and starting pitcher Josh Beckett as well as an unspecified amount of cash to the Dodgers. It'll need to be a substantial amount of money: That quartet comes with a $275 million financial commitment (Nick Punto wishes they'd just average it out between them).

Current indications are that the return will net a package headlined by pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa, with shortstop Ivan de Jesus, first baseman James Loney and outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands also heading to Boston.

Supposedly all that remains is some crossing of the ts and dotting of the is -- there are medicals to be had, no-trade clauses to be worked out and approval from the commisioner's office to be gained, but nothing's expected to derail this deal. The trade looks like it'll be officially completed this weekend.


All Signs Pointing To Dodgers/Red Sox Blockbuster Trade

The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are apparently working on a huge trade that could involve as many as nine players, set into motion by the Dodgers’ claiming Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett on waivers earlier Friday.

There have been multiple signs of this deal coming to fruition; here are some of them:

De La Rosa had just been recalled and made one appearance; sending him back down would allow him to be a player to be named later in the deal.

And two major-league players who could be in the deal have been taken out of Friday night lineups:

According to a tweet from WEEI’s Alex Speier, both Gonzalez and Nick Punto were “summoned into the clubhouse”. Punto could also be involved in this trade.

Finally, this photo on Instagram, linked on this tweet, purports to show a poster of Adrian Gonzalez being removed from an office corridor at Fenway Park.

Looks like A-Gonz is A-gone. Stay tuned for more.


Potential Red Sox-Dodger Trade: The Contract Details

So, this proposed deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox is pretty crazy, right? If you believe the rumors flying around Twitter right now, we're looking at one of the biggest trades ever made. The Dodgers have already claimed Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett on waivers, and apparently they're working on a deal which would see them take left fielder Carl Crawford* to Los Angeles as well.

*Players on the disabled list can apparently be traded now!

But those are names. Let's talk about money, because all three are signed to rather large contracts, and the cash that could be involved in this is frankly frightening.

  • Gonzalez, 30, is signed through 2018. Over the final six years of his deal, he's set to make $127 million.
  • Beckett is on a significantly shorter contact -- he'll only get paid $31.5 million over the course of the new two seasons.
  • And Carl Crawford will make $102 million between 2013 and 2017.

Add that all up and you get two hundred and sixty one million dollars. $261 million! And that's not even account for the pro-rated wages that the Dodgers would have to pay on their contracts this year, which will add about $13 million to that figure. If the Red Sox aren't sending significant cash (which would be ludicrous, but this whole thing is ludicrous, so bear with me), this would represent the biggest single-day financial outlay on players by a baseball team. Ever.

Oh, and John Morosi says the Dodgers are giving up prospects as well. Incredible.


Dodgers Awarded Waiver Claim On Josh Beckett, Are Clearly Up To Something

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a pretty interesting franchise, everybody. A couple hours after it leaked the Dodgers were awarded the waiver claim of Adrian Gonzalez, it's come out the Dodgers were also awarded the waiver claim of Josh Beckett.

The Dodgers are, quite clearly, up to something.

Josh Beckett was something of a rumor around the trade deadline, but it was hard to imagine the Red Sox paying Beckett to pitch for another team. That is, Beckett is still owed more than $32 million, and the Red Sox would likely have to pitch in a substantial amount of money to get another team to agree to a trade.

Instead, it's quite possible the Red Sox would just let him go. Here's the contract, Los Angeles, and we'll reinvest elsewhere.

But why would the Dodgers take that risk for a player with an ERA over 5.00 in two out of the last three years? They aren't that desperate for pitching -- they recently acquired Joe Blanton in a waiver deal, and he's not that different from Beckett, at least this season.

Unless they're working on something insane.


That'll qualify. Really, this sounds insane, but what reason would the Dodgers have for claiming Josh Beckett if it wasn't part of a larger deal? The Dodgers haven't been shy about their intention to spend. An Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett deal ... yeah, that would qualify as spending. Hell, throw John Lackey on there too.

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