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The Red Sox and Dodgers made a huge trade in August... but only now, in October, is it complete.
The Dodgers looked like they were ready to contend just one month ago, but their play since has dashed those dreams.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
|Juan Rivera||Free Agent||$5,000,000|
|Mark Ellis||Free Agent||$9,000,000|
|Matt Treanor||Free Agent||$1,000,000|
|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|
|Todd Coffey||Free Agent||$1,000,000|
|Yasiel Puig||Free Agent||$42,000,000|
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.
The Red Sox and Dodgers swapped GDPs of small countries on Friday, and that makes it especially hard to evaluate the deal today.
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.
If the Los Angeles Dodgers want to make further additions to their roster during the offseason, they'll likely have to pay the competitive balance tax in 2013, as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. writes.
The collective bargaining agreement requires teams that spend more than $178 million on payroll in any given year be taxed 20 percent for each dollar beyond that threshold.
As Stephen notes, the CBA uses the annual average payout of a contract rather than the actual amount paid within a given year. So while Matt Kemp was paid only $10 million by the Dodgers this year, his salary figure for tax purposes is $20 million annually during his eight-year, $160 million deal.
With all of this in mind, Stephen calculates the projected Dodgers payroll for 2013, including players acquired this year like Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig. He comes out with a total payroll of $178,689,262, so the Dodgers will be almost exactly at the tax threshold.
At the moment, the Dodgers already have a pretty full roster, assuming that Ramirez eventually slides over to third base for Dee Gordon. They'll still need to add a backup catcher, but Stephen included $1 million in the calculated payroll to cover that expenditure.
When the Dodgers changed ownership last year, everyone wondered whether the team would take its spending to a new level. Considering that the New York Yankees may be the only team in baseball that spends more now, it seems fair to recognize the Dodgers' status as a financial power.
The Boston Red Sox may not have a roster that's close to contending at the moment, but the team still could be a contender in 2013 with the right moves over the offseason, as Ben Buchanan of Over the Monster writes. GM Ben Cherington has stripped the team of numerous star players this year, but there's still a strong core in place:
Yes, the roster is barebones right now, and will be even moreso after free agency begins, but there is a core there with serious potential. Lester and Buchholz in the rotation, Ellsbury in the outfield, Middlebrooks and Pedroia in the infield, and an already-impressive bullpen lined up.
Buchanan notes that the Red Sox will likely have some serious cash to play around with this offseason, possibly around $70 million in payroll. That should allow the team to re-tool far more quickly than most teams that shed the kind of talent that Boston has recently.
Obviously the Red Sox could go in a bunch of different directions with their freed up payroll, but Buchanan specifically mentions White Sox starter Jake Peavy and Rangers catcher Mike Napoli as two names that could ultimately fit quite well.
With a solid core, massive payroll flexibility and the second wild card easing the path to the postseason, Cherington likely believes that the Red Sox can still contend very soon. Even after trading the likes of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis, few teams are in a position as good as Boston's.
For more on the Red Sox, check out Over the Monster.
Adrian Gonzalez could hardly have made a better first impression in his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The left-handed first baseman blasted a three-run home run in the first inning off Miami Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson.
The home run marks Gonzalez's 16th of the season. It also brings his RBI total to 89 and ups his batting average to .301. With the Dodgers sitting just 2.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the N.L. West, such a spark could mean big things for the Dodgers.
Earlier today, Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly quipped, "I'm really happy they were down on him. I'm glad he's here." Dodgers fans may now agree with the skipper.
The massive trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers is now officially complete, and the Dodgers are wasting no time in getting Gonzalez in the lineup on Saturday night.
Gonzalez is penciled in the starting lineup against the Miami Marlins and he will be batting in the cleanup spot as well as his usual spot at first base.
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:
Btw, still gonna continue 5k to Jimmy Fund through season's end. Also need a great charity to add to in LA. Any suggestions?— Adrian Gonzalez (@adriangon28) August 25, 2012
Beckett expresses his love for Red Sox Nation:
Even in the tough times I ran into so many wonderful people that were so awesome I'm Greatly appreciative to all of you— Josh Beckett (@beck19bb) August 25, 2012
#redsox nation fans
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:
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.
The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers have officially finalized the deal that will send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to L.A., according to Dylan Hernandez and Jon Heyman.
The Red Sox will receive a package headed by pitching prospects Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, and also includes James Loney, Jerry Sands and Ivan De Jesus. It is a fairly strong return for Boston, who is thrilled about their new-found financially flexibility, according to club chairman Tom Werner (via ESPN Boston).
"Hopefully this deal will go through today," Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said Saturday morning. "If it falls into place, the deal sheds us from tens of millions of dollars of long-term commitments. It gets us great prospects who will improve our major league roster as soon as next year. It brings us a player in James Loney who was 'untouchable' a couple of years ago. It allows us to start over with free agents. We want to win for our fans and we now have huge financial flexibility to improve the team."
Gonzalez, Beckett and Punto are on their way to Los Angeles as we speak, according to Heyman's tweet.
The blockbuster trade between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers is reportedly done and simply awaiting official approval from the Commissioner. While there are plenty of moving parts, the headline of the deal involves the massive salary dump by the Red Sox as they unload veterans Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez. For many, that's the biggest benefit for Boston. But aside from clearing out the hefty contracts, what else is Boston getting in return?
Boston will reportedly receive major league first baseman James Loney (a soon-to-be free agent), and then four prospects -- Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands, and Ivan De Jesus. The package is highlighted by the two young pitching prospects.
Marc Normandin at Over the Monster provides some background on the two pitching prospects heading to Boston in the deal. De La Rosa is a righty with very limited MLB experience and lots of potential. Normandin discussed how that talent might translate to the big league club:
[De La Rosa's] potential translates into either an impact relief arm for the back-end of the Boston bullpen, or as a mid-rotation starter. Boston does not have a single pitcher with that kind of upside sitting at Pawtucket at the moment, so De La Rosa's acquisition fills a void that needed filling. His repertoire needs work, as that's what will determine whether he starts or relieves. But he owns a power slider and a high-90s heater, so, if nothing else, Boston might have found their replacement for the seemingly broken Daniel Bard.
As for Webster, Normandin writes that the Sox are getting a possible mid-rotation arm that adds some depth to Boston's stable of minor league arms. Webster joins De La Rosa as the main haul for the Sox:
Webster is a huge get, a guy who might have moved his ceiling from mid-rotation to potential #2, but there's still a ways to go before that last bit can be said with real confidence. With Brandon Workman excelling, Drake Britton rebounding, and Allen Webster now in tow, Boston all of a sudden has a plethora of pitching talent in the high minors.
While adding two potential prospects is a key factor for Boston, the trade is also as much about the significant salary dump and "reset button" that is hit with the unloading of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett. The Dodgers are acquiring three former All-Stars with massive contracts, which means they could be hit with the MLB's new competitive balance tax, as Eric Stephen at True Blue L.A. writes. But just as the Red Sox are starting over, the new Dodgers owners are obviously declaring a new day in LA, where money may be no object.
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.
The Dodgers will receive Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto in the biggest waiver trade in league history. In return, the Red Sox will receive salary relief, James Loney, Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus, Allen Webster and Jerry Sands.
Boston will send Los Angeles between $10 and $12 million dollars, which the league office must approve. The Dodgers will be on the hook for over $260 million of the salaries owed to Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford.
Earlier on Saturday, Beckett and Crawford both waived their no-trade clauses, signing off on the trade to Los Angeles. Beckett had been scheduled to start Saturday's game for the Red Sox, but Aaron Cook will start instead on three days' rest.
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.
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 Tampa Bay Rays in 2010, and Beckett's excellent 2011 has been sandwiched by two decidedly subpar campaigns.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
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.
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:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 25, 2012
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.
The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly have a deal in the works to acquire Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for five players. As the final details of the trade are being worked out, one report says L.A. will have to take "more than 95%" of the money owed to Gonzalez, Beckett, Crawford and Punto.
After this season, that group of players is owed approximately $250 million.
A quick bit of math would mean the Dodgers would assume at least $237,500,000 of guaranteed contract money.
Given the new ownership group running the franchise, Los Angeles does have the funding available to pay these players. The club only has outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier under contract through 2014, so a couple of long-term deals could work. Whether they should take on these contracts or not is a completely different discussion.
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.
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:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 24, 2012
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:
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) August 24, 2012
Looks like A-Gonz is A-gone. Stay tuned for more.
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.
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.
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.
Blockbuster: red Sox, Dodgers working on deal that would send AGon, Crawford, Beckett and Punto to LA. Hurdles remain, but closing in— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) August 24, 2012
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.
The Los Angeles Dodgers claimed Adrian Gonzalez off waivers from the Boston Red Sox, and the two teams will have three days to negotiate a deal ... unless the Red Sox just want to give the contract away.
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