The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox have just completed one of the biggest blockbuster trades in the last ten years. The Red Sox traded away Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles, in return for James Loney, Jerry Sands, Rubby De La Rosa, and Ivan De Jesus.
Why this trade happened:
The once World Series favorites Red Sox are trading away what was supposed to be a World Series team in 2010. With the clubhouse in shambles, players not getting along with manager Bobby Valentine, it was a just a matter of time before the Red Sox unloaded some players. The Red Sox also unloaded a lot of salary off the books to start over. With a clean slate, the Red Sox can now start over, and finally get the clubhouse under control.
The Dodgers where looking to bolster their pitching staff and add a fifth starter. And Gonzalez is as good as they come at first base. Carl Crawford could benefit from a change of scenery.
Lets look at the players, and break down what they bring to their new teams. Starting with the Dodgers:
Adrian Gonzalez: When the Red Sox traded for Gonzalez, he was supposed to explode in the American League, especially in Fenway Park, a park built for players to hit doubles of the Green Monster. James Loney was the Dodgers everyday first basemen. He is having a bit of down year, hitting only .254. Gonzalez brings a left-handed bat, that consistently hits over .300, with good power every year. He also joins a line up that features Matt Kemp, Andre Either, and Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers could have one of the best middle of the orders in the game of baseball with Gonzalez now in Dodger blue.
Carl Crawford: It’s been rough; that’s putting it mildly when talking about Crawford’s experience in a Red Sox uniform.Crawford was supposed to come in and steal 50 bases, hit 20 homers and hit .300 just like he did back in his Tampa Bay Rays days. But injuries, and immense pressure for the Boston fans and media has really affected this once great outfielder. Hopefully Los Angeles treats Crawford better, and once he returns from Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers could have a great lead off guy.
Josh Beckett: Beckett was once a top of the Red Sox staff, and one of the better right handed pitchers in baseball. But since the beer and chicken incident, and not getting along with Bobby Valentine, it’s been a down hill spiral for Beckett. Going to LA could really help his career, and he could maybe get back to his 2011 form.
Nick Punto: Punto has always been a good bench role player, that has good versatility in the field. Never hurts to add a guy that can give one of your big players a day off, or a late inning pinch-hit player.
Now the Red Sox:
James Loney: Loney has had a down year in 2012. Loney has had good success in the past. In 2008 and 2009, Loney drove in 90 RBIs both years, while hitting 13 home runs, and hit over .280. With Gonzalez gone, Loney will step up and take his place. Since the break, Loney is hitting .275, which is a step up from the .245 he hit in the first half.
Jerry Sands: Sands has had sometime in the major leagues. In 71 games Sands has hit .244 with four home runs and 27 RBIs. But don’t let those numbers discourage you. In triple-A, Sands hit 24 home runs, while driving in 101 RBIs, and hit .303. He posses a power bat, and could hit for a good average. Just needs to learn more patience at the plate to be a good big league player.
Rubby De La Rosa: This flame-throwing right-hander could be a great piece to the Sox bullen. De La Rosa has been clocked at over 100 miles per-hour, and also features a good good change up. He has saw limited time in the big leagues; only 14 games total. But has a 3.96 ERA in that time span, while striking out 8.8 hitters per-nine.
Ivan De Jesus: De Jesus has played in 23 games with the Dodgers this year. Hitting .273 with four RBIs, in 37 plate appearances. De Jesus has put up solid numbers in the minors. In triple-A he hit .295 with three home runs and 33 RBIs. De Jesus also does a good job not striking out much. Only striking out 53 times in 224 at bat’s in triple-A.
Overview: It’s obivious the Dodgers are in a win now mode with new ownership and the aggressiveness in the trade market. They found a fifth starter, got one of the best first basemen in the game, and Crawford could be the wild card that really makes this deal worth while.
The Red Sox get a clean slate to work with. Former club house distractions now gone, and ownership has dumped a lot of salary that they can go out and start in a new direction for the Red Sox future. The prospects they received could very well be the future of team and could work out very well for the Red Sox in the near future.
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