The MLB rumors are flying fast and furiously about a possible Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers blockbuster trade. The trade might go as far as to include Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto according to multiple reports. This comes on the heels of news that the Dodgers were awarded the waiver claim on Gonzalez.
This is a dramatic shift in philosophy for the Red Sox if indeed a deal comes to fruition. The Red Sox gave Crawford a 7-year, $142 million deal after Crawford became a free agent before the 2011 season. Crawford has not been anywhere close to the player he was when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox also traded Anthony Rizzo and Casey Kelly, two of their best prospects to the San Diego Padres prior to the 2011 season and signed Gonzalez to a 7-year, $154 million deal. It was clear the Red Sox thought at the time that Crawford and Gonzalez would be major cogs in a Red Sox resurgence. That hasn’t happened and the Red Sox are poised to miss the playoffs for the third straight year.
There are a few hang-ups to a deal, however. Josh Beckett is a 10 and 5 player. This means he is a 10-year MLB veteran and has had 5 years with the same club which gives him veto power over any trade.
Another hang-up could be Crawford’s health moving forward. He was recently put on the disabled list after electing to have Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.
When asked about the possible trade during a media conference call manager Bobby Valentine said, “I have no thoughts at all. I saw it scroll on the bottom of my TV.” Not that he would be expected to come out and say, “Oh yeah. Ben Cherington is upstairs right now on the phone with the Dodgers.”
While the deal is likely to fall apart given the number of players that would need to pass through waivers if they haven’t already and the players involved, it is still interesting to know that the Red Sox are entertaining the idea. Cherington apparently spoke with the Dodgers briefly at the July 31st non-waiver deadline about Gonzalez although, obviously, nothing came of it then.
The Dodgers have already revamped their team this summer, acquiring Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Brandon League and Randy Choate. However, they still have pitching prospects in Zach Lee, Allen Webster, Chris Reed, and outfield prospect Joc Pederson, a package which might be a starting point for the Red Sox talks.
Again, right now nothing is imminent, but they are obviously talking. If this trade happens it is clear the Red Sox don’t believe they will contend next year either given the current roster. Even if it doesn’t I don’t think Cherington is confident and a trade might be revisited in the near future. Cherington might also desire to have some financial flexibility to work with and a trade of this magnitude would definitely give him that, especially with the luxury tax cap looming in the near future. One thing is certain, you don’t get MLB rumors of this caliber too often at this time in the year.