The Boston Red Sox trade of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers is big. It helps the Red Sox in the future and Dodgers immediately. Gonzalez hit a homer in his first at bat for Los Angeles. The Dodgers are out of first in the NL West by 2 and 1 out of the Wild card.
The Red Sox, who recently shut down David Ortiz for the rest of the season, are looking towards the future. That’s all there is to it and all there should be to it. The Red Sox are 13.5 games out of first in the AL East and 9 out of the Wild Card. So who did the team get in exchange for Gonzalez and company?
The Red Sox got first baseman James Loney and four prospects. Two of those prospects are known at this point: second baseman Ivan De Jesus and pitcher Allen Webster. They will also get two players to be named later.
Loney is in his seventh major league season. To this point he has only played with Los Angeles. His lifetime BA is at .284 and his OBP is at .341. This season he’s batting .254 and has an OBP of .302. His numbers are not good, but Fenway with its friendly walls may help him improve those numbers.
De Jesus, whose dad played in the majors for 15 years, was drafted in 2005 and was considered to be a top prospect. In 2008 the second round pick hit .324 and had an on-base percentage of .419 in the minors. That season, he was named to the All-Star Futures Game. Then in 2009 he broke his leg and since that has not been the same.
Webster, who was drafted by the Dodgers in the 18th round in 2008, looks to have a good fastball. In AA, just 1 in 546 batters have hit homers off of him. That’s an amazing stat! He has a good change that stays low and a strong arm. The 22-year-old righty is said to be the second-ranked prospect in the Dodger system. Most analysts see him as developing into a solid starter.
As was noted by Boston GM Ben Cherington, the trade that had Gonzalez as the centerpiece is not cosmetic. For the Red Sox it’s an attempt to look towards the future, giving up any hope for this season. This trade is the smartest thing the Red Sox brass has done all season. It’s a huge contrast to what I feel was perhaps the stupidest thing they’ve done—hire Bobby Valentine.
Will the Red Sox fire Valentine at the end of the season? I don’t know. I think they should. I feel he’s a loose cannon who’s more concerned about his image and ego than managing a winning team. I did not think they would trade Gonzalez and they did. One thing is certain it’s been hard to figure out the Red Sox for the entire 2012 season.