Exactly a year ago today, the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers completed one of biggest blockbuster trades in baseball history. And wouldn’t you know it, both teams, clearly having benefited from the trade, met up for a three-game series that finished on the same date the trade was made on August 25.
The Red Sox, without a chance to make the playoffs, decided to clear a ridiculous amount of salary, and clear it they did. The team traded Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Dodgers in exchange for Ivan DeJesus, James Loney, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands.
At its onset, it looked like the Red Sox made a complete and utter misfire while the Dodgers emerged the clear victors. They literally went from being an average team with one or two superstars to a team that looked to be a future dynasty. And what did the Red Sox do? They cleared some salary and looked to be starting a rebuild as they finished the year by firing Bobby Valentine.
But a year later, it is clear that even though the two teams went in opposite directions, both teams have gotten exactly what they needed out of the mega-trade.
For Los Angeles, a team that failed to make the playoffs in 2012 and failed to do much in the postseason in the past decade, changes were needed. Through the blockbuster trade, the Dodgers were able to address some of their major holes, including getting a front-of-the-rotation starter in Beckett and a power left-handed bat to line up with righty Matt Kemp in Gonzalez.
And while Beckett has struggled this year both with injuries and on the mound, Gonzalez has been exactly what the Dodgers asked for, especially considering Kemp’s own injury struggles this season. Gonzalez has 17 HRs and 81 RBIs on the season, and has been the main source of L.A.’s run production.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, knew what the trade meant and immediately went to work in the offseason, making what could have been a long rebuild process into one that didn’t even last a season. Boston’s reduced payroll enabled the team to give enough money to re-sign David Ortiz, which they might not have been able to do otherwise.
The team also signed a plethora of free agents, including Shane Victorino. Koji Uehara was another player Boston was able to sign, and he has been brilliant for them in relief this year. Mike Napoli was another signing that has been beneficial for the Red Sox.
Both L.A. and Boston look primed to make the playoffs this year all because of this trade. It gave each team exactly what they were looking for, and couldn’t have worked out better in the end.
And who knows, maybe this won’t be the last time Boston and L.A. meet this year, as the World Series is certainly the pinnacle of what this trade was designed to do. Happy anniversary indeed.