The Dodgers have completed one of the biggest trades in MLB history. It’s a blockbuster for the ages as the Dodgers trade James Loney, Jerry Sands, Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus, and Allen Webster to the Boston Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto. I’m still in shock. It’s almost surreal, like I’m going nuts building the ultimate team on MLB ’12 The Show, except it’s the real deal. There was a lot of doubt about the new owners ability toÂ re-characterizeÂ the Dodgers franchise, but after today that has all been eliminated. There is nothing to doubt about Guggenheim Baseball, in a few short months Guggenheim has made the Dodgers the team to beat in MLB.
“We’re going to make it so nobody wants to play the Dodgers,” words recently uttered by Mark Walter. Mission accomplished.
Since the arrival of Guggenheim Baseball in Los Angeles we have seen the short-lived return ofÂ Aaron Miles, Â a five-year extension forÂ Andre Ethier, the additions of Bobby Abreu,Â Wes Roemer,Â Yasiel Puig,Â Hanley Ramirez,Â Randy Choate,Â Joe Blanton,Â Ozzie Martinez,Â Brandon League, andÂ Shane Victorino. Wow! Quite a statement right? That’s a major overhaul, but it wasn’t good enough for Walter and Co. The Dodgers failed to land the additional starting pitcher they desired at the trade deadline, missing out on Ryan Dempster. The Dodgers also tried to make an August waiver trade for Cliff Lee, but the Phillies never really intended on trading him.
Now the Dodgers have gotten exactly what they wanted, the best first baseman in all of baseball. A starting pitcher with World Series experience, a veteran infielder for the bench, and one of the best all-around players in baseball.
Gonzo is a four time All-Star, 2011 Silver Slugger, a three time Gold Glove winner, and one of the top-ten players in the game. A-Gon is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles today, and he is scheduled to be in tonight’s lineup wearing number 23.
A-Gon is batting .304/.349/.478 with 15 home runs and 85 RBI in 516 plate appearances this season. Gonzalez also owns a very respectable 2.9 WAR tying with Mark Teixeira, and behind only Edwin Encarnacion (3.7), Prince Fielder (3.4) , Paul Goldschimdt (3.2), and Albert Pujols (3.1).
Defensively, well, A-Gon is king. Adrian currently has a UZR of 14.0 and a RZR of .871 in 916 innings of play this season. Gonzalez has registered 155 plays at first base this season. That equates to Gonzo being the best defensive first baseman in all of baseball, the next player behind him isn’t even close. Â A-Gon will be earning Gold Gloves for the Dodgers until 2018.
Crawford just underwent Tommy John surgery two days ago, so he is lost for the 2012 season. Crawford won’t get his shot to make an impact for the Dodgers until next season, but word on the street is, he’s smiling. The arrival of Crawford will likely mean the Dodgers let Shane Victorino walk as a free agent. Crawford will likely sit in the number two spot in the Dodgers lineup where he will be able to do the most damage. With the addition of Crawford the Dodgers have also blocked Yasiel Puig from arriving in the bigs next year. This leaves a huge question mark on the what the Dodgers will do about the little predicament. My guess is the Dodgers look to trade Crawford around the deadline next year. I wouldn’t rule out the Dodgers trading Puig for a front-end rotation pitcher this winter.
Josh Beckett has floundered this season over in Boston, his ERA continues to balloon, his confidence continues to sink, and now he gets a chance to go to a team that is favored to make a World Series appearance this season. Beckett has the ability to rise to the occasion, he is one of the most confident pitchers in baseball, and with his World Series experience this becomes a great addition for the Dodgers. Beckett will be sticking around for a couple of seasons. Even if he doesn’t get closer to his ace form he once had, the change of scenery should help him get out of the funk he has been in. I definitely can see Beckett rebounding and thriving in Los Angeles.
Nick Punto will be a good veteran addition to the bench for the Dodgers for the next season and a half. He can’t hit all that well, but with the rosters expanding it isn’t a big deal to bring him on board, especially if it becomes the end of the road for Juan Uribe. That would be a great addition to this trade, but I doubt it happens. Punto is under contract until the end of next season, meaning, a roster decision has to be made on the infield logjam the Dodgers are currently faced with.
The Dodgers are expected to take on about $259.5MM of the $271.5MM from the Red Sox, getting $12MM in cash from Boston.
Adrian Gonzalez will earn $21MM per season through 2016 and obtain a raise to $21.5MM for 2017-18. The total is about $131.82MM when factoring in the remainder of his 2012 salary.Â Josh Beckett will earn $15.75MM per season through 2014.Â Carl Crawford will earn $20MM in 2013, $20.25MM in 2014, $20.5MM in 2015, $20.75MM in 2016 and $21MM in 2017.Â Nick Punto earns $1.5MM per season through 2013.
The Dodgers may have just completed the biggest trade is MLB history. It’s some of the biggest names in baseball coming to the Dodgers, of course the Dodgers have dealt some of their brightest talent to the Red Sox to make it happen. The biggest prize Rubby De La Rosa, who has gained Pedro Martinez comparisons from some of the league’s best scouts. Ivan De Jesus, once a top prospect has had his path to the majors blocked for various reasons over the last few years. Jerry Sands, another top outfield/first base prospect. Sands will finally get an opportunity to shine in Boston, and he definitely has the talent to make the Dodgers regret trading him. With A-Gon locked in at first, and all of the outfield talent the Dodgers suddenly have, Sands was no longer going to fit into their long term plans. The other top prospect, Allen Webster, coveted by many other teams in the league over the last couple months. The Cubs wanted him, the Phillies, the Twins, pretty much every team the Dodgers have talked to in trade discussions. The Dodgers saved him for the right deal, and it payed off. The final piece, James Loney, good riddance! He was going to be non-tendered any way. I am so glad that this is the last time I have to right about him.
Basically how it shakes down is Loney, Rubby, De Jesus, Webster, and Sands for Adrian Gonzalez. The fact is the Dodgers would’ve had to trade that package if not more just to get Gonzo. The only reason Zach Lee is around is because we took Punto, Crawford, and Beckett of their hands. If you look at it that way it’s a lot easier to digest. We are talking the best first baseman in baseball. There really isn’t any prospect I wouldn’t have included to get Gonzalez. Not gonna lie, I am struggling with letting Rubby go, but hey, we got Gonzo! Suck on that Giants! Who wants a piece of the Dodgers? All I gotta say is good luck!