The Los Angeles Dodgers were awarded Adrian Gonzalez off of waivers. The Red Sox now have 72 hours to decide whether to keep him, see if they can trade him, or just letting him go and let the Dodgers assume Gonzalez's contract.
Once it was known that Gonzalez was placed on waivers, it was widely assumed that the Dodgers would put in a claim, as it was reported that they tried to acquire him before the July 31st trade deadline.
Now the time is ticking and the front office has a chance to really start the rebuilding process. This would open up 6 years/$127 million remaining on his contract and that could be used to try and re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury, use that for another cheaper replacement in the free agent market, like a Mike Napoli, and use the remaining to bolster other areas, like the rotation. But Adrian is too good of a player to just let go to save some cash. Having that cash freed won't be a panacea to what plagues this team but...it would certainly help.
As far as a trade goes, two things must happen for it to happen. One is that the Sox must be willing to pay a little of the contract (something like $20 million) and the other is that the Sox will get only prospects in return. The Dodgers have been super aggressive ever since Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Partners took them over and are trying to win right away and Adrian Gonzalez would fix their glaring hole at first base. They haven't lost many of their prospects either since most of their acquisitions they have just assumed all the money remaining on player's contracts.
A dream scenario would be that maybe the Sox could be willing to take Josh Beckett in the deal. But that would be incredibly unlikely considering that they want to win now and Beckett is in the midst of his worst year in baseball, even if they could get him at a discount. For those that are wondering, John Lackey can't get traded since he's on the 60-day DL.
In all likelihood, the Sox will take Gonzalez off of the waiver wires and keep him. He's too good of a hitter to let go and despite the fact that he hasn't fit in this city ever since he arrived here, he's still a hitting savant, who is now hitting .300 and is on pace for 120 RBI's despite an awful start to the season. He's the guy Sox fans have been waiting for since Manny was booted from this team and their is a chance that he can still lead this team to a title.
Having said that, if the Red Sox want to trade him, they won't have a better chance to do so. This is the one of the few teams that have a need at first base and are desperate to bring a title to Los Angeles that they would take the contract and quite possibly give prospects in return for him. If they wanted to wait in the off-season to move him, would the Dodgers even be willing to listen if they believe Gonzalez was the missing piece of the puzzle? Doubtful. After the Dodgers, which team has a major need at first and be willing to take Adrian and his contract? No one, which makes this a now or never type deal.
So the Sox have a major decision to make. Will they finally throw up the white flag with this team and start rebuilding?