Whether or not the deal goes down, we now have beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt proof that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is prepared to make like Michael Corleone taking out the heads of the other four families in his own clubhouse.
Forget about tinkering under the hood or making a couple of surgical strikes to purge the likes of Beckett or John Lackey.
This is wiring Fenway with enough TNT to sink the Poseidon.
Let the healing begin, because the Red Sox have taken their first significant step toward erasing the stench of the last calendar year. And if they’re thinking this big now, there’s every reason to expect even more in the coming months.
It already feels like a new day, which is exactly what the franchise needs. The focus of this deal from a PR standpoint should be Beckett, because removing him from the equation immediately makes the club about 25 percent more likable.
The more I thought about this trade last night, the sicker I felt. It may be the right move, but I don't like it. When you boil it down to its core, we're being robbed of Adrian Gonzalez due to Josh Beckett's surliness and Carl Crawford's elbow.
And, in the process, the Red Sox are freeing up salary figures that are equivalent to the GDP of several small nations, as well as getting some top-tier prospects in return. I guess the plan now is to sit back and hope that the Sox spend that $270 million more wisely than before? I'd argue that Gonzalez's 7 year $154 million contract was pretty shrewd, especially when compared with Prince Fielder's 9 year $214 million deal. So, I guess we'll try to use that money to get more players like Gonzalez and good contracts, like the one we gave Gonzalez?
I know, I know... I need to get past losing Adrian. I just never got a chance to say goodbye.
Emotions aside, I love the balls that Henry and Lucchino told Cherington to display in this move. This Sox squad needed an overhaul. The organization needed a change in direction. And this move clearly shows that we're getting both. The key cog in this transition will be what the Sox do with Ellsbury. If they flip him this offseason, we know that we're in full-blown rebuilding. If they try to throw half of the money they saved in this deal at his feet, well, then what was the point?
So we're about to embark on what is shaping up to be an absolute wild offseason for the Red Sox. And amidst all this change, don't be shocked to see Papi take his talent to somewhere like New York this offseason. He's already unhappy with this franchise, and he's certainly not going to want to hang around while the Sox rebuild for the next 2-3 years. Sadly, I doubt the Sox are going to be putting up much of a fight to keep him. I hope I'm wrong.
But we're not talking about funerals anymore, are we? Well played, Henry. Well played indeed. Other than, you know, taking Adrian away from us.
On Page 2, the players react
“I heard about it today, like they always have those trade rumors floating around,” Ortiz said. “I was like, ‘That’s just comments.’ You don’t see big trades like that happen.
“(Then Gonzalez got pulled) and that was one of those signs that I knew there was something going down.”
Almost to a man last night, Red Sox players reacted to the proposed nine-player deal in the same way — we’ll have more to say when it’s official. But they seemed resigned to it going down.
“Nothing shocks me in this game anymore,” said outfielder Cody Ross. “It happens all the time. It’s the way the game is.”
“There’s a lot of talent and a lot of money,” [Pedroia] said. “It’s a lot of things. . . . I mean, you build relationships with guys, you’ve been through a lot with them. That part’s difficult. . . . I don’t know who’s in it or what. I don’t really know. I heard about it an hour before the game, and then played the game, so I don’t really know what to think.”
None of the players involved in the proposed deal was in the clubhouse following the game, but Ortiz said he spoke to Gonzalez.
“Yeah, we talked a little bit,” he said. “He’s shocked like we are a little bit. Adrian wants to be here, that’s why he came here — to help this ballclub win the World Series. To sign long-term like he did and to be out the second year, it kind of surprises you. I think they’re looking to put the ballclub in a better situation next year. I’m not saying that we’re going to be in a better situation without those players. We’re about to find out.”
Herald - Sox players taken aback by megadeal
You do have to feel a bit for Adrian and Crawford. They both signed long-term deals to stay in Boston, and have been here long enough to setup their lives and families in town. And now they've got to pack up and head all the way west.
Of course, no one feels bad for Beckett.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Jon Lester leads charge | Globe - Sox pull out of skid | Dealing with problem? | Red Sox, Dodgers deal done according to source | WEEI - Red Sox, Dodgers appear close to blockbuster sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to LA for prospects | Lester injured as Sox beat Royals | David Ortiz puts on a show in return, but how long will it last? | CSNNE - Valentine: Ortiz a "sight for sore eyes" | McAdam: Blockbuster trade means fresh start for Sox, players involved | Report: Crawford, Beckett waive no-trade powers