One year ago today, the Red Sox were on the verge of completing a nine-player trade with the Dodgers that stunned all of baseball.
Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez — three All-Star players with enormous contracts — cleared waivers and were sent to Los Angeles in return for a package of prospects. The new owners of the Dodgers were so eager to prove their credibility that they absorbed $264 million in payroll obligations.
The last-place Red Sox, a sullen bunch of underachievers, suddenly had a bright future. General manager Ben Cherington called it an opportunity to build the franchise’s next great team.
In Gonzalez, the Dodgers had a Mexican-American star they could build a marketing campaign around. That Crawford was still recovering from elbow surgery and wouldn’t be able to play until the following season and Beckett was on the decline didn’t matter.“I always say I’m not surprised by anything that happens in baseball,” said Shane Victorino, then a Dodger and now one of the Red Sox. “But that was surprising.”
So a year ago today, the biggest money-moving deal was agreed upon (all through waivers, mind you) and two franchises were changed drastically. Obviously more so the Red Sox, but the Dodgers are one of the top teams in the NL as well. This deal is honestly the biggest gift the Red Sox franchise could have asked for last year. There needs to be a plaque made somehwere in Fenway to honor this deal.
Imagine where we would be today if this trade didn't happen? I can almost guarantee Adrian Gonzalez would have been in an uproar about the late Sunday night game, followed by the long travel to San Francisco. Would Carl Crawford be hitting above .260? Would he be healthy even? How many times would Josh Beckett be put on the DL at this point? Would John Lackey still be fat and happy hanging with Beckett?
Speaking of Beckett, it's really such a shame he's on the shelf for the rest of the season. I would have looked forward to watching that turd get shelled by some of his former team mates.
Rest of the links:
Globe: David Ortiz chides Ryan Dempster for hitting A-Rod | Herald: A year after mega-trade, Ben Cherington has no second thoughts | Herald: Dodgers make splash | WEEI.com: Almost one year after leaving Boston, Josh Beckett reflects on life with Red Sox, Dodgers | ProJo: Victorino has dropped switch-hitting without missing a beat | ProJo: Storylines abound for Red Sox-Dodgers series