August 25, 2012

Red Sox trade is done

The Dodgers go all-in in their bid to win this season, and the Sox look to the future.

The Associated Press

BOSTON - The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett and injured outfielder Carl Crawford from Boston on Saturday, hoping to boost their playoff hopes by taking on underperforming and high-priced stars who failed to thrive in a fractious Red Sox clubhouse.

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A familiar face in a new uniform got off to a can’t-top-this start Saturday night. Adrian Gonzalez of the, yes, Los Angeles Dodgers, hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat with his new team, right after stepping off a cross-country flight.

The Associated Press

Ben Cherington
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Ben Cherington, the Red Sox general manager, admitted Saturday that the heavy foray into free-agent signings the last few years hasn’t worked out. And now, with such a reduced payroll and this season lost, the team can properly rebuild for a future run to the top.

The Associated Press

Additional Photos Below

THE BIG TRADE

Dodgers get:

Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

Josh Beckett, P

Carl Crawford, OF

Nick Punto, IF

Red Sox get:

• James Loney, 1B

Allen Webster, P

Ivan DeJesus Jr., IF

Two players to be named

– The Associated Press

Boston also sent infielder Nick Punto and about $11 million to Los Angeles in the nine-player trade that was the biggest in Dodgers history. The Red Sox acquired first baseman James Loney, pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and two players to be named.

"They're in a pennant race and have an opportunity to add talent, and were focused on that," Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington said. "It will be our job to take advantage of this opportunity and build the next big Red Sox team."

Under a rich new ownership group that includes a former NBA star, Magic Johnson, the Dodgers entered the day three games behind San Francisco for the NL West lead and in the midst of the wild-card race.

"We understand that you have to spend money to be good in this league," Johnson said.

The Dodgers have revamped their roster dramatically in the last month with trades, acquiring shortstop Hanley Ramirez, outfielder Shane Victorino, starter Joe Blanton and reliever Brandon League, and now the three active Red Sox players -- Crawford is recovering from surgery -- less than a week before the Aug. 31 deadline for players to be eligible for the postseason.

"Just from pure emotion, it's exciting to see this ownership group pulling off something like this and really making a push to do what they said, which is making this place a winner and making this team the best it can possible be," Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier said.

Said the team president, Stan Kasten: "When we came in, we made it clear that we want to build the Dodgers back to what they once were."

For the Red Sox, the trade signaled a concession for 2012 and a chance to rebuild without hefty contracts given during an undisciplined foray into free agency that, Cherington conceded, hasn't worked out.

Even with $11 million going to the Dodgers, Boston will save more than $250 million in salary from now through 2018.

"To build the team we need and the fans deserve and we want required more of a bold move," Cherington said. "It was a difficult thing to do to trade away four players like this. Beckett, in particular, has been here a long time and been here for some of our best times in some of our biggest games."

But Beckett, who was a key part of the team that won the 2007 World Series, was also the ringleader in last year's collapse, when the ballclub went 7-20 in September and missed a playoff spot on the final day of the season. Reports of players drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games surfaced afterward, and Beckett's haughty demeanor -- and rising ERA -- continued to alienate fans.

The 2003 World Series MVP with the Florida Marlins, Beckett now moves from the home of Dunkin' Donuts to the land of In-N-Out Burger, bringing with him a pair of other players who were not productive enough to justify their contracts. Beckett was due $31.5 million over the next two years; Gonzalez has $127 million coming through 2018; and Crawford is due $102.5 million over the next five seasons.

Both Cherington, who replaced Theo Epstein after the September collapse, and Manager Bobby Valentine, who was brought in to replace Terry Francona, defended their departing players.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

Ned Colletti, Don Mattingly
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The Dodgers were all smiles after the trade Saturday, with General Manager Ned Colletti, right, and Manager Don Mattingly discussing what it meant to Los Angeles.

The Associated Press

  


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