The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are, according to multiple reports, on the verge of the biggest August trade ever – indeed, it’s one of the biggest trades of any kind ever. The deal will reportedly send Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto (otherwise known as “the Red Sox”) to the Dodgers for Rubby De La Rosa, James Loney, Jerry Sands, Ivan De Jesus, and a “top prospect” (thought to be Allen Webster, the pitcher the Cubs so desperately wanted for Ryan Dempster). Based on that return, the presumption is that the Dodgers will be taking on almost all of the remaining dollars on the contracts for the Red Sox players – which, combined, total more than $250 million *after* this season.
The Dodgers have gone outside their mind.
I understand that the new Dodgers’ ownership wants to flex their financial might, and I understand that they have a nice age 29/30-ish core (Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, Hanley Ramirez) plus Clayton Kershaw. But you’re talking about a 32-year-old Beckett, a 31-year-old Crawford, and a 30-year-old Gonzalez, all of whom are going to decline in the near term. Indeed, Beckett is already a disaster this year, and Crawford is now recovering from the Tommy John surgery he just had yesterday.
Make no mistake, the Dodgers are going to look loaded after this deal, and for the next year or two. But those contracts and the aging curve are going to take their toll, and sooner rather than later.
Consider this: the last time folks looked up and down a roster and remarked how absurdly stacked it was? The 2011 Boston Red Sox in Spring Training.
We still have to see how the money part of this shakes out, but this is looking like a brilliant stroke by new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. The Red Sox will now have to rebuild, but this will give them an absurd amount of money to work with, and they could be right back into things in 2014. Heck, they could be back next year.