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Who Really Won In The Dodgers-Red Sox Blockbuster Trade?

Submitted by on August 27, 2012 – 4:14 pmNo Comment

The Red Sox gave up and the Dodgers gave their fans something to cheer about.

With the shocking blockbuster trade that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalaez (oh yeah, and Nick Punto) to Los Angeles and cleared the Boston Red Sox of $260 million in contracts, one has to wonder who really won in this deal?

The Dodgers, duh. Wait, right?

Magic Johnson and the new brass in Los Angeles made a massive move to bring excitement back to baseball in LA. Sure, the Dodgers won division titles in 2008 and 2009, but nobody was as excited about the future of Los Angeles baseball until this trade brought in a perennial all-star and two pieces that have Dodger fans hopefull of seeing World Series championships. It’s a scary lineup that features Shane Victorino, Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez, and, when he’s healthy, Carl Crawford.

Think about that for a minute.

Now, think about the pitching rotation. Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, Joe Blanton, and Josh Beckett with Kenley Jansen closing the show. Not the most dominant pitching rotation in baseball, but it should certainly be enough to hold a lead should that devastating lineup begin slapping around pitchers like The Three Stooges.

Yeah, it’s a good time to be a Dodger fan. But, on the flipside, it was a good time to be a Phillies fan when they had the presumed murderer’s row of pitching or when Miami made some moves that brought Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle to Florida. Now look at them. Miami is dead in the water and the Phillies rotation blew up in their face.

Could this happen to the Dodgers? Gonzalez looks like a sure thing to hit. The question marks surrounding Crawford and Beckett are more alarming. Since inking a $102 million deal with Boston, Crawford has been an utter disaster. Last season he was wretched, this season he’s been riddled with injuries. Was the spotlight burning too bright and Crawford fell apart? Perhaps if he’s injected into the Dodgers lineup he can have a rebirth of sorts. If he can get back to his 45+ base stealing days in Tampa Bay, sitting him at the top of the lineup alongside speedy Dee Gordon could be interesting and set the table for run producers A-Gon, Kemp, and Ethier.

Beckett is a different story. After a solid 1st half in Boston with an impressive ERA in 2011, Beckett’s wheels came off as the epic collapse of those Red Sox began and ultimately resulted in a complete reboot of the squad. That collapse rolled into the 2012 campaign where he has been absolutely abysmal with a 5-11 record and a whopping 5.23 ERA. Perhaps he was unmotivated in Boston or maybe he’s no longer the pitcher he once was. We’ll have to see.

As for Boston, they might as well blow up Fenway Park to complete the reset process. The upheaval has been that dramatic. They are a complete mess from top to bottom and were heading nowhere fast. Perhaps it was smart to get rid of Crawford and Beckett, but A-Gon is the one that people are going to assess for a long time.

Yes, Gonzalez wasn’t performing up to his massive contract with only 16 HRs thus far in 2012. However, this season could be a mere hiccup and A-Gon can get back to his usual .330/30 HR/100 RBI season. Boston could have built around that. They can’t build around what’s left of Beckett and Crawford. So Gonzalez had to go in order for the Sox to fulfill their process of gutting the roster of heavy contracts.

The Sox will suck, but you better believe that they will spend that excess money on a new team that will compete in the next five years. Their pitching needs help and they were able to get acclaimed pitching prospects Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. If either one of them turn out to be aces, the Sox may be back sooner than you think.

But for right now, the Dodgers are victorious.

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