Red Sox-Dodgers deal — featuring what’s believed to be biggest transfer of money ever in a trade — now officially complete. #RedSoxTalk
— Sean McAdam(@Sean_McAdam) August 25, 2012
The Dodgers get Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and take on enough salary to bankrupt Scrooge McDuck.
Boston gets Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands, Ivan De Jesus, James Loney and dump a cool quarter billion on the Dodgers.
The fascinating part of this trade is the ginormous amount of money involved as well as the statement made by the new Dodgers ownership, who have made it clear that they are in it to win it. Now. Equally fascinating is the hundreds of side stories, from what Boston will do with their new financial flexibility to anticipating the value of Carl Crawforn in 2016, but for our purposes we want to see want this does to each players’ fantasy baseball value for the rest of the season, and perhaps years to come. We’ll go player-by-player.
Going to the Dodgers:
Adrian Gonzalez (Age 30) First Base: Of the huge pieces going West, Gonzalez is viewed as most worthy of his contract. He’s currently in the first year of his monster extension, so he’s due $127 million in the six years from 2013-18. Gonzalez has been a dud in the first half of 2012, but he’s hit .338 with nine homers and 41 RBI in 37 games since the All-Star break. To say he’s huge upgrade over James Loney at first base in Los Angeles is certainly an understatment. I suspect he’ll replace Andre Ethier in the cleanup spot behind Matt Kemp, which is fantastic for his fantasy value. Given his recent surge and the fact that a move like this will often light a fire under players (he never seemed happy on the east coast), I think he’ll have a huge rest of the season for LA.
Carl Crawford (Age 31) Left Field: Remember that Crawford is out with Tommy John surgery, so he won’t make any sort of immediate impact in Los Angeles. But the recovery from Tommy John for a position player is less than it is for a pitcher so he should be ready next year. He wasn’t horrible while healthy this year, hitting .282 with three homers in 117 at-bats, but just about anything would’ve been better than his first year in Boston. He needed to get out of Bean-town. With Shane Victorino likely to leave in free agency, the Dodgers will use Crawford in left field next year. Don’t expect 27-year-old Crawford numbers, but my gut tells me he’ll bounce back in LA, but we have several months to make those projections.
Josh Beckett (Age 32) SP: Blech. Beckett quickly turned into a pariah in Boston, with the results to match. He’s 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts this season. But he’s just one year removed from finishing 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA in 30 starts in 2011. He’s seen a drop in velocity, so he’s not necessarily going to rebound in the National League. Look for him to replace Aaron Harang or Joe Blanton in the rotation. I wouldn’t pick him up for your fantasy team, and his ownership is already too high I imagine because too many owners were slow to cut him loose this season, despite his pitiful performance.
Nick Punto (Age 34) INF: Nick Punto! Punto found himself made obsolete in Boston like he’s found himself to be made obsolete everywhere else he’s been. In Los Angeles, he’ll join Luis Cruz and Juan Uribe in the mix for infield ABs because of his versatility, but there isn’t a reason in the world to have him on your fantasy baseball team.
Going to the Red Sox:
Rubby De La Rosa (Age 23) SP: Does it sound like “ruby” or rhyme with “tubby”? I’m not sure actually. What I am sure about is that Rubby is a pretty solid prospect, jumping from Double-A to the majors and going 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA and a 60/31 K/BB ratio in 60 2/3 innings for the Dodgers. Too bad he went down with Tommy John surgery last August, only to return this week. The Dodgers then sent him back down to the minors, but that was a move so he wouldn’t have to clear waivers. Therefore, he won’t officially become Boston property until the season ends. He’s a righty with a mid-90s fastball and a plus changeup. He has No. 2 or 3 starter potential, and he should be in strong play for the Boston rotation next year.
Allen Webster (Age 22) SP: Webster is a right-hander with a very good sinker and a money changeup. He was also the prospect the Cubs wanted from the Dodgers for Ryan Dempster. He’s allowed just one homer all year in Double A. He and fellow righty Zach Lee were prospects 1 and 1a in the Dodger farm system. He’ll have little fantasy baseball value this year or the next, but his 2014 upside could be a number 2 or 3 starter.
Jerry Sands (Age 24): First Base/Left Field: Hmmm. Who do you think will take over for Crawford or Gonzalez? Sands is striking out at a near 30% rate on the major league level, so there is some concern with his bat. He’s also a slug in the field. Still, as a right-handed doubles hitter, he could work out nicely in Fenway. He’ll get a long look over the rest of the year to determine whether he fits into the plans for 2013. I don’t think he’s a long-term regular, so I don’t see him with much fantasy baseball value other than a deep league flyer, but don’t rule anything out.
Ivan De Jesus (Age 25) Utility Infielder: What’s up, Baby Punto? It’s doubtful that Ivan De Jesus will hit enough to be of use as a regular, but he’s a fine infielder with a history of pretty good OBPs in the minors. As with most utility infielders, he doesn’t have much fantasy baseball value.
James Loney (Age 28) First Base: Some fantasy baseball analysts out there will talk about how James Loney might find renewed life with the change of scenery and a move to a ballpark that “fits his game.” Take a look at Loney only if you are in a 45 team league. Seriously. He’s certain to be non-tendered by the Red Sox, if not released outright. Loney has hit .254 in 334 ABs this season. Don’t you think the Red Sox would rather play Sands, Mauro Gomez or even Ryan Lavarnway at first base?
In making the trade, the Red Sox dumped about $60 million in 2013 salaries on the Dodgers, without taking on anyone making more than the minimum. Surprisingly, the Dodgers didn’t take on Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano‘s massive salaries, plus Bobby Bonilla’s deferred payments. I’m also sure the Red Sox tried to get the Dodgers to take Bobby Valentine in the deal, but no dice apparently.
All in all, this is one of those giant, shocking trades that baseball lovers will be reflecting on for years (Remember the Mark Teixeira trade?), but despite the nine players changing teams, the only one with real fantasy baseball value in 2012 is Adrian Gonzalez. Instead, it’s a fascinating look at two franchises radically changing direction.