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Adrian Gonzalez Is Almost a Dodger (Also Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto)
The Guggenheim Group is making a splash with the Dodgers in their first season at the helm of the club. After getting Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino in July, they are close to finalizing yet another blockbuster deal.
This time the Dodgers would acquire first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-handed starter Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto from the Boston Red Sox.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Dodgers would be sending minor league pitching prospect Allen Webster along with pitcher Rubby De La Rosa, first baseman James Loney, outfielder Jerry Sands and infielder Ivan De Jesus, Jr.
Earlier Friday afternoon, the Dodgers were awarded the waiver claim to Gonzalez and Beckett. Crawford and Punto cleared waivers earlier in the month and are free to be traded by the Red Sox.
As the talks between the two teams heated up, Loney was scratched from the starting lineup. "I went with [Juan] Rivera at first instead of James," manager Don Mattingly said. Mattingly wouldn't delve any further into the rationale for the move. "I see this stuff just like you all do. This is the roster I've got tonight. That's it."
For his part, Loney took the scratch in stride. "I don't have good numbers against [Nate] Eovaldi: 0-for-0," Loney joked about potentially facing his former teammate. "I'm hitting .000 against him."
Both Gonzalez and Punto were scratched from the lineup in Boston, and Jerry Sands was scratched in Triple-A Albuquerque.
Complicating matters a bit was news that De La Rosa was claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. The Dodgers optioned De La Rosa to Double-A Chattanooga and recalled the player of many positions Alex Castellanos. If the deal with Boston goes through, De La Rosa could be a "player to be named later" and be dealt during the offseason when he didn't need to clear waivers.
Gonazlez is the first year of his seven-year, $154 million deal which will pay him $21 million until 2016 and $21.5 million in 2017 and 2018. Beckett is signed through 2014 and is due $15.75 million each year. Crawford is signed through 2017 and is due $20 million next season and an additional $250,000 for each subsequent season. Punto will be $1.5 million next season.
In short, the Dodgers would be committing over $250 million to Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford after this season.
Gonzalez is batting .300 with 15 homers and 86 RBI. Crawford had Tommy John surgery on Thursday and is expected to miss six to nine months. And Beckett is 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA including a 7.11 ERA in his seven games started in the second half of the season.
Another wrinkle in this is the fact that Beckett and Crawford can block any trade, Beckett by his ten-and-five rights and Crawford from his no-trade clause. However according to Sean McAdam of CSN New England:
Source: Red Sox have yet to secure permission from either Beckett (10-5) or Crawford (limited no-trade). Neither, however, expected 2 block.— Sean McAdam (@Sean_McAdam) August 24, 2012
The reaction in the clubhouse was muted. Catcher A.J. Ellis wasn't caught by surprise by the rumors coming so late in the season.
"We've seen how Ned [Colletti] and his staff use the waiver wire in the past. It's not over until September 1."
However as exciting a prospect of adding a bat like Gonzalez to the lineup might be, Ellis wasn't ready to click his heels. "The onus is on us as players. [The front office] have done thier part. It's up to us as players to do our's."
Andre Ethier was encouraged by the message that was being sent. "They're rightfully jumping on when they have the opportunity.
"I've been waiting a long time to be in an organization and in a lineup this potent."
As for Matt Kemp, "I don't want to talk about something that hasn't happened," he said.
De La Rosa seemed stunned about the news mistakingly telling reporters that he was going to Triple-A Albuquerque after he came out of Mattingly's office. "It's a part of the game," he said resignedly.
Loney, however, was more stoic about the news having been a part of trade rumors numerous times over the past several seasons. "I guess it's another story about getting traded," Loney said.
The deal has not been made official since medical records need to be reviewed.