Written by: Andrew Wittry
The Boston Red Sox have been in the news countless times this season and usually it is negative publicity. Bobby V's comments about Kevin Youkilis. Josh Beckett playing golf on his off-days but unable to pitch. Once again they are making the headlines but this time it is 100% baseball related. The BoSox are finalizing the biggest deal of the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the West Coast for James Loney, Rubby De La Rosa and a trio of minor leaguers-right handed pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan De Jesus, and outfielder Jerry Sands. The Dodgers and their new ownership group also acquire $262.5 million in the salaries of the four players left after this season, assuming the trade goes through. Beckett does have 10-5 rights, meaning that since he has played ten seasons in the MLB and the past five with the same team, which allows him to block the trade if he chooses to.
The Dodgers get a major upgrade at first base in Adrian Gonzalez. The thirty-year-old is hitting .300 this season with 15 home runs and 86 RBI's. Loney has a down year, hitting .254 with 4 home runs and 33 RBI's. However, the rest of the future Dodgers are question marks. Josh Beckett's priorities have been questioned this season. He is 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA, which is his first losing season in his twelve-year career. L.A. could refresh Beckett and that's what the Dodgers are hoping happens. Boston is one of the harshest cities to play in and a player's every move, on and off of the field, are scrutinized under the closest microscope. This is a chance for Beckett to start over. The Dodgers are only three games out of first place in the N.L. West and a game and a half out of the National League Wild Card lead. Carl Crawford recently had Tommy John surgery and returned back to the field in mid-July. Assuming his arm holds up, Los Angeles is acquiring a player who, at his best, is a .300 hitter who scores 100 runs and steals fifty bases in season. The Red Sox threw in Nick Punto to clear roster and salary cap space. He is aging (34 years old) and is hitting at the Mendoza line of .200 this year. He will be a bench player for Don Mattingly, with Luis Cruz and Juan Uribe ahead of him on the depth chart at third base.
While the price tag is huge for the contracts the Los Angeles Dodgers are taking over, they have improved their roster exponentially this season (L.A. also acquired Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino at the trade deadline). Adrian Gonzalez is a major run-producer and Carl Crawford is electric on offense and defense. I predict that Beckett will turn his year around when he takes the mound for the Dodgers. Along with Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, and Chad Billingsly, L.A. has good starting pitching for their playoff run. If they are unable to make the postseason in 2012, look for the Dodgers to be one of the favorites to win the National League pennant in 2013.
The Red Sox are getting much younger through this trade and have cleared salary cap space to bring in big name free agents. However, the question is would any free agents want to come to Boston? Bobby Valentine has not made this season easy on his players and the Boston media and fan base can be extremely critical if players don't meet their expectations. James Loney is an average first baseman and the Red Sox lose arguably their best player in Adrian Gonzalez, who they gave up two of their premier minor leaguers for to acquire him from the San Diego Padres only two years ago. Three of other players the BoSox acquired have played in the majors in the past two years but haven't been anything special thus far.
This trade is a huge risk for both teams, a major hit to Boston's roster and in terms of the cost in salaries and prospects for L.A., but I think the Dodgers will come out of this trade better than their American League counterpart. Los Angeles' ownership group has proven that they are not afraid to write big checks in order to put a great product in Dodger Stadium, as shown buy paying two billion dollars for the club, and their four additions will prove worth the large cost. I give credit to the Red Sox for trying to get better for the future since they are out of the A.L. East (13.5 games back) and Wild Card (8.5 games back) race this season. Boston may experience a few more seasons towards the bottom of the American League East standings since Baltimore is improving and the Red Sox prospects will need time to develop.
Written by: Andrew Wittry
Great American Ballpark was constructed in the early 2000's to replace Cinergy Field and was first used during the 2003 Major League Baseball season as the new home of the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati has gone ten seasons without hosting the game in the Reds' new home and the city has not held the Mid-Summer Classic since 1988 at Riverfront Stadium. …
Written by: Andrew Wittry
The Boston Red Sox have been in the news countless times this season and usually it is negative publicity. Bobby V's comments about Kevin Youkilis. Josh Beckett playing golf on his off-days but unable to pitch. Once again they are making the headlines but this time it is 100% baseball related. The BoSox are finalizing the biggest deal of the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the West Coast for James Loney, Rubby De La Rosa and a trio of minor leaguers-right handed pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan De Jesus, and outfielder Jerry Sands. …
Written by: Kevin Early
On the same day Ian Desmond withdrew from the 2012 NL All-Star team with an oblique strain, Bryce Harper has been selected by Tony LaRussa as the replacement for Giancarlo Stanton, who will have knee surgery. Youngest position player in an All-Star Game ever.
"I don’t have words to explain it right now. It’s exciting to go. …