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Report: Boston Red Sox Might Trade Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford & Josh Beckett

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 8:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox watches the flight of home run hit by Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning at Fenway Park August 8, 2012  in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Adam MacDonaldAnalyst IIAugust 24, 2012

ESPN's Gordon Edes is now reporting that the Boston Red Sox are working on a deal that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fox Sports' Jon Morosi has corroborated the report, adding that the Sox would receive prospects and not just salary relief if the blockbuster deal happens. SI.com has also reported the same story.

Gonzalez has been playing better lately and now has a .300 average as he closes in on 100 RBI. However, the team has been terrible, losing four in a row and seven of 10. The Sox are now seven games below .500 and pretty much out of the playoff race.

Beckett's been terrible but he always is in even years; he should be a lot better in 2013. Crawford's season is over after he went for Tommy John surgery.

This trade would certainly mark the end of Boston's season but it might help them in the long run. If this is true and LA's offering something good, Ben Cherington should pull the trigger.

The Red Sox GM has probably gone to bed every night for the last month dreaming of a situation where a team comes along and takes all his bad contracts in one fell swoop. This deal would leave him with John Lackey but he would get rid of the other three nightmares.

Combined, Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford have more than a quarter of a billion dollars owed to them. Beckett's deal only runs through 2014 but Boston has Crawford on the books through 2017 and Gonzalez through 2018.

The size and length of the contracts are truly inhibitive. In the midst of their worst season in 15 years, the Red Sox likely need to rebuild. They can't do that, though, with half of their team locked up with big-money deals.

Of course, doing the deal would likely mean mediocrity for the next few years, unless Cherington can fill in the gaps with good, reasonably priced players. That would mean no sellout streak for the ownership group and reduced revenue. They might not be willing to take that hit.

Also bear in mind that Josh Beckett has 10-5 rights (10 years in the majors and five with one team) and as a result he can veto any trade. He's not the most popular guy on the Red Sox, though.

However, despite these sticking points, all the reports seem to indicate that the Sox and Dodgers are close to a huge trade. If Boston can get a good return—bear in mind that the Dodgers have a lot of very highly rated pitching prospects in their farm system, and that's the Sox's biggest need—it should grab this deal with both hands.

However, if the Sox cannot get a brilliant return, they should not go through with it. Getting rid of three huge contracts would be a good thing but in taking any trade just to do so, the front office would be cutting off their nose to spite their face.

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