Dodgers, Red Sox Complete Blockbuster Trade Sending Gonzalez, Beckett to LA

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2012

Aug 19, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA;  Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett (19) pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

The fire sale of the year took place on Friday.

UPDATE: Saturday, August 25 at 5:15 p.m. ET by Richard Langford

There is nothing stopping this insanely huge trade now. The Dodgers tweeted out to the world that it has gone official. 

OFFICIAL: @dodgers today acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and cash from the Boston Red Sox.

Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 25, 2012

Not wanting to be outdone, the MLB also tweeted out the news. 

BLOCKBUSTER OFFICIAL: @dodgers acquire Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from @redsox for 5-player package.

— MLB (@MLB) August 25, 2012

It is World Series or bust time for the Dodgers now. Shoot, with this added payroll, it might be World Series and still bust. 

---------- end of update ----------

In the biggest MLB trade of the year, the Boston Red Sox are sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus, Jerry Sands and James Loney, as first reported by Fox's Ken Rosenthal.

Source: #RedSox-#Dodgers blockbuster “pretty much done.” Beckett, Crawford have waived no-trade rights, teams have signed off on medicals.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 25, 2012

Los Angeles Times Dodgers beat writer Dylan Hernandez is reporting that the trade has been finalized:

The #Dodgers trade with the #Red Sox is official.

— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) August 25, 2012

CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman is reporting about how soon it will be before the fans see the stars on their new teams:

adrian gonzalez is in the #dodgers lineup tonite. #trade

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 25, 2012

This is a shakeup of epic proportions for the Red Sox, who have clearly conceded that their current core will not be winning a championship anytime soon. Shedding roughly $270 million in payroll is a clear salary-dump decision that speeds up the rebuilding process rather quickly.

With the departure of Gonzalez, the Red Sox lose their leading player in batting average (.300), RBI (86), on-base percentage (.343) and hits (145) on the 2012 season. They also get rid of Josh Beckett, who after getting engulfed in the chicken and beer fiasco of last year, posted just a 5-11 record with a 5.23 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in Boston this season.

As for the Dodgers, they have pushed their chips to the center of the table on the 2012 season. Since new ownership took over, they have been the biggest spenders in baseball…and now they have widened the margin by a country mile.  

They are now the clear favorites in the National League West as they have significantly bolstered an offense that ranks near the bottom in runs scored this season.

While Crawford won’t be available for six to nine months following surgery on his left elbow, the rest of the haul can play right away.

Is Beckett washed up? Can Gonzalez handle the heavy expectations? Can Punto be a solid utility player?

Plenty of questions remain, but one thing is certain: The Dodgers are gunning for the 2012 World Series trophy.