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Crawford and Gonzalez hope for more high-fives.
It has been just a little over a year since their big trade of 2012, when Boston sent overpaid, underachieving and unhappy stars Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers, along with Nick Punto and $12 million, on Aug. 25 for a quintet of prospects.
Unlike many transactions, this was definitely a move that helped both teams.
The trade, which saved the Red Sox approximately $275 million in salaries and luxury tax over the course of all the players' contracts, freed up money for Boston to rebuild in 2013. That allowed the club to add lower-priced and hungrier character players like Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino.
Those additions, and subtractions, helped turn Boston's clubhouse atmosphere at Fenway Park completely around, with the result being a worst-to-first finish in the AL East.
Initially snickered at by Boston fans when the deal went down, Dodgers management has no problem with how things have turned out in Los Angeles. Although Beckett suffered a major injury in his pitching hand that all but wiped out his '13 season, Gonzalez and Crawford have both been major contributors for Los Angeles, which claimed the NL West title and is considered a favorite to win the pennant as well.
Like Edgar Renteria a few years back, Gonzales and Crawford rebounded once they left the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Boston for laid-back LA. The Red Sox, however, would have home-field advantage for the World Series, meaning that both players would have to play as many as four World Series games in front of the probing eyes of the Fenway Faithful once more.
Hang on, Red Sox fans. It could be a very fun ride.