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Gonzalez Traded for No-Beckett and Sans-Crawford

In one of the largest trades in Red Sox history, star firstbaseman Adrian Gonzalez was traded to the Dodgers in exchange for the Dodger letting us trade them Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford.  In addition the Dodgers wanted Nick Punto to which the Sox apparently said "why would we care" and the Sox somehow convinced the Dodgers to throw in two quality pitching prospects and James Loney to play firstbase for the next month.

First off, the reporters ripping into A-Gon and Crawford as people and teammates should be ashamed.  A-Gon has been a great player in two years with the Sox.  He's on pace for an off year this year: .300, 20 homers, and drive in 114 runs.  He also plays gold glove first base and by all accounts is a stand up guy.  In a nauseating article by ProJo's Jim Donaldson, Gonzalez is described as a "whiner" "who went running to ownership to complain about Bobby Valentine behind the embattled manager’s back."  So Gonzalez communicated to the Red Sox leadership that there were player concerns about the manager that most of Red Sox nation has been ripping into for months?  What a cancer.

Meanwhile, Crawford seems like a great guy and a great teammate.  He also was a bad contract because he's had two unhealthy years and he's not at an age where you can necessarily expect a full bounce back.  So yes, trade the man if you can.  But don't act like he was a problem player for any reason beyond his contract and his health.

Beckett... I'm fine with his departure of course.  He'll be good next year I'm sure but he needed to be disposed of.  As a side note, one thing I have noticed is how seldom people seem to remember that he was actually really good in 2011.

What the Sox received in this deal was two top pitching prospect and some other stuff.  Ruddy De La Rosa seems like a great power arm with a huge upside.  He's already had some MLB experience and he seems likely be in Fenway this year and competing for a rotation slot next spring.  They also received power sinker specialist Alan Webster who is in AA now and might see the majors sometime next year.  Not too shabby.

James Loney will be a Red Sox for a few months and is expected to play solid defense at first and hit alarmingly little.  I can't see the Sox bringing him back next year unless he wants a minor league deal.  He's bad enough that the Sox might instead just see if Mauro Gomez or even Ryan Lavarnway might hit at first.

This was a great trade for the Sox.  The next question will be how to rebuild.

The pitching staff looks decent with Lester, Doubront, Morales, De La Rosa, Webster and probably another veteran or two.  Who knows, maybe Aceves will get a real chance to start.

The big questions will be who might play outfield and first base next season.  Outfield could be Ryan Kalish with Jackie Bradley, Jr. getting a chance to earn a spot sometime next year.  First base is anyone's guess at this point.  Meanwhile, the Sox will also start integrating Jose Iglesias at short with super prospect Xander Bogaerts hot on his heals. 

The clean decks brings a new sense of optimism for the future.  Next year might not be great, but the Sox will at least be a team we're more connected to than this one.

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