Breaking Balls: What Boston-LA mega-trade means for each team
Continue Reading - Pages: 1 2
Around this time of year, most of the sports world has its attention fixated on the upcoming college and pro football seasons. And baseball takes a back seat until the playoffs come around.
This year, there’s also the gigantic waste of U.S. taxpayer money known as USADA’s Lance Armstrong witch hunt. “We the people” have now paid millions of dollars to “bust” Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong for using performance enhancing substances, and have therefore brought about sweeping changes in the minds of athletes who will now be more careful about covering up their cheating and who now know better than to talk to Congress. A fun way to celebrate this victory is to Google “shut down due to lack of funding” and see what useful programs in your area could have used some of those millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, with all that noise going on, the baseball world has been witness to the single greatest, weirdest, expensivist trade ever in the history of baseball. The Boston Red Sox have traded Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers for James Loney and four prospects.
Never before has this much contracted money been traded between two teams. [Editor’s Note: Jed, can you cite a reference on this?] [Note to Editor: Uh, yeah, the reference I’m citing is my memory!] The Red Sox dumped over $260 million in contractual obligations on the Dodgers – freeing up about $55 million alone for Boston next year.
The trade itself is somewhat unprecedented. When we’ve seen salary-dump trades in the past, a financially stout team like the Red Sox is usually the dumpee, not the dumper. And they’re not even close to this much dough.
I’m in a somewhat peculiar position on this trade because I am a Red Sox fan and, since I live in Los Angeles, I’m also a Dodgers fan.
All of this was set in motion when the Dodgers put in a claim on Adrian Gonzalez as the Red Sox did an administrative procedure that I won’t bore you with that all teams do this time of year. These kinds of “claims” happen all the time on all teams with most players and teams usually just block the claim by withdrawing the player. Boring stuff.
And when the sports radio stations around LA started going on about how the Dodgers should claim Gonzalez and get him on the team, I laughed out loud – or as the kids say: I LOL’ed. Typical radio guy stuff to get fans all worked up over nothing. The Red Sox would never let Gonzalez go.
Unless … what if the Red Sox were able to also dump a ton of terrible contracts on the Dodgers in the process? And that’s when the rumors started on Friday that the Dodgers’ claim on Gonzalez was real and the Red Sox might let the claim go through if, as part of the deal, they could dump the struggling and highly remunerated Josh Beckett and the severely struggling and recently operated-upon Carl Crawford.
I was so overwhelmed with confusion, sadness, anger, excitement, hope and despair that I could barely enjoy my iced tea while tracking the story on my iPhone as I laid poolside – the life of a writer does have its perks.
No matter which way this rumored trade went, I was going to have to write about it. Just the fact that the Red Sox would even contemplate this “dump” was absolutely bizarre. And the fact that the Dodgers would be willing to take on that much of a financial obligation was absolutely bizarre. We’ve never seen anything like it, even in the rumor state.
Then the rumors turned into reports that this trade was happening. I still couldn’t quite believe it – right up until someone posted a picture on Twitter of a Red Sox employee taking down the poster of Adrian Gonzalez along a hallway of Fenway Park.
Share and Enjoy
Continue Reading - Pages: 1 2