Four Sox Players Packaged Off To Hollywood in Major “Blockbuster” Deal; Gonzalez Already Makes His Mark
BOSTON — Red Sox Nation has not even been able to sit and take it all in for 24 hours, but what was being referred to as “the blockbuster trade for the ages” in Major League Baseball was officially completed on Saturday.
After the Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly claimed both 1B Adrian Gonzalez and RHP Josh Beckett off waivers on Friday afternoon, word broke that the clubs were furiously talking about a major trade that was finalized early Saturday morning, according to WBZ’s Dan Roche.
Dodgers receive: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, LF Carl Crawford, RHP Josh Beckett, and INF Nick Punto
Red Sox receive: RHP Rubby De La Rosa, 1B James Loney, RHP Allen Webster, INF Ivan De Jesus, and OF Jerry Sands
At around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, CBS’ Jon Heyman reported that a plane had been sent to Boston and the former Red Sox were en route to Los Angeles.
Gonzalez made his Los Angeles presence felt very quickly as he hit a three-run home run in his first at-bat during the Dodgers’ 8-2 win over Miami. In addition, Punto was inserted as a pinch hitter, walking and scoring a run in the eighth inning.
It won’t be long for Beckett to make his debut in Dodger blue as he takes the ball in Colorado on Monday. Loney is scheduled to make his Red Sox debut, batting fifth at first base on Sunday afternoon.
Here’s a player-by-player look at each of Boston’s acquisitions in what is known to be the largest monetary transaction in Major League Baseball history:
Veteran James Loney, who was the longest-tenured Dodger in the Major Leagues before the trade, is in the midst of his fifth full season as a big leaguer. The 2002 first-round Draft selection is having a down season, hitting .254 with four home runs and 33 RBI. Despite struggling this year, the 28-year-old has driven in at least 60 runs in each of the last five seasons, while hitting above .265 during every season with LA.
Rubby De La Rosa is at the very beginning of the comeback trail after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Aug. 9, 2011. The Dominican righty made his return to the Majors in relief on Wednesday but was demoted to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts on Friday, just as the rumor mills began to turn. He went 4-5 in his first 13 Major League appearances last season. Before the operation, he was rated as the system’s No. 3 prospect by Baseball America after being selected as the Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2010, holding opponents to a .219 batting average between the Lookouts and Low-A Great Lakes Loons.
Allen Webster entered the season as one of BA’s Top 100 Prospects and has went 6-8 with a 3.55 ERA across 121.2 innings, fanning 117 batters for the Lookouts. Following the deal, SoxProspects.com adjusted their top prospect rankings to include the 2008 18th-round pick at No. 4 – checking in behind pretty elite company in SS Xander Boegarts, RHP Matt Barnes and OF Jackie Bradley, Jr. Earlier Saturday, he was assigned to Double-A Portland and could be worked into the team’s rotation as early as next week at New Hampshire (TOR). The North Carolina native, who came into the year as the Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect behind fellow highly touted arm Zach Lee, was also voted to have the best change-up among Dodger farmhands. Last season, he struck out 62 over just 54 innings for the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes before a Double-A promotion in late May.
Ivan DeJesus, another one of the team’s Top 30 prospects, has struggled during limited Major League action over the last two seasons. The Puerto Rican native entered the year rated No. 26 in the system as he hit .310 in 100 games for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes last season, before playing in 17 games with the Dodgers and hitting under .190. He has played in 23 games this year, hitting at .273 with just four RBI.
Jerry Sands will be a player to be named later in the trade and was another 2008 Draft selection by the Dodgers, signing for just $5,000 as a 25th-round pick out of Catawba College in North Carolina. The New York-born 1B/OF checks at a lenky 6’4,” 225 and made his Major League debut in just his fourth pro season, playing in 61 games last year. He hit at .303 with 24 home runs and 101 RBI, both high marks among Dodger minor leaguers, at Triple-A this year. Since the All-Star break, he has hit 12 home runs in just 37 games.