There are long-term dangers in making such a move. The Red Sox traded for Gonzalez and signed Crawford in December 2010.
They were traded only 21 months later.
It is unusual for a team to trade such prominent players so quickly and that could leave high-profile free agents hesitant to sign with the Red Sox.
“It is something we considered,” Cherington said. “If we are who we want to be on the field, off the field, we will be a great place for players to be.
“If we get back to being the team we want to be, players are going to want to be here. This is still a great place to play. The highs are really high when things are going well. When they’re not, it can be tough. That’s why it’s so important to get back to where we want to be.”
Via Twitter, Beckett, Gonzalez, and Punto sent out messages thanking Red Sox fans for their support.
“Even in the tough times, I ran into so many wonderful people that were so awesome. I’m greatly appreciative to all of you,” Beckett wrote.
Had Beckett expressed such sentiments while a member of the Red Sox, perhaps he still would be playing for them. Instead, a new era is at hand for the franchise.
“We’re excited about the chance this gives us to build the next great Red Sox team,” Cherington said.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.