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Blockbuster trade set to happen for Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 24, 2012 09:10 PM

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Nothing is official yet. But here is the trade that seems likely to be approved sometime late Friday or Saturday:

RED SOX OBTAIN
1B James Loney
OF/1B Jerry Sands (AAA)
RHP Rubby De La Rosa (AAA)
INF Ivan DeJesus (AAA)
RHP Allen Webster (AA)

Note: De La Rosa is likely to be a player to be named later as he is not eligible to be traded immediately, having been claimed on waivers and then withdrawn.

DODGERS OBTAIN
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RHP Josh Beckett
OF Carl Crawford
INF Nick Punto

The Dodgers also would be responsible for an incredible $274 million in payroll obligations and reportedly are willing to take most, if not all, of that on.

The Sox would go from having roughly $100 million in guaranteed money for 2013 to $39 million.

Webster, who is 22, is the best of the bunch in terms of the prospects the Red Sox are getting back. Sands has hit for power in Triple A while DeJesus is a defensively versatile 25-year-old. De La Rosa, who is a year off Tommy John surgery, is a hard-throwing 23-year-old starter who has a 2.75 ERA in 57 minor league games.

The biggest thing the trade does is give the Red Sox a chance to re-set their organization after what amounts to three years of failure. They can get back to the business of player development instead of spending on free agents. That is the strong suit of the organization and has been for a while.

It's a franchise-changing deal. In one day, the Red Sox changed the look of the team, created huge financial and roster flexibility, and improved the tenor of their clubhouse.

Beckett obviously was a player not remotely interested in what the fans thought of him and his decline was evident this season. Crawford's two seasons in Boston, at best, were miserable ones for him. Gonzalez, while a very good player, never seemed comfortable in Boston.

Try this out for a 2013 lineup:
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Middlebrooks 3B
* Ortiz DH
* Ross RF
TBA 1B
Lavarnway/Salty C
Kalish or somebody else LF
Iglesias SS

* Free agents

Rotation candidates
Buchholz
Lester
Doubront
De La Rosa
Morales
Lackey
Aceves

A lot of fans have asked about the Red Sox chasing a free agent like Josh Hamilton. Don't see it. He's going to be 32 in May and obviously comes with a unique set of risks along with questions about staying healthy on the field.

The Sox need to forget high-priced free agents and grow their own stars. Guys like Middlebrooks, Lavarnway, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. need to be the future, not free agents who came to Boston only because the money was better than anywhere else.

Interesting times all of a sudden.

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