There is little argument that last years blockbuster 9-player trade between the Dodgers and Red Sox remains one of the biggest trades in recent history, if not ever. The trade, seen as a huge salary dump by the Red Sox and a major acquisition of all-star caliber players by the Dodgers, was clearly a win-win situation for both teams and played a huge role in their respective 2013 seasons.
But when all is said and done, who got the better end of the deal?
The way I see it, there are two very distinctive yet two very different aspects to the trade.
The first aspect is that the Red Sox were able to unload a mind-boggling $262.5 million in payroll that they had tied up in Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto, all of whom (except Punto) were considered disappointments and even malcontents by the team and the fans alike. Dumping this much money allowed the Red Sox to go out and sign several big name free agents such as Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster and Shane Victorino, and to re-sign several of their franchise players such as Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz; while also receiving James Loney, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Jerry Sands from the Dodgers. And how did this work out for the nine players involved in the trade?
- James Loney was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays where he had the best year of his 8-year MLB career hitting .299 with 13 home runs and 75 RBIs in 158 games and is a strong candidate to win a Gold Glove.
- Ivan DeJesus Jr. was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates where he never made it above the Triple-A level.
- Rubby De La Rosa appeared in 11 games for the Red Sox, all as a reliever, and went 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA. He spent most of the 2013 season with the Triple-A Pawtuckett Red Sox.
- Allen Webster appeared in 8 games for the Red Sox (7 starts) and went 1-2 with an 8.60 ERA. He spent most of the 2013 season with the Triple-A Pawtuckett Red Sox.
- Jerry Sands was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates where he never made it above the Triple-A level.
- Adrian Gonzalez hit .293 with 22 home runs and 100 RBIs in 157 games.
- Carl Crawford hit .283 with 6 home runs and 36 RBIs in 116 games.
- Josh Beckett started 8 games for the Dodgers going 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA. He underwent surgery in which he had a rib removed to help treat a condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome. He is expected to be fully recovered in time for spring training 2014.
- Nick Punto hit .255 with 2 home runs and 21 RBI’s in 116 games and is now a free agent.
Every indication is that the Dodgers came out ahead in the deal - way ahead, in fact.
…which brings us to the second and painful aspect of the trade.
The Red Sox are in the World Series and the Dodgers are not.