It didn’t take long for the speculation to ramp up once Red Sox first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez was placed on trade waivers yesterday. Multiple writers out of Los Angeles have examined the situation that could lead to the Dodgers pursuing Gonzalez, although nothing has been confirmed from either organization, making it mere speculation, or fiction at this point.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes that there is a remote chance that a deal gets done involving the gold glove first baseman as Gonzalez fits the bill the Dodgers need; a power hitting infielder who would immediately bring an upgrade at first base over James Loney and Juan Rivera. Hernandez is quick to point out that one person familiar with the Dodgers thought process, doesn’t think the Red Sox will make Gonzo available, making the waiver move a mere ploy to gauge interest.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports states that the only way the Red Sox would consider dealing the nine time all-star is if it were a franchise-changing move. Considering the Dodgers thin minor league system and the unlikeliness they’d part ways with either Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp because of the postseason chase they are engaged in, such a deal appears far from reality.
Of course the only chance the Dodgers have at such a deal is providing another American League or National League club does not claim Gonzalez first, those being the team’s with a worse record than the Dodgers as of today. We’ve seen it in year’s past where divisional teams may intentionally claim a waiver player to prevent a rival club or another wild card competing team from upgrading with that player’s services. Considering the Arizona Diamondbacks are only three games back of the Dodgers entering play on Thursday night, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they claimed the silver slugging Red Sox with no intention of completing a deal, knowing full well the Sox won’t give him away for nothing.
One of the more interesting thought patterns came from Steve Dilbeck, also of the LA Times. Dilbeck does a great job of building up the case as to why the Dodgers should target Gonzalez, with his appeal to the Latino fan base due to his San Diego roots and the obvious offensive upgrade. But Dilbeck suggests the option of the Dodgers relieving the Red Sox of not only Gonzo’s big salary, but take on another bothersome contract; like the one of Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford.
Including Crawford is a pipe dream given he is scheduled to undergo Tommy John Surgery today. Any team that would take on Crawford’s salary at this point knowing he won’t be ready for game action until at least March needs to seriously look in the mirror and ask if they’re in the right profession. But including Beckett on the other hand might just work.
Wouldn’t that be something if Ben Cherington not only unloaded over $35 million of committed salary for the next two year’s but also shipped Josh Beckett out of town. It might be enough to get him a statue outside of Fenway Park. Okay, that’s a little far fetched but you get where I’m going with this. Ben talks about making bold moves, well this would certainly qualify as one.
The Dodgers are in the thick of a divisional battle and adding an experienced playoff arm in Beckett could help their cause. Of course his attitude stinks and his on field performance is even worse, but maybe a change of scenery would do him good.
The new owners of the boys in blue have made it known they will spend the money to have their club compete. This was obvious earlier this month when they claimed Cliff Lee off waivers only to have the Phillies revoke the move and not even discuss a deal. If the Dodgers owners were serious about taking on Lee’s $95 million that he still has coming to him, then the $130 million or so that Gonzalez is owed and the $30 million plus that Beckett is scheduled to make is not that big of a stretch. Not if it means getting their ball club into the postseason this year and potentially for year’s to come.
If Ben gets the offer he wants for Gonzalez then it may be worth looking at. Throwing in Beckett as an extra incentive, well, then that’s almost worth doing on principal alone. Of course we could be getting our hopes up for nothing should talks of a deal never get off the ground, making this situation pure fiction.