Why Dodgers LIKE deal…Beckett, Gonzo, Punto high in the clouds


After Red Sox fans come down from a high equivalent to eating three bowls of Bill Lee’s favorite breakfast, they may wonder:  Why the hell did the Dodgers make this trade?

But first, the big downside for the Dodgers is that their new jewel at 1b will not be eligible to play in the 2012 World Series, or post-season playoffs:

"After Aug. 31, players who are traded (after passing through waivers, of course) cannot be on any postseason roster."

That caveat aside, here are two major reasons the Dodgers liked their side of the deal:

First:  They believe that Adrian Gonzalez can take them to the World Series in the future and to the NL West pennant this year.


"HINT: “We can take on significant money,” —Dodgers’ Chairman, Mark Walter."

Recall the punch line to the old joke: “Why did the dogs lick their balls?” 


All MLB teams will be reaping large profits from the new TV contracts and the Dodgers, with the second largest cable market will have a windfall of $4 BILLION.

The “mother load ” of cable TV money that Horace Stoneham and Walter O’Malley expected, when they moved the Giants and Dodgers to California in 1958,  has finally hit pay dirt.

It is indeed ironic that the L.A. franchise, which had to declare bankruptcy last season, as part of a divorce settlement, is now flush with cash.

The Red Sox and the Dodgers are on different Franchise Cycles; L.A. believes it is just a player shy of going all the way this year; the Red Sox are in Remodel, but not Rebuild, mode and believe they are a few years away from establishing a Dynasty Decade team.

This was the trade version of a “marriage made in heaven.”  It is the kind of trade that all the Fantasy baseball players call a “win-win” deal.

Adrian Gonzalez was the player the Dodgers believed they needed to take the team to the next level, from scrambling competitor to odd-on favorite for the NL West pennant; a prize that has become more important with the new “one-and-done” Wild Card structure.

The Dodgers saw Gonzalez as the new jewel of their infield and the #3 or #4 dynamo who would make the offense hum.  They liked the idea that he was under contract control until 2018.  Since money was not a problem, they were willing to roll the dice on Beckett and Crawford, as long as they got their prize:  All-Star First baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

“Gonzalez is a model citizen. He is a bilingual San Diego native whose Mexican heritage would probably energize the Dodgers’ heavily Latino fan base.” Dylan Hernandez, L.A. Times

Other potential bonus benefits from the Dodgers; viewpoint:


Beckett may be so delighted to get out of Boston; he may give the team some good innings during their NL West chase.  He had a mediocre Pitching coach in Boston and maybe the Dodger Pitching coaches can work with him to develop secondary pitches.  He may need to learn to “pitch in reverse,” as they say in the NL; that is:  use the fastball as the occasional surprise pitch.

Beckett has lost velocity on his once lights-out heater that was his “out pitch.”  In 1997 he could crank it up and still not lose movement.  Now, without the overwhelming velocity or movement, the hitters are cranking it out.

Almost worse case, they use him in the bullpen.

Worst case, they pay him to “chump change” or trade him for prospects.


Carl will be glad to be returning to a warm weather home city.  He will be ready to play for most of next season; he will likely be back in May.  He will see it as his chance to prove that he is still a top-tier MLB OF and worth the money.

The Dodgers believe that he will come back even stronger from the TJ surgery and stay relatively healthy for the duration of this contract [5 years].  Although he will be 32 in 2013, he has a history of being a “gym rat,” and will do his best to stay in shape to avoid injuries in the future.

Based on his statistical record, Baseball Reference will likely project him for 2013 thusly:

BA   .292

HR  14

RBI  77

R  99

SB  14

SLG  .441

OBP  .332

OPS  .774

K    104

W  37

The Dodgers realize that Crawford is the big risk player in the deal, but they believe he can return to his “average” year [above] and that he will be “money in the bank” after 2012.


James Loney has faded from a top prospect in 2006, who was expected to “develop” power to an offensive disappointment at a power position; although his career BA is .284, he has gone off the cliff in 2012 [.254] and has averaged about 10 HRs per season for seven years; an avg. of about 64 RBIs per season is also too low for a First baseman on a contending team.  In WAR terms, he’s been at or below replacement level for the past five seasons.


Allen Webster [RHP, ETA 2013]

The Dodgers were willing to lose a potential trade with the Cubs by refusing to give up highly regarded sinkerballer Webster, their #2 overall prospect behind [RHP] Zach Lee, according to MLB.


A more recent report [8/24/2012] at FanGraphs by Marc Hulet ranks Webster as the #4Dodger prospect:

Allen Webster, 22, would give Boston a second hard-throwing, right-handed prospect. Prior to 2012, I ranked the North Carolina native as the Dodgers’ fourth best prospect behind fellow pitching prospects Zach Lee, Nate Eovaldi, and Chris Reed. Webster throws in the low-to-mid-90s with his heater and complements it with three secondary pitches: a curveball, slider, and changeup.”

Dodgers’ director of amateur scouting, Logan White, said this about 18th round, H.S. draft pick:

“With Webster, it’s kind of like you’re shopping for paintings and you go to an art dealer and find one that costs you $150,000. Then you go to a garage sale and get lucky. You find something for a lot less and later discover that it’s really valuable. People simply didn’t realize what it was. To me, that’s kind of Webster’s story… He’s been a gem. We went to a garage sale and found a Mona Lisa of sorts.”


“He made 17 starts at the double-A level in 2011 and returned to the level in ’12. He’s made another 27 appearances (22 starts) and has pitched more than 120 innings each of the past three seasons displaying outstanding durability. Webster’s biggest challenges to sticking in the starting rotation are his lack of consistency with the command of his secondary stuff and his wavering control.

He has the ceiling of a No. 2 or 3 starter, or could strip down his repertoire to become a dominating high-leverage reliever. I’d slide Webster onto the Red Sox updated Top 15 prospect list at No.3 behind infielder Xander Bogaerts and right-handed starter Matt Barnes.”


Ivan DeJesus Jr.

The Dodgers see him as a “throw in,” since he has struggled to come back from a 2009 leg injury and his K rate was alarming for a position that relies on OBP and productive outs.

“Infielder DeJesus Jr. came in as the 14th prospect on the Dodgers’ pre-season Top 15 prospect list. He’s a personal favorite of mine even though he hasn’t been quite the same player since suffering a nasty broken leg that cost him most of the 2009 season.”

DeJesus has spent the past three seasons playing mostly at triple-A, although he’s also filled in for 40 games at the big league level. His numbers have taken a bit of a hit at triple-A in 2012 mainly due to an increased strikeout rate, and a change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered.


Rubby [RU-BEE] de la Rosa [RHP]

Although he was rated No. 90 overall by Baseball America going into the 2011 season, the 23 year-old from the Dominican Republic, the Dodgers worried about his lack of consistent command and control.

They also worry about his long-term durability and how much he can recover from his Tommy John surgery during the 2011 season. His calling card is his 100 MPH heater, but the Dodgers were concerned that his delivery puts a lot of strain on his diminutive frame. His secondary pitches, a changeup and slider, were showing some potential, before the TJ procedure, but are an unknown quantity post-surgery.

In as worst case scenario for the Dodgers, he could become the “Next Pedro Martinez,” but his short career in MLB did not impress the Dodgers:  4-5, 1.82 K/W ratio, 1.42 WHIP.

Jerry Sands

While he has flashed power in the minors, he has yet to settle on a consistent batting stance.  Some Dodger scouts see Sands as a potential All-Star at 1b.  During his “cup of coffee” MLB audition last April he batted only .200, striking out 33 times in 120 at-bats, he appeared over-matched and the Dodger brass began to wonder if he was just a AAA star, who would never make the leap to the majors.

His latest batting stance will remind Red Sox fans of Don Mattingly.  Despite his recent hot streak, a .425 / .475 / .685 stat line for the month of August, the Dodgers were willing to trade him, expecting he will not jump the gap from Minor to Major league pitching.

The Dodgers believe that they have acquired an All-Star 1b, who is one of the premier hitters in the AL, a starter with some upside, and a future  All-Star OF, who will come back stronger from surgery.

They believe that they gave up a #3 starter [Webster], a fragile DL candidate pitcher [de la Rosa], an aging prospect, who may never hit Major league pitching [Sands] and a utility infielder [de Jesus, Jr.].

As a bonus, the Dodgers were able to keep prized Top Ten prospects;  RHPs:  #1, Zach Lee; #4, 2011 first rounder, Chris Reed; #5 Angel Sanchez, #6 Chris Withrow; #8, Garrett Gould, and #9 Juan Rodriguez. [http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/]

Sure, it will cost them about $260 million; but that is just 15.38% of $4 BILLION.

Dodgers conclude:

"RE: TALENTGood deal.RE: MONEYNo big deal."


Dodgers Receive:

  • SP Josh Beckett (age 32, signed through 2014, 4 years/$68M)
  • 1B Adrian Gonzalez (age 30, signed through 2018, 7 years/$154M)
  • LF Carl Crawford (age 31, signed through 2017, 7 years/$142M)
  • INF Nick Punto (age 34, signed through 2013, 2 years/$3M)

Red Sox Receive:

The Red Sox will pay the Dodgers $12 million over the next six years, and Los Angeles covers the rest. That is estimated to mean approximately $275 million accumulated in savings for Boston over the course of the contract of the former Sox.

Player       2012     2013     2014   2015    2016     2017      2018

Gonzalez $21.00 $21.00 $21.00 $21.00 $21.00 $21.50  $21.50

Crawford $19.50 $20.00 $20.25 $20.50 $20.75 $21.00 Free Agent

Beckett   $15.75 $15.75  $15.75  FA


2012     2013     2014     2015      2016      2017      2018

$56.25 $56.75  $57.00  $41.50   $41.75  $42.50   $21.50

Dodgers existing:

2012           2013      2014         2015      2016     2017      2018

$105.42   $135.51   $76.66    $48.46   $46.96 $47.46   $29.00

2012       2013        2014       2015      2016     2017      2018

Total     $161.67  $192.26  $133.66   $89.96  $88.71   $89.96  $50.50