Dodgers Get Gonzo In Nine-Player Deal With Red Sox

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The Deal
With a single nine-player deal with the Red Sox, the Dodgers became perhaps the most eager trade buyers in history. Los Angeles acquired first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and left fielder Carl Crawford—each on mega-deals that will pay them more than $20 million annually for at least the next five years—righthander Josh Beckett, utility infielder Nick Punto and more than $260 million in future salary commitments. Boston received veteran first baseman James Loney, whose contract expires after the season, and four upper-level prospects led by righthanders Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa and rounded out by first baseman/left fielder Jerry Sands and utility infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr., a pair of Triple-A players with modest ceilings.

The Red Sox will send $12 million to the Dodgers to cover the prorated portions of the veterans' 2012 salaries. Because the Blue Jays claimed de la Rosa on waivers, and another club claimed Sands, the Dodgers pulled them back off waivers and will send the duo to Boston as players to be named after the season. (De la Rosa and Sands officially joined the Red Sox organization on Oct. 4.) Crawford is on the 60-day disabled list following Tommy John surgery.

The Dodgers' frenzied summer trading has brought them a new first baseman (Gonzalez), a new shortstop (Hanley Ramirez), a new left fielder (Shane Victorino this year and Crawford next), two new new starting pitchers (Beckett, Joe Blanton), two new relievers (Brandon League, Randy Choate) and a new utilityman (Punto).
Red Sox Acquire
Allen Webster, rhp
Age: 22. Born: Feb. 10, 1990 in Greensboro, N.C.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 185.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: McMichael HS, Madison, N.C.
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in 18th round of 2008 draft; signed June 11, 2008.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Chattanooga (SL) AA 6 8 3.55 27 22 0 122 120 63 48 1 57 117 1.45

Webster fanned 8.5 batters per nine innings to rank among the Double-A Southern League's leading starters this season. Combine that ability to miss bats with his groundball tendencies—he allowed only one homer and notched a near 2-to-1 groundout-to-airout ratio in his 22 starts—and he profiles as at least a mid-rotation starter or dominant reliever. Converted from shortstop once he turned pro, Webster sits at 92-94 mph with a fastball that sinks and bores in on the hands of righties, while his mid-80s slider features late vertical break. Scouts expect his control and changeup to suffice in a starting role. The Red Sox must add Webster to the 40-man roster in November to shield him from the Rule 5 draft (if they don't call him up in September).
Rubby De La Rosa, rhp
Age: 23. Born: March 4, 1989 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 205.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Signed as international free agent by Dodgers, July 2, 2007.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Dodgers (AZL) R 0 0 0.00 1 1 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 3 0.33
R. Cucamonga (CAL) HiA 1 0 0.00 3 2 0 9 4 0 0 0 3 9 0.78
Los Angeles (NL) MLB 0 0 27.00 1 0 0 1 0 2 2 0 2 0 3.00

A late-bloomer in every sense of the term, de la Rosa signed out of the Dominican at age 18 and got sent home for disciplinary reasons during his U.S. debut season in 2009. The power-armed righty put things together in 2010, winning Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year honors and making his big league debut the following May. De la Rosa fanned a batter per inning during 13 appearances for Los Angeles as a rookie, but his season ended in early August 2011 when he had Tommy John surgery. He recovered quickly from the procedure and made it back to the Dodgers little more than a year after the surgery. Like Webster, de la Rosa has a high floor based on his raw stuff and control. He sits 92-94 mph, bumps 96, and at his best mixes in a biting slider and sinking changeup. He could develop into the stud closer the Red Sox thought they were trading for when they acquired Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon last offseason. De la Rosa has three minor league options remaining in case he needs to iron out his control or secondary stuff at the outset of 2013.
Jerry Sands, lf/1b
Age: 24. Born: Sept. 28, 1987 in Middletown, N.Y.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 225.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Catawba (N.C.).
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in 25th round of 2008 draft; signed June 10, 2008.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Los Angeles (NL) MLB .174 9 23 2 4 2 0 0 1 1 9 0 .208 .261
Albuquerque (PCL) AAA .303 109 416 79 126 15 4 24 101 53 96 1 .380 .531

For what he lacks in pure bat speed, Sands compensates for with brute strength. He slugged 35 homers in 2010 to burst on the prospect scene (and tie for third in the minors), then followed that up with seasons of 29 and 24 homers for Triple-A Albuquerque the past two years. The righty-hitting Sands has provided serious pop versus lefthanders (.532 slugging) during a pair of trials with Los Angeles, but big league righties have completely neutralized him at .204/.301/.289 over 165 plate appearances. That split doesn't persist in Triple-A—where Sands has fairly even contact rates, walk rates and isolated slugging averages versus lefties and righties alike—but that could just be the difference in quality between pitchers Triple-A and the big leagues. (The split to monitor for all Albuquerque players is home/road, and on that front Sands batted .248/.319/.473 with 23 homers in 455 PAs away from Isotopes Park during 2011-12.) All of his value must come with the bat because he doesn't shine defensively or on the bases. Fenway Park could be the right venue to maximize Sands' pull-oriented hitting approach because even if he guesses wrong, pop flies to left field often crash off the Green Monster.
Ivan De Jesus Jr., 2b/ss
Age: 25. Born: May 1, 1987 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 200.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: American Military Academy, Guaynabo, P.R.
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in second round of 2005 draft; signed June 19, 2005.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Los Angeles (NL) MLB .273 23 33 5 9 3 0 0 4 3 7 1 .324 .364
Albuquerque (PCL) AAA .295 60 224 32 66 12 3 3 33 14 53 1 .333 .415

De Jesus missed the majority of 2009 with a broken leg, and the lost season seemed to also break his momentum to the big leagues. He spent the bulk of the past three seasons in Triple-A—he'll be out of options next spring—batting .301/.354/.416 in 1,266 PAs for Albuquerque and proving capable defense at second base, shortstop and third base. (He batted .264/.315/.348 with five homers and 30 doubles in 649 PAs away from Isotopes Park.) De Jesus throws well enough to play the left side of the infield on a part-time basis, but his quick feet on the double play and average range make him best suited for the keystone. His contact-oriented hitting approach and well-below-average power would not meet the standard of a first-division second baseman, but he's well-equipped to handle a utility role.
James Loney, 1b
Age: 28. Bats: L. Contract Terms: Signed one-year, $6.375 million deal for 2012, then free agent-eligible this offseason.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Los Angeles (NL) 2012 .254 114 334 32 85 18 0 4 33 23 39 0 .302 .344
3-Year Totals
.272 433 1453 155 395 89 3 26 186 117 201 14 .326 .391

Dodgers Acquire
Adrian Gonzalez, 1b
Age: 30. Bats: L. Contract Terms: Signed seven-year, $154 million deal for 2012-18 seasons.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Boston (AL) 2012 .300 123 484 63 145 37 0 15 86 31 81 0 .343 .469
3-Year Totals
.313 442 1705 258 534 115 3 73 304 198 314 1 .386 .513
Carl Crawford, lf
Age: 30. Bats: L. Contract Terms: Signed seven-year, $142 million deal for 2011-17 seasons.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Boston (AL) 2012 .282 31 117 23 33 10 2 3 19 3 22 6 .306 .479
3-Year Totals
.283 315 1223 198 346 69 22 33 165 72 230 71 .324 .456
Josh Beckett, rhp
Age: 32. Bats: R. Contract Terms: Signed four-year, $68 million deal for 2011-14 seasons.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Boston (AL) 2012 5 11 5.23 21 21 0 127 131 75 74 16 38 94 1.33
3-Year Totals
24 24 4.38 72 72 0 448 428 229 218 57 135 385 1.26
Nick Punto, util
Age: 34. Bats: B. Contract Terms: Signed two-year, $3 million deal for 2012-13 seasons.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Boston (AL) 2012 .200 65 125 14 25 6 0 1 10 19 33 5 .301 .272
3-Year Totals
.239 216 510 59 122 25 5 3 50 72 104 12 .331 .325

Remaining Commitment: Ignoring the prorated salary the Dodgers owe Beckett, Crawford, Gonzalez and Punto for the remainder of this season, Los Angeles assumes $58 million in salary commitments for those four players in 2013 and more than $262 million total for the life of the deals. They'll pay Gonzalez $21 million annually through 2016, and then $21.5 million in 2017-18. They'll pay Crawford an average of $20.5 million each season through 2017 and Beckett $15.75 million in each of the next two seasons when he's 33 and 34. Punto comes off the books following his $1.5 million deal for next season.
Impact On Dodgers Depth Chart: Gonzalez represents a mammoth upgrade on Loney at first base and could net Los Angeles a win or more down the stretch. Crawford had Tommy John surgery in mid-August and ought to be ready for spring training—just in time to supplant Shane Victorino in left field, assuming he departs as a free agent. Crawford will join Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the Dodgers outfield. Having acquisitions such as Gonzalez, Crawford and Hanley Ramirez under contract for at least the next two seasons helps cover for a lack of impact position prospects in the upper level of the Dodgers system. Beckett has alternated effective and mediocre seasons throughout his career, so even if he pitches like a No. 4 the rest of the way, the Dodgers could have a solid wingman to Clayton Kershaw next season. Punto neatly replaces Jerry Hairston Jr. (who's out for the season) in the Dodgers mix, and he'll team with Ramirez on the left side of the infield to safeguard the club against having to rely on both Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe.
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