August 25, 2012. As the news dropped, I think everyone’s jaws dropped along with it. The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers made a trade, and, boy oh boy, what a trade it was!
The deal was as follows: Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrián González, Nick Punto and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers while the Boston Red Sox receive Iván De Jesús, James Loney, Allen Webster, and players to be named later. The Dodgers then sent Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands to complete the trade.
Boston was in the middle of a very successful run by 2012. The Red Sox finally got their World Series title in 2004 after 86 years and scored another one for good measure in 2007. They had the personnel in place … a great group of guys who could turn in multiple runs of success, but something went horribly wrong. They blew a nine-game lead for the Wild Card spot in 2011 and decided Terry Francona was no longer the person they wanted in charge moving forward, so in comes Bobby Valentine. I think you could hear the collective head scratch on that signing throughout Boston. Valentine wasn’t known for his great relationship with players, coaches, or the media. The Red Sox brass must have thought having a player’s manager wasn’t what they have in mind when it comes to success, even though Francona’s two rings might have something to say about that.
In Boston, 2012 was just a disaster on many levels. Well publicized off the field incidents, poor play on the field, just a whole host of errors that lead them to a last-place finish.
So who won the 2012 trade between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers?
The answer is simple: The Red Sox got their third title the next year. Dumping salary and players who were lackluster (to say the least) were jettisoned for a team. A group of guys who could play as a cohesive unit. If you give anyone that decision, you’re going to get a correct answer 100 out of 100 times, but let’s look at the players who went back and forth. Was there anything the Red Sox got in players that helped? How about the Dodgers?