When news broke earlier this afternoon about the Dodgers submitting a waiver claim on Adrian Gonzalez, I didn't flinch. I raised an eyebrow when I heard they also claimed Josh Beckett, and when ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes reported that a deal that would send Gonzalez, Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers was being talked about…well, hell broke loose. Jon Morosi then tweeted that the deal was "close", which has pretty much turned the internet on its head.
The deal would also involve cash going to the Dodgers, and would probably just be a salary dump…I don't exactly see the Dodgers giving up some sort of massive prospect package. But man, this would probably be one of the biggest deals in sports history, in terms of both "name" players and money. Gonzalez is owed $133 million over the next six years, Crawford is owed $102.5 million over the next five years, and Beckett is owed "just" $31.5 million over the next two years. That's $267 million in salary heading to the Dodgers, ignoring the $1.5 million Punto is owed next year.
Crawford would be an acquisition for next season and beyond, with his Tommy John surgery knocking him out for the rest of this season. He could slot into left field for the Dodgers alongside the already-extended Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, creating a formidable outfield for years to come. Gonzalez would replace James Loney's anemic bat at first base and move back to the NL West, where he experienced most of his career success with the Padres. Beckett's acquisition would be another "future move", with LA's top four starters of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang all signed for next year, and the newly-acquired Joe Blanton getting paid big money for the remainder of the 2012 season before hitting free agency this offseason.
We're still in the preliminary stage of things right now, but this is escalating VERY quickly. The Dodgers have until Sunday afternoon to complete the trade, and this is a topic that everyone will be looking at all weekend. Stay tuned…