Admit it, Red Sox Nation. If you thought a mega trade like the one that was reported on last night and is being finalized today would actually come to fruition after the July 31 non-waiver deadline, you were dreaming.
Well, dreams came true today when Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe and other sources (ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes) confirmed that the Los Angeles Dodgers will take Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto from Boston in what is perhaps the biggest waiver wire trade ever, and certainly the biggest for Boston in decades. The Sox get a couple of promising prospects/minor leaguers in return, including pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa (who just pitched his first MLB game after recovering from Tommy John surgery 13 months ago). Also coming to Boston is (average) first baseman James Loney, and two more prospects, Ivan De Jesus (infielder) and Jerry Sands (outfielder).
I'm not thrilled about the Sox geting a .250-hitting first baseman with little power in return for Gonzalez, but the rest of the trade is impressive. I just can't believe it's happening now, well after the non-waiver July 31 deadline. This trade only happened after players like Gonzo and Beckett were put on the waiver wire, which teams often do in August just so see what kind of response and value they might have to other teams who might want them. Such players (good or average players) must be not wanted by all American League teams (from worst record to best) and many NL teams, before a playoff-contending team with money to spend like the Dodgers could put a claim in for them.
It's kind of (but not totally) surprising that Gonzalez is actually gone now, but I am thrilled that Beckett (who is just 5-11 with a lousy 5.23 ERA in 2012) is finally out of Boston. Those of you who have read some of my in-season "Dead Read" columns may recall how I've been railing against the overrated former Cy Young contender for almost three years. The guy just doesn't take care of his body the best he possibly can, gets hurt every year, and long ago lost the ability to consistently pitch like an ace and be a late season hero. I thank him for his role in the 2007 championship run and for being good for the first half of most seasons after that, but his second half tankings were greatly disappointing.