Recent Phillies' teams prove that Dodgers aren't guaranteed to win anything
The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t fooling around.
Just weeks after acquiring Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins and Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton from the Phillies, they pull off one of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent memory and landed first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett, injured outfielder Carl Crawford, infielder Nick Punto and $11 million in cash from the Boston Red Sox. In exchange, the Dodgers sent long-time underachieving first baseman James Loney, pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and two players to be named later.
There were teams with worse records than the Dodgers who could have claimed the players involved in the deal off waivers. However, no team was willing to eat the heavy salaries of Beckett (owed $31.5 million), Gonzalez ($127 million through 2018) and Crawford ($102.5 million over the next five years).
The trade really sums up the tale of the two cities. For the Dodgers, happy days are here again. New co-owner Magic Johnson is used to winning, and the seemingly endless pockets of his ownership group has spared no expense after taking control of the team in May. The team will pick up almost a quarter of a billion dollars in salary over the next six seasons with the recent trade.
For the Red Sox, it was the final nail in the coffin for a team with failed expectations dating back to last September’s collapse. New manager Bobby Valentine has clashed with many of his players, and the deal confirms that a rebuilding process will be underway for one of the most successful (if not the most successful) franchises in baseball over the last decade.
With their new additions, the Dodgers, who currently trail the National League West leading Giants by two games, now seem to be in a prime position to overtake their hated rivals by the bay.
But let’s backtrack for a second here before we go prematurely handing out postseason awards.
As every person who lived in the Tri-State area knows, the Phillies (on paper) should have won the World Series the last two years- but that’s why you play the games. Although All-Star, Gold Glove-winning first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is an instant upgrade who will compliment Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Ramirez nicely, Beckett is currently 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA and supposedly plenty of attitude to go with it. At the same time, a change of scenery might serve Beckett well, but that’s to be determined. Crawford’s disastrous 2011 season with Boston after signing a then-landmark deal was compounded by an elbow injury that required Tommy John Surgery. Crawford won’t suit up for the Dodgers until 2013.
The Dodgers are nothing new to injuries. Right-hander Chad Billingsley is set to have an MRI on his elbow, Victorino now has a strained hip, and Kemp as well as Dee Gordon have spent time on the disabled list this year as well.
So in closing, yes, the Dodgers became an even more talented bunch with Saturday’s trade, but until they make that last defensive out in the 2012 World Series, they’re on an equal playing field like every other potential postseason team.
You can unfortunately ask the Phillies about that.