The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly ready to complete one of, if not the, largest waiver deals in baseball history. The Dodgers, in the proposed trade, would receive Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto from the Red Sox, in exchange for a mix of prospects and players.
Needless to say, it's the ultimate white flag from Larry Lucchino and John Henry, which is delicious enough in its own right. The Red Sox are giving up on 2012, and punting a lot of 2013 production, just to escape awful contracts.
The Red Sox will now have a lot more money to spend come this winter in free agency, and they'll have an opening in left field...and could emerge as a suitor for Josh Hamilton.
Gonzalez is sighed through 2018 at 21.5 million per year. Crawford will make $20 million until 2016. Beckett will earn $15.75 million until 2015. That's a lot of money off the books in Boston.
2013 could also be Jacoby Ellsbury's last year in Boston, too, especially as a Scott Boras client.
You see where this is going by now.
Red Sox ownership has become desperate for power, and frankly, attention. The power struggle last year between new general manager Ben Cherington, Lucchino and Henry was simply amazing, as Cherington wanted to hire Dale Sveum to manage his club, but Lucchino and Henry insisted on bringing the Bobby Valentine circus to Boston.
With the Red Sox undergoing a makeover, and with money free to spend, and a hole in left field, the Red Sox could throw a lot of money at Josh Hamilton to come and be the new face and leader of the team. It would be a very Lucchino and Henry move at this point, as they look to bring playoff baseball back to Boston for the first time since 2009.
Hamilton would provide a lot of production, if he stays healthy and keeps his head on straight. Two huge ifs. Hamilton also provides a feel good story for the fans to root for, and a genuinely likeable player for the fans to root for in Boston -- someone that they haven't been able to find these last two years.
Hamilton will also provide the Red Sox yet another bad contract, assuming they do go after him. Whoever signs Hamilton will almost certainly be paying too much money for too long a period of time.
I could be wrong. The Red Sox might just go in for an all-in rebuild, or maybe Hamilton won't pique their interest this winter. It just seems to be the perfect storm for a team looking to give itself a new image while competing, and for a player looking for the biggest payday.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, are almost certainly out on any type of Hamilton pursuit, with Crawford, Kemp and Ethier in the outfield going forward.