Red Sox-Dodgers Blockbuster Trade Nearing Completion: Reports

A-Gon is gone, or nearly so.

The Boston Red Sox apparently are about to trade RBI machine Adrian Gonzalez, the Gold-Glove first baseman, to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a nine-player deal. Also going west in the deal are pitcher Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford (who just went on the DL following Tommy John surgery), and infielder Nick Punto.

CSN New England observes that “The deal comes as the Red Sox find themselves with an angry fan base, upset with underperforming, overpaid veterans” and that “It’s believed that amount of money transfer is the largest amount ever in a trade between two teams.”

Beckett is having a miserable season (5-11, 5.23 ERA) and an attitude to match. Crawford has disappointed since signing a huge free agent contract.

Trading Adrian Gonzalez, however, seems inexplicable, but is apparently the condition for outsourcing Beckett (who apparently was the “wingman” in the fried-chicken-and beer controversy last September) and Crawford.

In exchange, the Dodgers will send pitcher Rubby De La Rosa, first baseman James Loney, and prospects Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, and Jerry Sands, to the Red Sox if the deal goes through. Loney is a free agent after this season, so his tenure in Boston is expected to be brief.

According to ESPN, if the huge Sox-Dodgers trade goes through, “It’s likely the Dodgers would absorb most, though not all, of the $261 million that Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford are owed after this season.”

The Red Sox gave up two top prospects in the trade for Adrian Gonzalez in 2010 who was expected to be the long-term answer at first base. He leads the team in four offensive categories this season: batting average (.300), RBI (86), OBP (.343,) and hits (145).

ESPN adds that “A Red Sox official, speaking on the condition of anonymity Thursday, insisted the Red Sox had no issues with Gonzalez on or off the field, but said the club was exploring all avenues to improve.”

The Red Sox-Dodgers trade must be completed by 1:30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday when the Dodgers’ waiver claim on Adrian Gonzalez expires.

Update: The trade is official. Adrian Gonzalez will be in the lineup tonight for the Dodgers. He tweeted the following: