Via ESPN -
The Dodgers and Red Sox are closing in on a deal that would send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to Los Angeles, though a few hurdles remain before it’s official, multiple baseball sources said Friday.
Pitcher Rubby De La Rosa will be headed back to Boston as the centerpiece of the deal, sources say. De La Rosa made his first major league appearance of the season Wednesday, having had Tommy John surgery about 13 months ago. Also included are first baseman James Loney and prospects Ivan De Jesus (infielder) and Jerry Sands (outfielder), according to sources, plus another top prospect that is still unknown.
The Dodgers optioned De La Rosa to Double-A Chattanooga on Friday afternoon. Gonzalez was scratched prior to Friday’s game and summoned to the clubhouse, along with Punto. Loney was a scratch as well, and was called to manager Don Mattingly’s office.
Giving up Gonzalez would be a shocking change of direction for the Red Sox, who in December 2010 traded two of their top prospects — first baseman Anthony Rizzo and pitcher Casey Kelly — to acquire the first baseman. Gonzalez is making $21 million this season, the first in the seven-year, $154 million extension he signed in April 2011.
But with the Red Sox essentially out of contention for a playoff spot and the Dodgers under new ownership, Los Angeles is aggressively making a strong bid to bolster its chances for this season and the future.
Beckett, a 10-and-5 player, has the right to refuse to go to L.A.
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.
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. Ridding itself of Gonzalez’s salary might free up resources that would allow it to make significant improvements to a pitching staff that has significantly underperformed.
“I think something is happening, but I’m in a state of disbelief that it is,” one baseball source said Friday.
If they pull this off, it would be amazing that the Red Sox could clear all that baggage and salary. I cannot remember the last time a team moved that much money in one deal. A-Rod to the Yankees was big. But, this is three players. Kudos to Boston if they can swing this one.