The blockbuster trade between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers is reportedly done and simply awaiting official approval from the Commissioner. While there are plenty of moving parts, the headline of the deal involves the massive salary dump by the Red Sox as they unload veterans Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez. For many, that's the biggest benefit for Boston. But aside from clearing out the hefty contracts, what else is Boston getting in return?
Boston will reportedly receive major league first baseman James Loney (a soon-to-be free agent), and then four prospects -- Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands, and Ivan De Jesus. The package is highlighted by the two young pitching prospects.
Marc Normandin at Over the Monster provides some background on the two pitching prospects heading to Boston in the deal. De La Rosa is a righty with very limited MLB experience and lots of potential. Normandin discussed how that talent might translate to the big league club:
[De La Rosa's] potential translates into either an impact relief arm for the back-end of the Boston bullpen, or as a mid-rotation starter. Boston does not have a single pitcher with that kind of upside sitting at Pawtucket at the moment, so De La Rosa's acquisition fills a void that needed filling. His repertoire needs work, as that's what will determine whether he starts or relieves. But he owns a power slider and a high-90s heater, so, if nothing else, Boston might have found their replacement for the seemingly broken Daniel Bard.
As for Webster, Normandin writes that the Sox are getting a possible mid-rotation arm that adds some depth to Boston's stable of minor league arms. Webster joins De La Rosa as the main haul for the Sox:
Webster is a huge get, a guy who might have moved his ceiling from mid-rotation to potential #2, but there's still a ways to go before that last bit can be said with real confidence. With Brandon Workman excelling, Drake Britton rebounding, and Allen Webster now in tow, Boston all of a sudden has a plethora of pitching talent in the high minors.
While adding two potential prospects is a key factor for Boston, the trade is also as much about the significant salary dump and "reset button" that is hit with the unloading of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett. The Dodgers are acquiring three former All-Stars with massive contracts, which means they could be hit with the MLB's new competitive balance tax, as Eric Stephen at True Blue L.A. writes. But just as the Red Sox are starting over, the new Dodgers owners are obviously declaring a new day in LA, where money may be no object.