But was the money well spent, and will it be well spent for either team? Let's take a look at the key pieces of the deal, all coming from Boston.
Raise your hand if you want to move back to the west coast.
When it comes to dealing Gonzalez I'm not really sure why Boston did that. I'm not saying it isn't a lot of money, but it's not as if Adrian hasn't been a big contributor to the team. For starters, according to Fangraph's, Gonzo was worth $29.5 million last season, well above the AAV of his contract ($22 million). This season hasn't been going quite as well, as he's only been worth $12.3 million, but he's still putting up pretty respectable numbers (.300/.343/.469 with 15 HR and 86 RBI). If the Sox were looking into the future, which I believe they are, then it would make sense if Gonzalez only had a year or two left on his contract, but as I've pointed out... that's not the case.
The Sox didn't have any first basemen on Baseball America's preseason top 10 prospect list, but perhaps they believe Mauro Gomez, who is hitting .310/.371/.589 in AAA Pawtucket so far this season, is the long-term answer at 1B. Or it could be Jerry Sands, who was acquired from Los Angeles. Sands hit well in the minors, batting .303/.380/.531 with 24 HR in AAA, although his 251 plate appearances in MLB haven't been "all that" (.244/.325/.376). But Jerry is only 24 years old, so maybe Boston has something here.
Adrian could have been a key part of the future, but now he'll be giving Giants fans headaches instead of giving me and other Yankee fans headaches (in 12 games against the Yankees this season his triple-slash is .375/.388/.667).
On the other hand I understand why the Dodgers traded for Adrian. Gonzalez dominated the NL West for 5 years prior to being traded to Boston before the 2011 season, putting up a triple-slash of .288/.374/.514 to go along with averaging about 32 HRs a year while with the San Diego Padres. Los Angeles had James Loney, who was dealt to Boston in the deal, at 1B this season, but James was putting up a paltry batting line of .254/.302/.344 at the time. So getting a a 30-year old that could hold down that position for the next 6 years makes sense. Although Adrian is earning his money so far, I'm sure that by the end of the deal Dodgers fans will be happy to see him go, just as Yankee fans will be about guys like Mark Teixiera and Alex Rodriguez.
Verdict: Good for the Dodgers, bad for Boston.
"No! Due to the time difference, watching sports on the west coast sucks!"
With Boston possibly thinking a few years down the road, it made sense to unload Josh Beckett. Last season Beckett finished 9th in Cy Young voting, after putting up an ERA of 2.89 and WHIP of 1.026 in 30 starts, last season. This season hasn't been going as well, as Josh's ERA has ballooned to 5.23 and his WHIP has gone up to 1.327. Although, according to Fangraph's, Beckett more the earned his salary in 2011, that won't be the case in 2012.
The Red Sox do have Justin Germano, who has an ERA of 2.40 and WHIP of 0.905 in 16 AAA starts, to go along with 4 other starters already in the Sox rotation that are all under 30 years old (Lester, Buchholz, Doubront, and Bard). And that doesn't include picking up Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa. Webster had an ERA of 3.55 and WHIP of 1.455 in AA Chattanooga so far this season, so he isn't blowing anybody away. De La Rosa was a surprise call-up to the Dodgers this season, having just come back from reconstructive elbow surgery 13 months before, but only lasted .2 innings after walking 2 of the 4 batters he faced. So I'm not sure what they have there.
The Dodgers though picked up a solid pitcher to put behind Clayton Kershaw in the rotation, and at $15.75 million a season, they aren't drastically over-paying. It doesn't look like the Dodgers have better choices within the organization for 2012 and beyond, as nobody in AAA is "killing it" out side of John Ely, and Ely has been lit up so far in MLB to the tune of a 5.35 ERA and 1.456 WHIP in 19 starts and 112.2 innings. Chad Billingsley is a good #3 starter, but he hasn't been able to replicate the great numbers he put up in his 2nd and 3rd years in the Majors.
Verdict: Good for both teams.
Picture this, but with Carl wearing a Dodgers uniform instead.
In his first two seasons with Boston Crawford has earned, again... via Fangraph's Dollar Value, only $2.5 million of the $33.5 million he's been paid. And now Carl's having Tommy John surgery, ensuring that he won't have a shot at making up for at least some of that the rest of this season, and possibly part of next season. So it was a no-brainer for the Red Sox to dump this guy before he cost them any more money, since Carl will be paid $102.5 million more dollars over the next 5 years.
But I have no idea why the Dodgers agreed to this. They recently extended the contracts of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and both players are doing pretty well (Kemp has an OPS+ of 168 and Ethier has an OPS+ of 121). LA also has a guy by the name of Alfredo Silverio, who was their #4 prospect in Baseball America's preseason Top 10 list, and is hitting .306/.340/.542 at AA Chattanooga this season. So why clog up an outfield spot with a guy making that much money, and only hitting .260/.292/.419 in his last 664 plate appearances?
Verdict: Good for Boston, bad for Los Angeles
In the end I really don't know how to feel about this trade. The good part about it for both teams, the swap of Josh Beckett, is the least cost-wise out of the key pieces involved. While both of the expensive parts of the deal, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, are a wash (Gonzo good for LA, Crawford good for Boston).
But what really matters here is how it affects the Yankees. Initially I thought that it was not good for the Bombers, as the Red Sox now have a lot of money they can use on buying some good replacement players. But there's a big "if" there, in that one of Mauro Gomez or Jerry Sands would have to be a good replacement for Adrian Gonzalez's contributions, and remember that not only did Adrian hit well but he was a great fielding 1B too. So to be honest, the loss of Gonzo could cost the team more than half of what they just saved to replace. Couple that with the good possibility that the Sox bring back Jacoby Ellsbury, who is a free agent after this season, and that could be that as far as having more money.
The best thing that came out of this trade is that it made for some more exciting baseball stuff to talk about. Unfortunately I don't think the Red Sox front office is in the business of giving people like me stuff to talk about.
"I'm just trying my best to give Bryan more things to write about at The Greedy Pintripes."