October 30, 2014

Blockbuster! Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett, Puto and (of course) Vin Scully

Wow, what a weekend to be a Dodgers fan, huh?  And what a weekend I chose to be up in my family’s remote cabin, away from most technology.  But I couldn’t resist logging in and sharing a few thoughts on this weekend’s developments.

First up, like all Dodger fans, I’m beyond thrilled that Vin is returning for his 63rd season.  It’s a remarkable accomplishment, and something that was in doubt inspired by the recent momentum by the new ownership group.

From the official press release:  “The new ownership of the Dodgers has revitalized the city, the team, the fans and myself,” Scully said. “I am so convinced of their great purpose and leadership that I eagerly look forward to joining them in pursuit of the next Dodgers championship.”

Regardless of the success of the Dodgers, it’s comforting to know that we’ll be treated to at least one more amazing season of listening to the greatest there ever was.  Scully will continue his current schedule, calling all home games at Dodger Stadium, as well as road games in California and Arizona.

And now to the other big news item from the weekend: the Dodgers staggering acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto for James Loney, minor league pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan De Jesus and two players to be named later (reportedly including highly-touted prospect Rubby de la Rosa.

“We continue to do everything in our power to strengthen our team for the stretch drive in an effort to reach the postseason,” said Colletti . “This trade today exemplifies ownership’s commitment to making the team as good as possible not only for 2012 but for many seasons to come.”

All you can really say is wow.  It’s a remarkable haul of talent for the Dodgers, while also allowing them to shore up their greatest weakness (power at first base) with a SoCal resident and four-time All Star in Adrian Gonzalez.  Of course, the Dodgers are also hoping a change in scenery will revitalize the disappointing Josh Beckett and also provide a suitable home for Carl Crawford next season once he recovers from Tommy John surgery.  We also picked up the versatile IF/OF Nick Punto who can fill the Jerry Hairston, Jr. role now that he’s out for the season due to surgery.

But the cost is also very high, and I’m not talking about the $262.5 million involved.  The real prizes for the Red Sox are pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby de la Rosa.  While there are highly touted, they are also prospects so are no sure things.  But as Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts points out, it makes me shift uncomfortably in my chair a bit to think about de la Rosa in Fenway Park for the foreseeable future.

Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports has a thought-provoking look at the trade and the Dodgers’ rationale for making it, in particular the lack of free agent talent at 1B and 3B in the upcoming offseason, and the impact on ticket sales that the Mexican-American Adrian Gonzalez can uniquely provide.

This was a rare “win win” trade for both teams, and will no doubt create an ongoing debate for years to come.  But really, as LA fans, you’ve got to be inspired by this ownership group’s commitment to trying to win now, as well as in the future.  After all, how can a middle of the order lineup featuring Kemp, Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier not inspire you?  We gave up a ton for Gonzalez and the rest, but I’d much rather the Dodgers make this move than none at all. You’ve got to gamble to win, and Mark Walter has proven he’s willing to roll the dice with the best of them.

Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo / LA Dodgers 2012