Is The Price for Adrian Gonzales Too High?

The pending blockbuster deal being negotiated by the Dodgers and Red Sox would have several results:

1. It would give the Dodgers the power-hitting, run-producing, left-handed first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez, that they have needed for a very long time (James Loney is left-handed, but we’re talking left-handed power here);

2. The Dodgers would give up the second-best pitching prospect (behind Clayton Kershaw) the team has had in the past decade, in Rubby de la Rosa;

3. The Dodgers would be acquiring the huge contract of Carl Crawford, who was a disaster in his two Boston seasons, and who will likely be unable to play a game until after next year’s All-Star Game, if even by then;

4. It would give the Dodgers one of baseball’s leading prima donnas, in Josh Becket. However, Becket is only 32 years old, and while he has had a disastrous 2012 season, very similar to his equally bad 2010, if healthy and in new surroundings, he could rebound to the outstanding form and clutch pitching of his first nine MLB seasons, which form he also displayed as recently as last season;

5. The Dodgers would be trading away outfielder Jerry Sands, a guy they previously tried to force-feed into the majors when they really needed outfield help, and who now has demonstrated his all-around talents with a tremendous year in AAA. Maybe Sands, and his 2012 stats of 24-HRs, 101-RBI and .303-BA should be in left field at Dodgers Stadium, and not Crawford (or Shane Victorino). Or will the right-hand hitting Sands become a monster in LF for the Red Sox?;

6. In trading Jerry Sands, Rubby de la Rosa, and Allen Webster, the Dodgers would be depleting their farm system, trading away three of the their top prospects, for a group of talented, but problematic players, all over 30; and

7. The Dodgers would, by acquiring close to $300,000,000 in player salaries, now have baseball’s highest payroll, demonstrating once again, that cost is irrelevant to the new ownership, in its quest to build a championship team. But, while Gonzalez, and hopefully both Becket and Crawford, will contribute several quality years to the Dodgers in the future, this deal really smells like an all-or-nothing effort to win this season, on the backs of Gonzalez and Becket.

One other note regarding Becket: With Chad Billingsley leaving yesterday’s game with a re-occurrence of his elbow-soreness, casting further doubt on his durability and availability for the rest of the season, acquiring a presumably heathy Becket might be essential for the Dodgers be make a stretch run.

Bottom line: Getting Gonzalez would be a major coup for the Dodgers, but the question is whether or not giving up so much young talent and getting stuck with Crawford is a worthwhile cost.

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