Red Sox Notes: Crawford, Ramirez, Beckett, Ellsbury

One year ago, the Red Sox shocked the baseball world when they hit the reset button with their massive blockbuster deal with the Dodgers.  Today, Boston finds themselves atop of the AL East, something that very few could have predicted after they shed roughly $270MM in payroll.  Alex Speier of WEEI.com has a fascinating article today on the trade that altered the direction of the club and the possible alternatives that could have also taken place.  Here's a look at some of the highlights..

  • One rumor prior to last year's non-waiver deadline had the Red Sox considering a swap of Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez with the Marlins.  However, such a deal never came close.  One source familiar with the talks said that Boston would done the deal straight up, but the problem was the difference in salary.  Such a move would have required the Marlins to break out the checkbook as there was $37MM+ owed to Ramirez through 2014 and a whopping $110.5MM owed to Crawford through 2017.
  • However, there were other proposed deals that had legs, particularly ones involving Josh Beckett.  According to multiple industry sources, the Rangers and Red Sox explored a number of possible deals including one that had a framework of Beckett and Jacoby Ellsbury going to Texas with the Red Sox getting left-hander Derek Holland.  However, Beckett told WEEI's Rob Bradford that the talks never gained enough traction for the team to discuss the possibility of him waiving his no-trade rights.
  • The Dodgers were among the clubs with interest in Beckett prior to the July 31st deadline and that was information that the Red Sox stored for later.
  • The club's previous free-spending ways handcuffed them from even considering a run at Yu Darvish after the 2011 season.  Of course, the blockbuster with L.A. gave them much more flexibility going forward.  GM Ben Cherington acknowledged that a trade deadline deal like the Jake Peavy trade this year simply wasn't possible given the payroll constraints that the team previously faced.
  • Boston considered using their prospects to help get out from under bad contracts, but they ultimately decided against that.  "We'd made the decision long term, we were just going to need to start holding on to [top prospects] and figuring out what they could do," said one team official. "Instead of picking the right guy, keep them all in the tub and let them decide for us. Back when we were good, that's what we did."  
  • Up until the Dodgers deal happened, Cherington says that he wasn't planning on making any significant moves in August.  There was some thought given to turning the Dodgers down and waiting until the offseason when they could revisit talks with L.A. and other clubs.  However, Boston didn't want to let the opportunity to start fresh pass them by. 

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