Boston, MA – According to multiple reports, the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers have been discussing a deal that would involve sending first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Carl Crawford, right-hander Josh Beckett and infielder Nick Punto to Los Angeles in exchange for first baseman James Loney and minor leaguers.
The Dodgers have reportedly claimed both Gonzalez and Beckett off of waivers.
Gonzalez is in the first full year of a seven-year, $154 million deal, negotiated with former general manager Theo Epstein after a trade sent him to Boston before the 2011 season. He is hitting .300 with a .343 OBP, .469 slugging mark, .812 OPS and 15 homers this year, one year removed from his debut year in Boston, when he hit .338/.410/.548/.947 with 27 homers and 117 RBI in 2011.
Crawford is in the second season of a seven-year, $142 million deal. He underwent Tommy John surgery for his torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow after hitting .282/.306/.479/.795 in 31 games.
Beckett is in the second year of a four-year, $68 million deal. The 32-year-old Beckett has struggled to a 5-11 record and 5.23 ERA in 21 starts this year.
He's had a number of health issues that have caused him to miss starts, including a thumb condition that required a cortisone shot coming out of spring training, minor lat stiffness that led to his being skipped in a start in early May, shoulder inflammation that resulted in his placement on the DL in June and, most recently, back spasms that caused a start to be postponed earlier this month. He had a 2.89 ERA last season but was 1-2 in four starts last September, when the Red Sox disastrous slide began with a 7-20 September.
With the Red Sox since 2006, Beckett would have to waive his "10/5" rights and agree to be included in the deal.
Punto is in the first year of a two-year, $3 million deal signed this past offseason. In 65 games, he's hitting .200/.301/.272/.573 as a role player who has served as a backup at all four infield positions.
Loney, 28, will be a free agent after this season. The 28-year-old is hitting .254 with a .302 OBP, .344 slugging mark and .646 OPS along with four homers in 114 games. But presumably, the Red Sox would free enough cash in the transaction to pursue a free agent at the position in the offseason.
According to several reports, the Red Sox would get Loney and prospects Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus and Jerry Sands in a deal.
Webster, 22, and De La Rosa, 23, are the prizes. Webster, ranked the No. 95 prospect in the game by Baseball America entering this year, is 6-8 with a 3.55 ERA, 8.7 strikeouts and 4.2 walks per nine with Double-A Chattanooga. Baseball America said that he compared in some respects to Derek Lowe while offering the following scouting report:
De La Rosa has had recent health issues but possesses considerable upside. In 13 games (10 starts) last year, he was 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA, 8.9 strikeouts and 4.6 walks per nine innings. He's a small right-hander with a big arm, having been clocked at over 100 mph in the past. He is coming back off of Tommy John surgery.
DeJesus has hit .231/.282/.277/.559 in 40 big league games over the last two years. The 2005 second-rounder is a career .297/.369/.389/.758 hitter in the minors.
Sands, 24, is hitting .244/.325/.376/.701 in 70 big league games over the last two years. He was hitting .303/.380/.531/.911 with 24 homers in the hitter-friendly Triple-A Pacific Coast League this year. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are not believed to be offering any prospects in a potential deal.