According to Dodgers LA Times beat writer, Dylan Hernandez, the trade sending Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers from the Red Sox is official. I am not going into the winners or losers of the trade, what the trade might mean for Bobby Valentine’s future with the Red Sox, money, etc. I am just going to give a little information on the players involved, according to MLB Trade Rumors, in the trade.
The Red Sox Receive:
RHP Rubby De La Rosa
RHP Allen Webster
INF Ivan De Jesus
OF/1B Jerry Sands
1B James Loney
Rubby De La Rosa was the Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year in 2010. He was their third highest rated prospect in the Dodgers organization in the Baseball America Prospect Handbook in 2011. He did not qualify as a prospect in the 2012 edition. De La Rosa started 10 games and appeared out of the bullpen 3 times for the Dodgers in 2011 pitching to a 3.71 ERA. Coming off Tommy John he has pitched 12 minor league innings in 2012 and 0.2 innings in the majors. He has not allowed a minor league earned run in 2012. He allowed 2 earned runs in his 0.2 innings with the Dodgers. The Baseball America Prospect Handbook in 2011 his fastball sits at 95-96 mph and has registered as high as 102 mph. He is able to hold the velocity deep into games & can find an extra gear when needed. He has two promising secondary pitches in his changeup and slider. The changeup sits at 85-89 mph with late fade. The slider has sharp, late break when he stays on top of it. Baseball America says he has the potential to become a No. 2 starter or a closer.
Allen Webster is a converted shortstop. The Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2012 has Webster as the second highest rated Dodger prospect with a 55-Medium grade. According to them his repertoire includes a 90-95 mph fastball that peaks at 97 mph with plenty of sink. He also throws a slider and a curveball that are plus pitches at times, but he can get caught between the two because he has trouble staying on top of his curveball. A changeup that features sink and fade at 79-83 mph might be his best pitch. Some scouts argue that he tips it by slowing his arm speed however. He compares to Derek Lowe and has the potential to become a No. 2 starter according to one Dodgers official in the Prospect Handbook. So far in 2012, Webster has pitched all season at Double-A Chattanooga and over 121.2 innings he has a 6-8 record with a 3.55 ERA.
Ivan De Jesus is ranked as the 26th best prospect in the Dodgers organization according to the Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2012. They graded him as a 40-Low. De Jesus has spent time in 2012 between AAA Albuquerque and the Dodgers. According to the Prospect Handbook he has an inside-out swing producing line drives from gap to gap with solid bat speed and he fits best at second base. He has gone 9-33 (.273) with 3 walks in his limited plate appearances with the Dodgers in 2012 scoring 5 runs and knocking in 4 RBI.
Jerry Sands lost his prospect title for the 2012 edition of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. In the 2011 edition he was ranked as the sixth best prospect in the Dodgers system. He set multiple school records for NCAA Division II Catawba before being drafted in the 25th-round of the 2008 draft. He hit 35 homers between Low A Great Lakes and AA Chattanooga in 2010 on his way to being named as the Dodgers’ minor league player of the year. The 2011 Prospect Handbook says he has had some trouble laying off high fastballs at times, but he shows an aptitude for handling breaking pitches so he shouldn’t just be a one-dimensional slugger. He has spent time in the majors in 2012, but has spent the majority of his time at AAA Albuquerque batting .303/.380/.531 with 24 homers.
James Loney being sent to Red Sox has by far spent the most time in the majors of any player being sent the Red Sox way. He has never been a big time power threat at first base, but had a respectable .346 OBP from 2006-2011 for the Dodgers. But he has struggled in 2012 at the plate with a .646 OPS. From 2006-2011 he had a .778 OPS.
The Dodgers Receive:
RHP Josh Beckett
1B Adrian Gonzalez
OF Carl Crawford
INF Nick Punto
Josh Beckett has taken the mound for the Red Sox since 2006. He went 89-58 with a 4.17 ERA in his Boston career. In 2012, however he has gone 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA in 127.1 innings. When looking at his PitchFx (Fangraphs) you can notice a sharp drop in his average fastball velocity between 2011 and 2012. In 2011 his fastball averaged 93.1 mph, which has dropped to 91.6 mph in 2012. He also has gone away from throwing his fastball as much as he has done over his career. Over his career he has thrown his fastball 62.1 percent of the time, and in 2012 he has gone under 50 percent for the first time at 47.6 percent. Given, he has developed a cutter and has begun throwing it more. I just point it out because I think the drop in velocity has contributed a more prominent role for his cutter.
Adrian Gonzalez has had a productive and respectable 2012 season, but it has not been up to his standards set the past few years. His batting line from 2009-2011 was .306/.403/.536. In 2012, it has dropped to .300/.343/.469. This has led to a Fangraphs WAR drop from 6.6 in 2011 to 2.7 in 2012. He still offers possible gold glove defense at first base when healthy.
Carl Crawford was not the same player with the Red Sox that he was in Tampa Bay. That has been well documented. Part of that is injury, some say Boston was not a good fit for him, but for whatever the real reason the result has been a lower performance with the Red Sox. Crawford had a 7.6 Fangraphs WAR in 2010, his final year with the Tampa Bay Rays. But he had a combined 0.6 WAR in his year and a half in Boston. When playing a full season with the Rays he never stole less than 46 bases. He only totaled 23 stolen bases in his time with the Red Sox. I like sabermetrics in general, but one I do not completely side with are the defensive sabermetics. That being said it is worth noting his UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) saw him lose a great deal of range in the outfield. His UZR was never lower than 15.8 from 2008-2010. His UZR in 2011 was -2.2 and -1.7 in 2012. I question what role the Green Monster played in this, but either way I am just throwing the stat out there for you.
Nick Punto can play multiple defensive positions, but his hitting skills have never really stood out. He has a career .649 OPS. In 2011, he had a nice stink with the Cardinals on his way to a .809 OPS in 63 games. But in a comparable amount of plate appearances so far in 2012 he has seen his current .573 OPS. He has proved to be a nice utility player to have on a roster. He will fill in to the role Jerry Hariston Jr. had before getting injured.
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