For the Dodgers, that future is now, and they are neck-and-neck with the Giants for the National League West. For the Red Sox, they might be more concerned with a year or so from now.
While it might take a few years to fully evaluate the impact of the trade, Red Sox fans shouldn’t be spitting at the haul the team received in return for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. Some of the prospects received might need some time to develop, but Boston has many reasons to be optimistic about their haul in the deal.
James Loney is already making his presence felt in the major leagues. The 28-year-old first baseman singled in a run during Sunday’s 8-6 win over Kansas City, going 1-for-5 on the day. While Loney’s contract is up at the end of this season, the Sox could always re-sign him in the offseason, since somebody is going to need to play first base. Loney was a bright prospect once upon a time, but his lack of power limits his upside. That’s not to say, however, that he won’t have a respectable major league career.
Two of the other big names acquired by the Red Sox in the deal are top Dodgers prospects Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. Webster has been described as the No. 2 prospect in the Los Angeles organization, and the 22-year-old righty could be a stalwart on the mound for Boston in a little while.
Meanwhile, De La Rosa is coming off Tommy John surgery, but has a similar upside. The flame-throwing right-hander was a coveted player at this season’s July 31 deadline, but the Dodgers held onto him then before acquiesing to the Red Sox’ trade demands.
The two other names in the deal look to be solid but not spectacular. Jerry Sands, the Dodgers 2010 minor leaguer of the year, was putting up big numbers for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate before being traded. However, his home ballpark is notorious for inflating a player’s stats, so expectations could be tempered somewhat for the infielder. Infielder Ivan Dejesus could also develop into a piece for the Sox, and is known for his defense.