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Directing the dream of Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers

August 23, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez would be a solid pickup for the Dodgers.
Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez would be a solid pickup for the Dodgers. (Seth Wenig / Associated…)

Adrian Gonzalez, Dodger.

Sound a little dreamy? A little too much to ask for? Maybe not so much. Maybe not as much as it could be.

The Times' Dylan Hernandez reported Thursday that Gonzalez has emerged as a "remote possibility" to join the Dodgers. Gonzalez was reportedly placed on waivers Wednesday, and the Dodgers had inquired about the availability of the Red Sox first baseman prior to the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.

So could this actually work? Not easily, certainly. But there are reasons to examine the possibility.

Despite the addition of Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino, the Dodgers offense is not blowing people away (see: Giants series). And first base has been a position of need for some time, the Dodgers currently splitting time there between James Loney and Juan Rivera.

The timing is good too. There is almost no one of impact looming on the off-season free agency market, aside from Josh Hamilton, whose personal issues make him a horrific fit for Hollywood.

Gonzalez, however, is from San Diego and would offer obvious appeal to the Los Angeles Latino fan base. He would be a natural fit in the community, in the lineup and at first base.

He is also owed $127 million over the next six seasons, and there has been little indication that the Red Sox want to move him. Boston does, however, have a payroll of over $175 million and wants to avoid paying the luxury tax, so the Red Sox are looking to shed some contract.

Which is where the door opens for the Dodgers. To get Gonzalez from the Red Sox, a team is likely going to have to take on some serious salary. And the Red Sox have a couple of bad contracts they would love to unload: outfielder Carl Crawford ($107 million remaining) and Josh Beckett ($34 million).

The Dodgers are currently the only shop open. Their new owners showed a willingness to spend by adding over $40 million at the non-waiver trading deadline and in putting a claim on Cliff Lee and the $95 million he's still owed.

The Red Sox would want major prospects in return, so the Dodgers could not stick to their previous policy of hanging on to their top-tier young talent.

So they would have to be willing to give up pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, outfielder Jerry Sands and more. This is probably where the curiously unexpected call-up Tuesday of De La Rosa should be noted.

So it would be Loney, De La Rosa, Webster and Sands to the Red Sox, and Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett to the Dodgers. Maybe some other minor players are involved, maybe the Red Sox do eat some contract.

It would be a wildly outrageous blockbuster of a deal. So many players, so many moving parts. Almost impossible, which is not to say impossible.

And, of course, Crawford is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery Thursday, so he would basically be lost all of next season, while earning $21.9 million. That is definitely outrageous.

But the Dodgers' new owners have made it clear they see an opportunity to win this season and are willing to spend more to seize the moment. They're throwing money around, and it's better spent on Gonzalez than Lee.

Gonzalez would have to clear waivers through all American League teams and every National League team with a worse record than the Dodgers, before L.A.'s front office could claim him and put the wheels of a trade in serious motion. More curious timing: The Dodgers are now 2½ games back of the Giants, the one team that would be most eager to block them.

Gonzalez is a prize and almost a perfect fit. It’s dreamy, I know, but right now Dodgers ownership is dreaming big.

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