Waiver Blockbuster: Our Divide In One Trade

By now, everybody is aware of one of the biggest waiver trades in recent memory.

The Red Sox sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and $11 milliion in cash to the LA Dodgers in exchange for James Loney, pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and two players to be named. The two players to be named later will be Zach Lee, and Rubby De La Rosa – both did not clear waivers.

In fact, I can’t think of another waiver trade that was bigger. Sure, deals like Cone, Bagwell, and Smoltz had a great long term impact. But I can’t think of another one that involved so many players, and had such a huge immediate impact on both teams.

For me, this deal was incredibly intriguing on so many different levels. The most interesting aspect for this was how it involved both sides of today’s Mets fan. For starters, it proved that a big market team can rebuild – so long as they are up front with their fans and have their fans trust.

Many Mets fans would appreciate how the Red Sox went about this. Let’s be honest here for a second, no matter what you think of the deal – it was gutsy. They wanted a complete new direction, and in order to do that they had to get rid of 2 bad contracts.

To get rid of them, they needed to deal a superstar. I am sure they didn’t WANT to lose Gonzalez, but he was the sacrificial lamb here.

In this deal, the Red Sox wiped the slate clean. They took an underachieving roster, and didn’t allow them to continue to bring the franchise down year after year. They saw a problem, and instead of just spending more to fix it – they were bold and found a more creative way out.

For the Dodgers, here is a team that was in financial distress at the same time as the Mets. The difference is they got the new owners that many Mets fans desperately wish for.

Now, they are handcuffed by nothing except their own decision making. This is the type of deal to me that the Red Sox will never regret. It is a deal that Los Angeles could one day regret – if they do not win a championship very soon.

The Dodgers are trying to re-energize their fan base, and they have found that spending money is the best way to do that. The Red Sox are actually trying to do the exact same thing, and they have decided the way to do that is to wipe the slate clean and spend more wisely.

The best way to compare it in my eyes would be if the Mets traded Santana, Bay, and probably Wright and Murphy. I pick those players because to me Santana matches the likes of Beckett the most – both with his large contract and his ability to pitch in a big game. Wright would be the most comparable to Adrian Gonzalez (not saying they are equals). Further, Bay and Crawford would be comparable, but Crawford still have more value over Bay. While Punto is not as good of a hitter as Murphy, Bay’s performance would probably bring the value down forcing a player like Murphy to be dealt. This is a deal I never thought would be possible, until last week.

Even with that deal, I don’t think the Mets would get as much as the Red Sox did. But, it could have still gotten them some sort of return. Maybe?

Other deals wouldn’t relieve the financial stress of poor contracts, which would be the ultimate goal if you packaged Wright with others in my view.

I’m not saying I want Wright traded – I’m just saying this deal shows you how you can get value for him while also getting rid of some bad deals.

This deal sums up the difference between many Mets fans today.

I think the Red Sox made a tremendous move here. Whether the prospects progress or not is almost less important than the financial impact here. In 2012, the Red Sox have $175million in contracts on the books.

They have no financial problems, so they can find players to spend $ on if they’d like. This deal just gives them the ability to transform the team.

Heading into 2013, they have roughly $45 million guaranteed. That is a franchise changer right there.

By comparison, the Dodgers have $193 million in guaranteed contracts for 2013. Wow.

This past week, we saw two teams go in complete opposite directions through 1 trade. That single trade to me, replicates the divide many Mets fans have.

About Michael Branda 267 Articles
Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.