Tom Verducci: Red Sox, Dodgers close to deal with Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett - Sports Illustrated

Source: Dodgers close to acquiring Gonzalez, Beckett, Crawford

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The Dodgers would obtain first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto from Boston, representing about $263 million worth of guaranteed salaries. Boston would receive a package of players, including just one player off the Dodgers' 25-man roster, according to a source. That player is believed to be first baseman James Loney, though top minor league pitcher Rubby de la Rosa is believed to be the centerpiece of the deal. Gonzalez and Loney were scratched from the Red Sox and Dodgers lineups Friday. De La Rosa was demoted to Triple-A in a move that could clear the way for him to be dealt.

The trade would represent the nexus of a windfall of television money in Los Angeles and dysfunction and disappointment in Boston. The Dodgers are set to score the biggest regional TV deal in baseball history this winter, a package that according to one high-level baseball official "will allow them to dwarf the Yankees. They've made it clear they want top major league talent and are willing to pay just about anything."

The Dodgers would be banking on the usual "change of scenery" philosophy when acquiring players, as they did with Hanley Ramirez from Miami at the trade deadline. Crawford, who is out six to nine months after Tommy John surgery, was never a good fit in Boston. Beckett fell out of favor and into ineffectiveness beginning with Boston's great September collapse of last season, highlighted by the chicken-and-beer fiasco. As a 10-and-5 player, he does hold veto power over any proposed trade. And Gonzalez, while productive, seemed to be tiring of the constant swirl of controversy and negativity around the club this year.

"It's a great trade for the Dodgers if this goes through," said one baseball executive. "Adrian Gonzalez is their white whale -- a great player, a Mexican-American first baseman from Southern California. Crawford is likely to be better just by changing scenery. And Beckett is likely to rebound."

De la Rosa and pitcher Allen Webster are the Dodgers' two best pitching prospects. Los Angeles made them unavailable at the trade deadline, but have shown a willingness to include de la Rosa in a deal this big. "He's the real deal. His stuff is filthy," the executive said.