"Where is the furthest distance we can get from Bobby Valentine?"
The Dodgers are close to a blockbuster trade with the Red Sox that would bring Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to Los Angeles, per multiple reports. It appears Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands, James Loney, and Ivan De Jesus are on their way to Boston, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
Beckett, as a player with 10 years of major league service and five consecutive years with one team, has the right to approve any trade or assignment of his contract, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Beckett has not yet given his consent.
Rumors are flying everywhere, including at Dodger Stadium.
What we know is that Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the starting lineup in Boston Friday night, and James Loney was also scratched from the Dodgers' lineup. Loney wasn't given a reason why he was removed from the lineup but had a good sense of humor about it.
"I don't have good numbers against (Nathan) Eovaldi. I'm 0 for 0," Loney said.
The last time manager Don Mattingly didn't start a first baseman based on handedness was July 30, when Juan Rivera started against righty Trevor Cahill. Mattingly understandably wouldn't address any trade rumors prior to the game.
"I couldn't decide between Loney and Juan Rivera. I went with Rivera," he said.
The Dodgers also optioned De La Rosa to Double A Chattanooga, and recalled Alex Castellanos, just two games after De La Rosa was activated from the 60-day disabled list. The move allows De La Rosa to be included as a player to be named later in the trade.
When asked why De La Rosa was sent down Mattingly said, "We just needed a bat." Mattingly meant the move from four bench players to five, and back to a seven-man bullpen, though the statement seems true in multiple ways.
De La Rosa was still in the clubhouse, where news of the trade rumors were evident on the four clubhouse flat screen televisions.
"It's part of the game," De La Rosa said of being included in trade rumors. "I just keep on working."
The trade rumors were the buzz of the clubhouse before the Dodgers' game against the Marlins.
"It's up to us as players to step up," said catcher A.J. Ellis. "Ownership has done their part."
That part played by ownership has been a stunning willingness to spend money. It is yet unknown just how much, if anything, that Boston will send in the deal, but thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts we can see that beyond this season the Dodgers are taking on players owed quite a bit of money:
- Adrian Gonzalez has six years, $127 million left on his contract
- Carl Crawford has five years, $102.5 million left
- Josh Beckett has two years, $31.5 million remaining
- Nick Punto, aka the glue to the deal, has $1.5 million due in 2013
"You're never too sure when situations come up that can improve your team come along, if they ever will come along, so they are rightfully jumping on it when they get the opportunity," said Andre Ethier. "Fans and players have to be excited to see that."