Five years ago today, one of the largest trades in baseball history went down, with the Dodgers acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto from the Red Sox in a nine-player deal.
The day or two before the trade became official were pretty crazy, with rumors of the trade circulating. The numbers were mind boggling, with the Dodgers taking on over $260 million in salaries in the deal.
There are a few things that stand out to me when I think of that trade.
Dodgers first baseman James Loney was headed to Boston as part of the trade, along with Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Allen Webster, with Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands soon to join as players to be named later. Loney was scratched from the lineup on Friday, Aug. 24 as the deal was being worked out, and his reaction was hilarious.
"I don't have good numbers against (Nathan) Eovaldi. I'm 0 for 0," Loney said.
The airplane selfie
As the trade was finalized Friday night, the Dodgers chartered a plane to fly Gonzalez, Beckett, and Punto to Los Angeles. Crawford was injured — if you can believe it — and rehabbing, so he wasn’t on the plane. Punto tweeted out a picture of the three players on the plane, apparently using the only phone that takes worse photos than mine:
#dodgers doing it first class! pic.twitter.com/DRPr2HH7— Nick Punto (@Shredderpunto) August 25, 2012
Gonzalez was wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt on the plane and for the postgame introductory press conference, which was held on the field behind home plate at Dodger Stadium.
Gonzalez on Saturday in his first at-bat as a Dodger, against the Marlins — the team that drafted him first overall in 2000 — he hit a three-run home run in the first inning against Josh Johnson. Dodger Stadium went nuts.
The timing of that trade also coincided with Vin Scully announcing that weekend that he would return for the 2013 season.
“I wondered with the new ownership, how fast would they move? How high would they try to take the team? It worked out as everybody knows, they want to win and they want to win now, so I'd like to hold on with both hands and see just how far they can take this ball club, because I really think they're going to take it as high as it can possibly go."
2017 just might tell us how high that is.