Dodgers, Red Sox complete blockbuster nine-player trade
Los Angeles acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and injured Carl Crawford, taking on high-priced stars who failed to thrive in Boston.
BOSTON — The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett and injured outfielder Carl Crawford from Boston on Saturday, hoping to boost their playoff hopes by taking on underperforming and high-priced stars.
Boston also sent infielder Nick Punto and about $11 million in cash to Los Angeles in the nine-player trade that was the biggest in Dodgers history. The Red Sox acquired first baseman James Loney, pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and two players to be named.
Under a rich new ownership group that includes NBA star Magic Johnson, the Dodgers entered the day three games behind San Francisco for the NL West lead and in the midst of the wild-card race.
"We understand that you have to spend money to be good in this league," Johnson said.
The Dodgers have dramatically revamped their roster in the last month with trades, acquiring shortstop Hanley Ramirez, outfielder Shane Victorino, starter Joe Blanton and reliever Brandon League. Now they've added three active Red Sox players — Crawford is recovering from surgery — less than a week before the Aug. 31 deadline for players to be eligible for the postseason.
For the Red Sox, who entered the night 13 ½ games back in the AL East, the trade signaled a concession for 2012 and a chance to rebuild without hefty contracts given during an undisciplined foray into free agency.
Even with $11 million going to the Dodgers, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the deal, Boston will save more than $250 million in salary from now through 2018.
SUGAR LAND, Texas — Roger Clemens, pitching for the first time in five years, tossed 3-1/3 scoreless innings for the Sugar Land Skeeters against the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League.
Clemens, 50, struck out two, including former major-leaguer Joey Gathright. He allowed one hit without a walk and threw 37 pitches. His fastball was clocked at 88 mph.
Scouts from the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals watched.
• Boston suspended closer Alfredo Aceves for three games for conduct detrimental to the team. Aceves was seen storming out of manager Bobby Valentine's office after Friday night's game, when Andrew Bailey pitched the ninth inning to earn the save.
• Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista, who returned Friday after 5 ½ weeks on the disabled list, went back on the DL with an injury to his left wrist.
• Rays reliever J.P. Howell extended his team-record shutout streak to 26-2/3 innings with a scoreless inning against Oakland.