Originally posted on Fox Sports West
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 8/22/13
BOSTON (AP) -- Don't expect a sentimental reunion when Boston plays the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend and visits former Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and the injured Josh Beckett. But don't expect a lot of regrets, either. Almost a year after the trade that sent the three high-priced and under-performing players -- along with Nick Punto -- to the Dodgers, both teams are in the playoff hunt and perfectly content with the Aug. 25, 2012, blockbuster. For Los Angeles, the deal was the start of a TV revenue-fueled spending spree that formed the foundation of a contender. For the Red Sox, it was a clean break with the free agency extravagance that contributed to their unprecedented collapse in September of 2011, followed by a 2012 season that was the worst for the franchise in half a century. As the Red Sox head to Los Angeles for a three-game series against the Dodgers, here are five things we've learned since the trade: ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION The Red Sox didn't get much in terms of players in the deal -- James Loney was the only established major leaguer coming to Boston, and he left after the season -- but they were benefited by shedding salary: Beckett was due 31.5 million from 2013-14, Gonzalez had 127 million coming through 2018, and Crawford was due 102.5 million over five seasons. In all, the Red Sox saved more than a quarter of a billion dollars through 18. SPEND IT WISELY The Red Sox learned that a high payroll isn't worth much if the money isn't spent well. They appear to have done that this offseason, replacing the departed players with free agent outfielders Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes, first baseman Mike Napoli, and starter Ryan Dempster. Total cost for those players: about 36 million for this year and 80 million total. FLEXIBILITY Thanks to the salary dump, the Red Sox payroll dropped from about 173 million to about 150 million this season, giving the team the flexibility to add free agents but also allowing it to acquire right-hander Jake Peavy at this year's trade deadline. Peavy could be a key down the stretch; so far, Boston is 1-3 in games he has started but two of the losses were by scores of 3-2 and 2-1. He has had only one bad start. BE PATIENT To start, it was a trade that hurt both teams. The Red Sox continued their descent to the bottom of the AL East, and manager Bobby Valentine was fired. And it didn't exactly do wonders for the Dodgers, who were 11 games above .500 when the players arrived on Aug. 26 and finished the year with 10 more wins than losses, eight games back in the NL West and two games behind the second wild-card team. But this season they are both leading their division heading into the weekend series -- the Dodgers by a whopping 9 games. THE FUTURE This was expected to be a year for the Red Sox to regain their footing under new manager John Farrell. But they have already surpassed last year's total of 69 wins and, tied with the Dodgers for the second-most wins in all of baseball, look to be a threat this postseason. That is a bonus that obscures the true benefit of the trade: They are committed to just over 100 million for next season, and have an opportunity to be big players in the free agent market for years to come. Assuming, that is, that they spend their money wisely.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Oregon headed to first Final Four in 78 years as Jordan Bell & Tyler Dorsey dominate Kansas

This is the Gonzaga we’ve been waiting for

Jets won’t rule out selecting another QB in 2017 NFL Draft

Rougned Odor threw a cup of water into Felix Hernandez’s face on the field

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker