It was all but finalized by a tweet from Nick Punto, bidding Red Sox Nation farewell and thanking them for the time he spent with Boston. Not long after, he, along with Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett boarded a private plane to Los Angeles, unloading close to $300 million in the process in easily the most expensive deal in major league history. Out of the $272 million they owe the four players, Boston will need to pay $10-12 million of their remaining salaries, certainly coming out of the deal with their organization’s wallet practically untouched. According to Boston.com’s Peter Abraham, the deal has been completed since 10 a.m. this morning but has yet to be announced due to the awaiting of approval of the Sox payment to L.A. Seeing them board a private plane simply made it all but official. As stated in a previous article, the Red Sox will receive in return infielder Ivan DeJesus, OF/1B Jerry Sands, RHP’s Rubby De La Rosa (who can’t receive a waiver claim nor join the Sox until the offseason) and Allen Webster, and first baseman James Loney. Given the more expansive salary cap and new players with which to work, the Sox seems to have gotten the better end of the deal. Replacing Punto, the team received DeJesus as a replacement utility infielder. In Gonzalez’s place, a guy with raw power in Sands and a player in Loney with which development could still occur. De La Rosa and Webster are both prospects with extreme upside, each expected to be major-league ready in the next year or so. So all-in-all, it seems that the Sox not only got the better end of the stick but also started to address some important needs for this team. The boldness of the move has come as a shock as expected, but sometimes the big moves need to happen in order to change the fortunes of a team (remember the unfathomable trade of Nomar in ’04). It’s certainly tough to lose a player of Gonzalez’ caliber, but if means a better team next year and in the future along with less headaches in the clubhouse I’m all for it. Now let’s see how this team will respond to the deal down the stretch and how GM Ben Cherington will manage his newly-acquired money in the offseason.