So what to make of this giganta-deal?
- With money seemingly no object for the Dodgers owners, the risk of taking on the contracts of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford appear reasonable. It's some $250 million give or take, but for three established All-Stars who have the potential to change the dynamics in the National League for the next 5-6 years, there's lots to like here. Despite the risks involved with the injured Crawford and the declining Beckett, the Dodgers absolutely had to have Adrian Gonzalez.
- Jerry Sands, Ivan De Jesus Jr., and James Loney didn't have a future in Los Angeles. Rubby De La Rosa could develop into a stud pitcher - we've seen flashes of this in his limited action in The Show. But Allen Webster is "just" a prospect. Not just any prospect, of course. Most experts tag him as the No. 2 guy in the organization. Let's face it, Webster - like all prospects - is no sure thing. But he is a resource. Essentially trading two (mostly) unproven arms for the upside in Gonzalez, Beckett, and Crawford is a big win for Ned and Co. regardless of how Rubby and Webster pan out. You simply cannot hold on to your prospects so tightly. The Red Sox are taking the risk there.
- Unlike many who have said the Dodgers need to win it all in 2012 for this deal to make sense, I disagree. Naturally, I would love for that to happen. But this deal is about the future as much as it is about the now. Crawford (5 years), Beckett (2 years), and Gonzalez (6 years) will be around for a while after this season. That's a decent window to win a world championship. Or three.
- With this deal the Dodgers will have locked down positions at 1B, 3B (I still believe Hanley Ramirez ends up there) LF, CF, and RF with All-Stars for the next bunch of seasons. Considering the chunk of change dished out to these guys, and the impending luxury tax on such a huge payroll, will the team have the financial flexibility to fill in the gaps? A part of me thinks, "No" is the right answer here. Mostly because I'd like to see young home-grown talent take over and solidify at CA, 2B, and SS (Dee Gordon, with HanRam at 3B) to balance out the high-priced and outside-the-organization talent.
- The Dodgers still need to address the starting rotation this winter. Still too many question marks for a team with the World Series in its' sites. Also, will there be enough cash laying around to sign Clayton Kershaw to a long-term deal? There'd better be.
- Oh, and you might want to buy tickets to a game this season while you can still afford it. Safe to say prices will double for the 2013 season.
...but that's just my two cents.