Various news outlets and credible baseball writers are reporting that a blockbuster deal is close between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. In the deal, the Red Sox would be trading Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers for James Loney, Jerry Sands, Allen Webster, and Ivan De Jesus. Most importantly, the Red Sox would be clearing alot of $$ off of the books and would be able to get out from under some long term contracts. Approximately $261 million to be exact, but how much the Dodgers absorb is yet to be seen. This deal will obviously change the landscape of baseball, and easily propels the Dodgers into the conversation for the team to come out of the National League this October. From a Phillies point of view, if this deal happens it may be seem in some ways irrelevant, but make no mistake this trade has MAJOR implications for the Phils.
1. The Impact on Shane Victorino- When the Phillies traded Victorino this trade deadline, it was for a number of reasons. A huge gap in negotiations definitely played a part after Victorino’s agent threw out the idea of an Adam Jones’ type contract, but the trade was more about getting a return which could help the Phillies in the future. The Phillies did not want to let Victorino walk for a compensation pick. In other words, the Phillies didn’t trade Victorino for reasons that were connected to their view of him as an effective outfielder. The Dodgers, if this deal happens will have Either, Crawford, and Kemp next season in the outfield leaving Victorino out on the free agent market. Watch out for Shane to be back with the Phillies. Obviously, if some team gets desperate and gives Victorino a huge deal, the Phillies won’t overpay to get him. I will say this though, I have it on good authority the Phillies want him back if they can make it work on a reasonable number for both sides. From a source I trust to have first hand knowledge, within the Phillies organization it has been made known to plan for him to possibly return. Without getting into details, certain things are done after a player leaves assuming he won’t be back, these “things” were not done, and all involved were lead to believe his return was very realistic. Yes, that was very cryptic and strange, but I can promise you what I was told would point to him being pursued seriously. So all I’m saying is don’t be shocked to see him back. Don’t hold your breath on Michael Bourn though, his asking price goes up daily, and the Phillies will not get in a bidding war for him.
2. Cliff Lee- If this trade goes down, it may eliminate the Dodgers from being a suitor for Cliff Lee, but the Red Sox emerge as a strong possibility. This assumes Ruben Amaro put his poker face on while saying he had no interest in trading Cliff this upcoming offseason. Though the Red Sox will have money to spend, the free agent class is weak, and with that Cliff Lee would emerge as a strong name for them to consider. Beckett will need to be replaced, and Lee’s deal will look somewhat affordable with a few years already under the hood paid by the Phillies. Two names the Phillies could look to acquire from Boston in any deal: OF prospect Bryce Brentz and SS/3B ander Bogaerts. Both are close to being big league ready, and RH + power bats, something the Phillies are certainly looking for.