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Closing Time: Dodgers annex three Boston stars, Red Sox start over

Scott Pianowski
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Westward ho, Adrian (USP)

The Dodgers are all-in. The Red Sox are starting over. Isn't it cute when two big-market teams do a dance like this?

Los Angeles and Boston hooked up on a monstrous deal Friday night, a trade that's expected to become official at some point Saturday. The Dodgers will acquire three expensive big-name chips from the Red Sox: slugger Adrian Gonzalez, righty Josh Beckett and left fielder Carl Crawford (who just had Tommy John surgery and is out for the year). Nick Punto also comes along, the answer to a future trivia question.

Boston's big return from this deal is salary relief: the Dodgers are expected to assume most of the $275 million that is owed, by estimate, to the four players involved. The Red Sox also collect five players: first baseman James Loney, and four minor-leaguers (pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands).

[Jeff Passan: Big risks for Dodgers, Red Sox in blockbuster deal]

There are two great moments in a boat owner's life: the day you buy the rig, and the day you dump it on the Dodgers.

Let's look at the new LA players, one-by-one, and examine where their fantasy value goes from here:

• Gonzalez should be a fine player in his new city, and while the deal comes as a shock to his system — he signed a long-term contract with the Red Sox less than two years ago — he's already comfortable with the lifestyle in Southern California. Gonzalez will miss the friendly confines of Fenway Park (where he slashed .334/.388/.509 over 146 games, albeit with just 18 homers), and he's never had much success at Dodger Stadium over the years (.212/.312/.364, five homers over 165 at-bats). But a healthy Gonzalez is going to be an asset anywhere; just look at what he accomplished during his five years with the Padres.

• Beckett's in the midst of a messy season at age 32 (5-11 record, 5.23 ERA, collapsed strikeout rate), but he's shifting to the NL at the perfect time. The A.J. Burnett song from 2012, AL East hell to cushy NL life, could very well play for Beckett, too. He's signed through 2014 and will appreciate Chavez Ravine, pitchers who can't hit, and some of the other low-scoring havens around the league. It will be interesting to see when Beckett slots into the LA rotation; the Dodgers play at Coors Field early next week (a stay-away, obviously).

• Crawford is out for the year, of course, but he's also likely to gain a lot of value in his new city. The Boston fit never made sense for Crawford: it's a park he's always struggled in, and his plus defense was wasted in Fenway's tiny left field. Now he goes to a city where there's less pressure and more anonymity in public, a roomier left field to roam, and more of a need for stolen bases and the speed game. I've probably made more Crawford jokes than anyone over the past year and a half, but I expect him to come back strong next year, assuming the elbow rehab progresses at a steady pace.

[More MLB: Adrian Beltre becomes second player ever with three-homer game and cycle in same week]

Punto, you ask? I'll leave that spin to you. And no, don't bother picking up Loney in your mixer, no matter that he's heading to the hitter's league.

Going forward in Boston, you have to figure the suddenly-flexible Red Sox will keep David Ortiz around and throw Jacoby Ellsbury (a 2014 free agent) an offer he can't refuse. Mind you, there's always the chance Ellsbury will still refuse it. Maybe he doesn't want to be on a club that's in a transitional phase. Only he knows the real answer there.

The comment floor is open. How was it for you?

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