Punto step up to the plate during the Dodgers’ three-game series with the Red
Sox, we think about to about this time a year and wonder: What if?
If the Dodgers’ brain trust wasn’t savvy and wealthy enough to pull off that
waiver-wire deadline deal at the end of August, 2012 and take on all that extra
payroll – including pitcher Josh Beckett – while giving up first baseman James
Loney, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr., right-handed pitching prospects Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa and outfielder Jerry Sands, where would they be today?
Maybe the move saved the Red Sox some $270 million in contracts spread out over
2018, but it saved the Dodgers some face. While Beckett has been on the DL most
of this year, Gonzalez, Crawford and Punto have been key ingredients in their
latest surge to the NL West lead. So how’d the Red Sox fare in all this?
The 24-year-old hot shot De La Rosa has finally worked his way onto the roster
recently, but not into the starting rotation – a place the Dodgers were comfortable
in placing him during the 2010 season before he blew out his arm. He remains on
a pitch count as they’re handling him with care two years removed from Tommy
John surgery. Webster remains at Triple-A Pawtucket (5-4, 4.13 ERA after a brief
callup in April, going 1-2 with a 9.57 ERA). Sands and DeJesus were traded to the
Pirates for ineffective reliever Joel Hanrahan, and are still wallowing away at Triple-A
Indianapolis. And, of course, Looney left to join Tampa Bay as a free agent.
Surely, all of this will give the national broadcast teams something to talk on
and on about as the series progresses. If only Manny Ramirez was still part of the
conversation. (You know, he is now available to either team).
Where to watch the series:
Friday 7:10 p.m., Prime
Saturday, 1:10 p.m., Channel FOX 11
Sunday, 5:05 p.m., ESPN