- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
As you've probably heard by now, the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers have pulled off what might be the trade of the century, with Boston sending Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to Los Angeles for a couple of promising youngsters and a lot of salary relief.
The Red Sox have freed up $262 million worth of contracts starting next year as a result of this nine-player deal, which leaves GM Ben Cherington with flexibility in their attempts to rebuild their starting rotation and get younger as they try to get back to the 2004 and 2007 glory days. Don’t expect the Red Sox to go back to the well in free agency to chase down the likes of top free agents Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke this winter, but expect them to follow the roots of their prior success by rebuilding their organization through starting pitching, trades, the draft and youth.
The Red Sox will continue to listen to offers on veteran players like Jarrod Saltalamacchia and maybe even Jacoby Ellsbury if they can’t reach a long-term contract with him this fall. The Red Sox are focused on rebuilding and the only way to do that is to continue to find ways of payroll flexibility by trading veterans and expensive contracts for younger players especially since their farm system is not producing as it once did.