Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, August 28, 2012 11:18 AM Comments: 22
It has already been a few days since the Dodgers and Red Sox engaged in one of the most unprecedented, and seemingly improbable, swaps in baseball history. While the instant returns have seen the Dodgers lose two straight and the Red Sox win two straight, the deal becomes a defining moment in the paths of both clubs: the Dodgers have shown they are willing to eat and absorb as many bad contracts (Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and, to an extent, Nick Punto) as they can to obtain one piece they truly covet (Adrian Gonzalez) while the Red Sox have shown they are willing to take a mulligan when offered. Both positions effected the Phillies more than what appears on the surface.
First, the Dodgers’ willingness to absorb somewhere between $260-272 million in guaranteed contracts in one deal shows that the Dodgers threat to offer Cole Hamels whatever he wanted and more was real. In this regard, the boogeyman was real – he was in the closet the whole time, counting Magic Johnson’s money, ready to cut as big a check as necessary to pair the lefty Cy Young candidate with Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley to form one of the most formidable rotations in all of baseball.
Second, it shows that the Dodgers were completely serious about trying to create a deal to acquire Cliff Lee off of waivers. Ken Rosenthal stated over the weekend that the Phillies “blew it” by not trading Lee and his approximately $90 million left on his deal to the Dodgers. While it is true that Lee may not be pitching himself into the Cy Young debate, Lee has bounced back in recent starts. After being worth $30.7 million last year to the Phillies according to FanGraphs, Lee has been worth approximately $14.7 million to the Phillies this season.