Ben Cherington, Red Sox Send Clear Message With Blockbuster

When Ben Cherington ascended to the position of GM of the Red Sox, he made sure to call attention to his own deliberate style, noting that he tends to gather as much information as possible and not rush into decisions.

I’ll admit, I’ve had my moments where I felt that this quality of my NH homeboy would work against him when it came to being able to pull off big deals.

With his historic blockbuster deal today, Cherington has made it clear that he is capable of thinking and performing big. In one move, he was able to hit a giant reset button and do what many thought impossible – find someone to take Josh Beckett, and clear out the enormous salaries of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, while still getting something in return.

That someone was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who, with new ownership, are looking to make a big slash. They’ve wanted Gonzalez, a Southern California native who had his best years down the road in San Diego, and to get him, they were willing to take on the contracts of Beckett and Crawford.

Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston was in the lead on this story:

However, in a column that sure seems prophetic, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times pretty much proposed this deal on Thursday morning:

Directing the dream of Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers

While Larry Lucchino was heavily involved in this deal, working extensively with his Dodgers counterpart Stan Kasten, this deal belongs to Cherington, who in one swoop corrected a number of organizational mistakes, removed a lightning rod from the clubhouse, and put the team in a position to be able to build the team he wants going forward.

His press conference announcing the deal showed a confident Cherington, who had the answers, and was eager to start the process of building the team he wants to build.

The offseason has begun for the Red Sox. I wasn’t crazy with the idea of dumping Gonzalez, but I’m not overly broken up over his departure either. While he was terrific last season, and showed signs of late of rounding into form, (he also hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat with the Dodgers tonight.) he just never quite captured the affection of the fans as much as we hoped.

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On a completely unrelated note, I felt really, really bad for Don Criqui last night. At 72, he’s still got the voice, but just cannot keep up with the action, and keep his facts straight. I lost track of the player misidentifications, the errors (Nate Ebner was not a “free agent” from Ohio State.) and just general confusion that was on display in that telecast last night.

It’s time for the Krafts to make a move on their preseason telecasts.

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    Be interesting to see how Red Sox fans handle rebulilding. Not saying trade was bad thing. However I don’t think it’s just a matter of pushing “reset button” and all is well again….Sox are in for some lean years.

  • GRBSPR

    Imagine the utter angst Danny Shaughnessy is in now: So much negativity to feast on and he’s locked behind a Pay-wall.

    • http://johnnyb93.blogspot.com/ johnbonanno

      I stopped reading him years ago when he was free.

  • Linda Austin

    Bruce, do you honestly believe a rookie GM was the driving force behind this historic Sox/Dodgers deal?
    You can’t be that naive can you?
    No question Ben negotiated with Dodger GM Coletti over which prospects the Sox wanted as compensation. You honestly think it was rookie GM Ben Cherington who was negotiating with Dodger prez Stan Kasten to get the Dodgers to eat $270 million worth of contracts?
    Come on Bruce!!
    We all know the Boston media is desperate for a local hero in this “carpetbagger” filled Sox organziation since their last boy left for Chicago. (Interesting how you’ll find lots of Theo Epstein references from the out of town media (Lupica, Bill Madden etc) in stories about the state of the current Sox yet few if any Theo references with the local media…hmmmm)
    We know the media around here loathes Larry Lucchino (and he them) and puts any and all Red Sox negatives/problems at his feet. Lucchino wears the black hat. If it’s bad it’s Lucchino’s fault. If it’s good it was Theo. Guess Ben has now been fitted with the white hat the media put on Theo’s head all those years??
    Come on Bruce!!
    Want you to analyze and expose the media and their agendas…..not join in.

    • bsmfan

      Linda, I tried to find out some details which a mixture of the local guys in regards to the same question. I think Pete Abe/Nick Cafardo had most of the details going here and Michael Silverman was filling in other gaps. If you go back to the previous post, my (lengthy) comment had a lot of the timeline as I found this fascinating at it evolved. I’m not sure baseball will ever see a move or trade like this again.

      Some notes: Again, it seems like NESN makes a production decision to delay this type of stuff. It took the NESN guys almost 15 minutes from the 6pm hour on Friday to even mention the trade? CSNNE and every local outlet (I briefly went to the 6pm news Friday on each channel) also led with this or it was #2 in their masthead. On Saturday, as the guys were already on the plane, NESN broke in at 5pm live with Cherington’s news conf as the deal was already done and signed off by from Selig.

      I had on TSH/WEEI on for the time I had around the computer yesterday and I thought the reaction was 90% “wow.. im not sure what to think. I don’t think it’s bad but I’m not sure how to react.” and 10% was a mixture of anger for the bad moves, lost season and no “clear vision” of the future (they don’t see salary dump as one).

      I saw a RT from buster_espn or one of the other guys who said, “Can you name a GM of a < .500 team exec of the year?" This is the biggest move of any waiver wire deal and the largest of its kind. The second is now the ARod move to NYY.

      I saw the papers yesterday and today, each with something like "AGONE" on the cover. Basically, as Sean McAdam said, "isn't it almost amazing how fast you let a guy like AGon, who was supposed to be your leader, go? It speaks volumes as to how he is viewed in the organization."

      I think that sums up many people. He kept getting the "Wade Boggs (ABoggs)" tag because the guy would put up .300 seasons and have great numbers, but not be the leader a team needed. He's lucky since he won't have to be that anymore, as Matt Kemp is their clear leader.

      Last night, the Dodgers also did something I've never seen. After the win against the Marlins, they setup a small table on the field right behind home plate. Seated were, from left to right, Beckett, AGon and Punto. The media came down from their boxes and there was also a mixture of fans whom they seemed to even let ask questions. (I'm not sure who is who there so it could have been all media.) Fox Sports there had the whole thing broadcast live and ESPN/CSNNE picked it up here. 99% of the questions were directed at Beckett and Agon, mainly considering their motivations of a move. One thing between the two was clear: the clubhouse needed a big, big change. They clearly wanted to go anywhere, even if it meant some small market.

      I've yet to see how much of who did what but I got the impression that Lucchino got the conversation started and Cherington took it across the finish from what I've seen between the two markets.

      • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

        War & Peace

      • JonFrum

        Cherington couldn’t hire his own manager – you cant’ possibly imagine he could deal multiple big-money players on his own. He may have been part of the bargaining team, but the idea that it was his decision is ludicrous.

        • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

          and there ls the problem with Red Sox..NOBODY knows who’s making decisions. Too many chefs in the kitchen. Larry Lu, Tom Werner, John Henry, Cherington, Bobby V, etc..etc..etc.. and all of them talk too much. No wonder they are in disarray

        • DrakeW

          No GM can deal multiple big-money players on his own. He’d have to work with other members of management/ownership to pull off a deal like the one Ben just did. Do you think the Dodger’s GM acted solely on his own with no input from Magic and the baseball ops people?

      • Winning_Again

        Classic! Just made my weekend!

  • JonFrum

    Gil Santos confused Ebner with Ebert, and had to be corrected by Zolak. Then, he tried to laugh it off – something about ‘so many players on the preseason roster.’ Dude – that’s why you get the big money. You’ve been sitting on your a$$ since February, just waiting for the season to start. Do you think you could learn the roster at least as well as the average fan?

    Santos needed to go before Gino did. He makes bad calls, and has to change them. That’s a mortal sin on radio. Before you say it, make sure it’s right. The guy has broken my heart multiple times by calling touchdowns or long receptions, only to say “Errr, no, they’re calling it an incompletion.” Terrible.

  • TjM

    Did the Dodgers also get your server Bruce :P

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