The nine-player blockbuster between the Red Sox and Dodgers is complete

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UPDATE: The trade has been announced. The Red Sox have traded Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and cash considerations to the Dodgers for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jr. and two players to be named later.

Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands are reportedly the players to be named and will join the Red Sox organization following the season. The Red Sox must wait to acquire De La Rosa and Sands because they didn’t clear waivers this month.

1:32 p.m.: OK, it’s done. For real this time. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the deal is official while Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears that Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto are already on a plane to Los Angeles. No word on if fried chicken is on the in-flight menu.

11:59 a.m.: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the trade will get done, but that the two sides are waiting for Carl Crawford’s consent paperwork to go through. He has already waived his no-trade clause verbally, so it’s just a formality at this point.

Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, who has been all over this trade, hears that an an official announcement is expected at some point this afternoon.

10:00 a.m.: So much for that. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the mega-deal is not yet official and reports of it being complete are premature. Still sounds like it will get done, but we might have to wait a little while longer.

9:32 a.m. ET: According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, the nine-player blockbuster trade between the Red Sox and Dodgers is complete. Dan Roche of WBZ is also reporting that the trade is done. Let’s go over the particulars.

The Red Sox are sending first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-hander Josh Beckett, outfielder Carl Crawford and infielder Nick Punto to the Dodgers for first baseman James Loney and four minor leaguers. Those prospects are expected to consist of right-handers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands and infielder Ivan De Jesus, Jr., though one or more of them could be announced as players to be named later and be sent to Boston after the season. Crawford and Beckett both waived their no-trade clauses in order for the deal to go through.

The Red Sox will get an incredible amount of financial flexibility as a result of the deal, as Silverman reports that the club will cover just $12 million of the roughly $271.5 million left on the contracts of Gonzalez, Beckett, Crawford and Punto. Those payments will begin next year.

This deal will be viewed as a salary dump in many circles and considering the unprecedented amount of money involved, that’s certainly understandable, but Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington comes out looking pretty good after getting De La Rosa and Webster back in the deal. Each team is essentially getting what they want here, as the Red Sox want to press the reset button and the new Dodgers ownership wants to send the message that they are in it to win it. The deal improves the Dodgers’ chances of making a run in the postseason this year, but it might not look so hot a couple of years from now. Dodgers fans are surely hoping the new ownership has enough money set aside to keep Clayton Kershaw around for the long haul.

2017 Winter Meetings Preview

Craig Calcaterra
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — The baseball world has descended on the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Disney World for the 2017 Winter Meetings. There’s a lot of work to be done.

The two biggest names on the market — Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton — have found new homes, but so far only 33 of baseball’s 249 free agents have signed, almost all of them minor. Still looking for a home: Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta, CC Sabathia, Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis, Lance Lynn, Greg Holland and many, many more. In early November we ran down the top free agents, position-by-position, to help you get a jump on who is available and what your team is looking at as it seeks to fill its needs.

It’s not just players looking for homes this week, however. It’s teams looking to make up for their failures in the Ohtani and Stanton derbies. The Cardinals and Giants both went big to get Stanton and came up empty. The Giants were likewise in Ohtani, but no dice. Baseball’s worst team in 2017 is obviously willing to spend some money to improve, and now they will look elsewhere to spend it. The Red Sox weren’t in on those two, but since it’s biggest rival landed Giancarlo Stanton, GM Dave Dombrowski will no doubt be kicking the tires hard on J.D. Martinez or Eric Hosmer to try to keep pace. The Mariners acquired a lot of international pool money in their quest for Ohtani, but they could still use a starting pitcher or two, so perhaps they may look at, say, Jake Arrieta? Lance Lynn? Yu Darvish? Well, they should, but who knows if they will.

Despite the sheer number of available free agents, this is a thin free agent class in terms of talent. That means that, for a team to improve significantly, they may be better served by making a trade. The Marlins already traded Stanton, but their fire sale does not seem to be over. Could they deal the newly-acquired Starlin Castro? Christian Yelich? Marcel Ozuna? Bet on yes, and bet on any team wishing to spend prospects instead of free agent cash to take what Miami is unloading. Other potential trade candidates: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, Rays starter Chris Archer and third baseman Evan Longoria and Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Trade deals and free agent negotiations take place behind closed doors at the Swan and Dolphin. One of the major public activities of the Winter Meetings is when all 30 of the managers meet and greet the press. This year there are six new men at the helm: Dave Martinez in Washington, Mickey Callaway with the Mets, Gabe Kapler — Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager — in Philly, Alex Cora in Boston, Aaron Boone with the Yankees and Rob Gardenhire with the Tigers. I’ll be in the scrum for a lot of these guys — they do them two at a time so I can’t see everyone — and will let you know if they say anything fun. Or if any of them slug me for saying that they’re ugly.

Outside of the transactions and the Hall of Fame stuff, we have the more mundane Winter Meetings business. Indeed, the vast majority of the people at the Meetings aren’t there for transactions. They’re there to network, seek jobs and discuss the business of baseball like any other industry convention. Ever year we hear about a rule change or a proposal for future rule changes at the Meetings. The big one everyone is talking about this offseason is the possibility of a pitch clock.

The final event of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place at 8am on Thursday morning. You likely have no idea who most of the players who will be selected are, but here’s a good place to start your research on that. If your team takes someone in the draft, the most important thing to know is that he’ll either be on the big league roster all year or he’ll have to be returned to his original team. Well, they could be stashed on the disabled list with phantom injuries so they won’t have to be returned, but no team would ever do that, would they? Perish the thought.

So, yes, there’s a lot to be done. I’ll be on the scene down here at Disney World, bringing you all the best hot stove business we have to offer and, as usual, some more fun odds and ends from baseball’s biggest offseason event.