Dodgers set to get Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett from Red Sox

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8:23 a.m. EDT update: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the deal is “pretty much done.” Beckett and Crawford have waived their no-trade rights and both teams have signed off on medicals, so we’re presumably waiting on approval from the commissioner’s office.

6:40 a.m. EDT update: According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, the blockbuster deal will be made official Saturday.

2:10 a.m. EDT update: Jon Heyman reports that Crawford has approved the trade. All that stands in the way now is Beckett waiving his no-trade clause and league approval. Expectations are that it will be finalized.

Here’s a breakdown of all of the pieces involved.

11:05 p.m. EDT update: According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Dodgers are one of just three teams on Crawford’s no-trade list. He’s yet to be asked whether he’d approve the deal, though many have suggested he’d welcome the move.

10:40 p.m. EDT update: The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman reports that the Dodgers would absorb more than 95 percent of the combined $271.5 million in salaries the Red Sox are sending their way. If that’s true, the Red Sox would eat no more than $13.5 million.

8:00 p.m. EDT update: FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi reports that the Dodgers have agreed to send RHP Rubby De La Rosa, RHP Allen Webster, 1B/OF Jerry Sands, INF Ivan De Jesus and 1B James Loney to the Red Sox for 1B Adrian Gonzalez, OF Carl Crawford, RHP Josh Beckett and INF Nick Punto. Nothing is expected to be finalized tonight.

7:42 p.m. EDT update: A source told CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam hat the Red Sox have yet to secure trade permission from either Josh Beckett or Carl Crawford, but he adds that neither is expected to block a deal. Adrian Gonzalez lacks any sort of trade protection in his contract.

FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi is reporting that top Dodgers prospect Allen Webster is also involved, which would seem to suggest the Red Sox are throwing quite a bit of cash into the trade.

WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that an announcement of the trade is unlikely to come tonight.

7:03 p.m. EDT update: Adrian Gonzalez was scratched. too.

6:58 p.m. EDT update: The Dodgers just scratched James Loney from Friday’s starting lineup. It looks like this is getting done.

6:50 p.m. EDT update: Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says the Red Sox and Dodgers have the framework in place and believes that something is going get done. The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham says the sides have two possibilities in play, the likely nine- or 10-player trade that includes Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, as well as a somewhat smaller trade that excludes Crawford.

The Dodgers sent rumored key component Ruddy De La Rosa back to Triple-A today, a move that would facilitate a deal. De La Rosa didn’t clear waivers, so he can’t be traded as is. However, now that he’s back in the minors, he can be included as a PTBN (a player to be named) and then get sent to Boston once the season is over.

5:58 p.m. EDT update: Speaking on WGAM with Matt Perrault, ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes said he believes the Red Sox would get back RHP Rubby De La Rosa, INF Ivan De Jesus, 1B/OF Jerry Sands and 1B James Loney in return for Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett and Punto.

Loney is probably just in there for salary purposes, not as someone the Red Sox would be looking at as a 2013 first baseman. De La Rosa is the legitimate prospect, a possible No. 2 or No. 3 starter as soon as next year. De Jesus is a utilityman, while Sands would be worth an audition as a first base or left field option.

5:50 p.m. EDT update: A source told FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi that a deal is close, with Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto all involved.

Morosi says the Red Sox would seen some cash to the Dodgers in the trade.

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Wow!

Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford!  That’s around $300 million in players who aren’t as good as the Red Sox needed them to be on the verge of being shoved out the door.  No idea what the return could be. Rubby De La Rosa is the Dodgers top prospect, but some have said he’s untouchable.  I guess we’ll find out.

Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak ended 78 years ago today

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There’s nothing special about a 78-year anniversary. It’s not a round number or anything and we tend to like round numbers. But (a) I was reminded of this today; and (b) we have no idea if the Martians will have invaded and taken over the planet come 2021, so I feel like it’s best to run this now than wait for the 80th anniversary. Cool? Cool.

Anyway: on this day in 1941, Joe DiMaggio’s still-unbroken and possibly unbreakable (see below) 56-game hitting streak came to end. The game took place in Cleveland in front of a staggering 67,468 fans. Not bad for a Thursday night. The way the streak ended, courtesy of an ESPN Classic post from Larry Scwartz back in 2003:

Third baseman Ken Keltner makes two outstanding plays, grabbing DiMaggio smashes down the line in the first and seventh innings and throwing him out at first base. In between these at-bats, left-hander Al Smith walks DiMaggio in the fourth.

The Yankee Clipper has one more chance to extend his streak when he bats in the eighth with the bases full against Jim Bagby, a young right-hander who just enters the game. DiMaggio hits the ball sharply, but shortstop Lou Boudreau plays a bad hop perfectly and turns the grounder into a double play.

Stuff happens.

To be clear: 56 may not be broken in my lifetime or yours. It’s obviously a SUPER difficult task to string together a hitting streak of considerable length. As we saw when guys like Pete Rose or Paul Molitor or whoever have come within spitting distance of DiMaggio’s record — long spitting distance — the pressure ramps up and it’s hard to do you job with a lot of pressure. Add in the fact that simple base hits are harder to come by in today’s game than they used to be due to prevalent hitting, pitching and defensive trends, and it’d be no shocker whatsoever if no one ever does it.

But I draw the line at “unbreakable,” simply because, as noted above, stuff does happen. And because there’s nothing structural preventing it from happening. It’s not like Cy Young’s 511 wins or something which fundamental changes in the game have made basically impossible. No one is going to win 26 games a year for 20 years straight or what have you. Heck, CC Sabathia is baseball’s current gray hair among pitchers and only has a few dozen more career starts than that. It’s just a different game.

Hitters do play in 150-160 games now, though, and the good ones do average more than one hit per game. Putting them in the right arrangement may never be likely, but doing so is only a matter of stars aligning, not breaking the fundamental rules of engagement. It could happen. Maybe. Because, unlike some other records, it did before under broadly similar circumstances.

OK, that aside, I’ll offer up my favorite and most maddening DiMaggio hitting streak fact.

During his streak, which lasted from May 15-July 17, DiMaggio went 91-of-223, which is a .408 average. Between April 15-September 28 (i.e. the whole dang season) Ted Williams hit .406. And when it was all said and done he was substantially better in virtually every other batting category as well.

Joe DiMaggio won the MVP Award.