The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox linked themselves together in baseball history last year. While the Dodgers and Red Sox didn’t do that by playing in the World Series -- or making the postseason -- they did it by completing the most expensive trade in baseball history. But a year later, Los Angeles and Boston may be on a collision course to the World Series after all, with a possible preview coming in a three-game series starting on Aug. 23.
The Dodgers traded for All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett on Aug. 26, 2012 in a last ditch effort to save their season -- an effort that failed decisively. In fact, when the Dodgers added even more to their payroll in the offseason and stumbled into last place early in 2013, they looked like an expensive, underachieving laughingstock. But an historic run in the last two months has made all of baseball stop laughing.
As for the Red Sox, they were 2012’s biggest and most expensive laughingstock, which made their big trade so necessary. They desperately needed to dump off salary and change a stagnant culture in Boston, which had collapsed at the end of Terry Francona’s reign and hit rock bottom in Bobby Valentine’s one season. Yet under John Farrell and a new and old collection of stars, the Red Sox are fighting for first place all over again.
The Dodgers and Red Sox are back to their old places of power, thanks to the players they traded around and the players they were able to get in the aftermath. Here is a list of what the big pieces in last year’s trade have done since then -- and a list of key contributors they paved the way for.