USA Today Sports

World Series: 2,251 days after the trade, Red Sox, Dodgers will play for all the marbles

Rob Bradford
October 20, 2018 - 11:26 pm

The Red Sox and Dodgers have played six times since they made THE trade back on Aug. 25, 2012.

The Sox have won a World Series, having played 32 postseason games while totaling a record of 559-445. The Dodgers? They haven't quite accomplished the ultimate goal of a World Series title during that time, but have played in 56 playoff games with a total win-loss mark of 613-452.

All of it doesn't count when it comes to measuring where this deal has landed these two teams.

Meeting in the World Series will only offer the true punctuation. That is finally on its way.

The Dodgers and Red Sox are meeting in the Fall Classic for the first time thanks to Los Angeles' 5-1 win over the Brewers in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. The best-of-seven series will kick off Tuesday night at Fenway Park, just about 55,024 hours after it was announced that Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto were sent to Los Angeles for what would ultimately add up to Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus, Jerry Sands and James Loney. (For a complete recap, click here.)

It was one of the biggest trades in baseball history and helped shape the two organizations for the years to come.

Only one player in the deal still resides in the organization they were dealt to -- De Jesus, who played with Triple-A Pawtucket this season after stops in the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Colorado organizations after his initial games with the Red Sox at the end of 2012. That doesn't mean the trade didn't leave its mark.

The move allowed the Red Sox to reset their franchise, getting well under the luxury tax heading into 2013 while paving the way to build that world championship roster along with the opportunity to spend free agent money might have been tied up in the Gonzalez and Crawford deals if they were still around.

Then there is Brock Holt. In case you forgot, it was Sands and De Jesus and Sands who joined Mark Melancon in going to the Pirates in exchange for Joel Hanrahan and the guy who turned out to be one the glue guys for this year's Red Sox club.

The Dodgers? They got some really good years out of Adrian Gonzalez before moving on from the first baseman prior to this season. Carl Crawford has been out of baseball since 2016, while Beckett called it quits after the 2014 season. The group, however, helped somewhat bridge the gap to the collection of young talent you will see in the coming days.

This is just one of what will be a boatload of storylines:

- Manny Machado's already uneasy history with the Red Sox (and Dustin Pedroia's knee).

- The Dodgers wanting to trade Yasiel Puig to the Red Sox for Jackie Bradley Jr. this past offseason.

- The return of feel-good story Rich Hill.

- Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers scouting report on the team he worked for last year as an assistant hitting coach.

- How David Freese almost ended up a Red Sox out of college.

- Chris Taylor and J.D. Martinez sharing the same personal hitting coaches (and similar stories regarding career turnarounds).

- Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal was taken by the Red Sox in the 27th round of the 2007 draft. The Red Sox had dinner with Walker Buehler and his family prior to the 2012 draft and almost drafted the then-high schooler before shying away from taking the skinny pitcher.

- Dodgers bullpen coach Mark Prior played for Pawtucket. Third base coach Chris Woodward played for the Red Sox. First base coach George Lombard served as a Red Sox instructor. Bench coach Bob Geren spent his final professional with the PawSox. Then there is the LA manager: Dave Roberts.

Buckle up.