Around baseball, most talent evaluators see the block-buster deal between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers as a clear win for the Sox -- if only because of the salary relief (nearly 260 million) the Sox are realizing.
"I'm like...wow!'' said one veteran scout when told how little the Sox were paying on the money due to Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto.
But there's another component, too: five players will eventually head to the Red Sox from the Dodgers. Three -- first baseman James Loney; pitcher Allen Webster; and infielder Ivan DeJesus -- were identified.
Two more will be transferred once the season ends, since waivers couldn't be obtained on them.
We asked around baseball for some observations on the four minor leaguers. Here are their thoughts:
1BOF Jerry Sands.
Evaluator No. 1: "He has big-time raw power, but he hasn't been able to put it together.''
Evaluator No. 2: "He's a pretty good sized guy, but not a great athlete. He's a fringe guy at best. Even thought he's righthanded, he reminds me of a lefthanded-type hitter -- a low-ball hitter. He could use a change of scenery.''
Evaluator No. 3: "He's got pretty good power from the right side, but he doesn't have a position to play. He doesn't run well. I see him as a marginal guy. Maybe he could be a platoon guy, but he's inconsistent. The (Triple A) numbers are skewed -- he has too many holes and major league pitchers will find those if you pitch him correctly.
INFIELDER Ivan DeJesus
Evaluator No. 1: "He can played second and short OK, and maybe a little third. I think second is probably his best position.''
Evaluator No. 2: "I'm sure (the Red Sox) see him as an insurance guy. If you have injuries, you can bring him up and he won't hurt you. I don't see him as a regular, but he's not a bad guy to have around.''
Evaluator No. 3: "I remember seeing him at shortstop and he was OK. But he had (a leg injury) and he's never run well since. He's a marginal guy, an extra guy at the big league level. He has a little thump with the bat, but something's missing. He's not an everyday guy.''
RHP Rubby De La Rosa
Evaluator No. 1: "I saw him when he was healthy (before undergoing Tommy John surgery). His fastball, even when hitters knew it was coming, they couldn't catch up. He's a real power arm. Whether he's a starter or not I don't know, but he could definitely be a tail-end reliever. The fastball is his key pitch and for a guy throwing as hard as he was, his command was pretty good. There's no reason he shouldn't help the club.
Evaluator No. 2: "I like him a lot. There's a lot there. The key will be how is he coming off surgery. Sometimes you have to take a chance on those guys, and he's one of those guys.''
Evalautor No. 3: "I saw him starting, but I have him projected as a bullpen guy. He's a legit power guy. The ball gets on the hitter real quick. He can come in and throw the ball by you for an inning with no trouble.''
RHP Allen Webster
Evaluator No. 1: "I haven't seen much of him, but I know the Dodgers loved him. I'm a little surprised. (Our club) tried to make a deal for him earlier and were told they wouldn't let him go''
Evaluator No. 2: "He's the best guy in the deal for me - a power arm. He's mostly fastball and changeup. I think he's had some command issues, but that's not unusual at this stage (Double A). I've seen him throw 96 mph.''
Evaluator No. 3: "I like his mechanics. I saw him in April and he was pretty consistently 95 mph. I really like him. For a guy with his stuff, his record isn't very good. He's got better stuff than his numbers. But he's got a chance to be a top-of-the-rotation guy, probably a No. 2. And there's not many of those guys around.''