On August 25, 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers were three games behind the San Francisco Giants for the National League West division lead. The team would struggle down the stretch and finish eight games behind the eventual World Series champions.
However, what the Dodgers new ownership did that day marked the beginning of a new era in Los Angeles baseball. On that late summer day, a nine-player trade was pulled off between the Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox in which Los Angeles took on more than a quarter of a billion dollars in salary.
Coming over to L.A. were All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford, as well as utility man Nick Punto. The Dodgers shipped first baseman James Loney with four other minor league players as part of their largest August trade in franchise history.
For many years Dodger fans grew frustrated with then team owner Frank McCourt who was unwilling to spend money on expensive players, but that all changed once the new owners took over the team. The Dodgers became the NL version of the New York Yankees as they skyrocketed to the top of the MLB in payroll.
The centerpiece of the trade was first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Since coming to LA, the left-hander has been everything the team had hoped for when they made the trade. The five-time All-Star led the majors in RBIs in 2014 en route to winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award.
Josh Beckett struggled to stay healthy during his stay in Los Angeles. The right-hander had a total of 35 starts with the team, the most memorable coming on May 25, 2014 when he pitched a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies. Beckett went on to retire at the end of the 2014 season.
As for Carl Crawford, he like Beckett has also been plagued by injuries. The outfielder has only played in 39 out of a possible 123 games this year. However, when healthy he has been a key role player with the team.
While the team is still searching for their first World Series championship since 1988, the blockbuster trade showed the baseball world that the Dodgers were a team devoted to winning no matter the cost.