The blockbuster trade sending Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers is finally done. The last holdout, Dylano Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, has called it at 1:26 p.m. EST.
Adrian Gonzalez is no longer a member of the Boston Red Sox, and the Red Sox are no longer on the hook for Carl Crawford or Josh Beckett, aside from what is supposed to be a very small percentage of the money owed. The Red Sox will receive James Loney to fill in at first for the rest of the year, and prospects Allen Webster, Ivan DeJesus, Jerry Sands, and Rubby De La Rosa to work towards the future.
With this, rebuilding begins. Whether it will last one offseason or four is now entirely up to Ben Cherington and the front office.
While this is just a three-player deal for Boston, nothing about the team is the same anymore. Their future is hazier, but now out from underneath the oppressive weight of these massive contracts. No longer will the Red Sox or Red Sox fans spend their offseason months chewing fingernails over whether Carl Crawford will ever produce, which Adrian Gonzalez will show up and when, and whether Josh Beckett will be an asset to the rotation, or just a focal point for controversy.
It's time to stop worrying, and time to start anticipating. The Red Sox are suddenly tremendously interesting again.