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Dodgers, Red Sox Complete Blockbuster Nine-Player Deal

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UPDATE 9:15am EST: The nine-player trade between the Red Sox and Dodgers is officially completed, reports Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald.

Early this morning, the Red Sox and Dodgers concluded a blockbuster deal in which the Red Sox shipped four players – Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto – in exchange for a massive relief in salary as well as four minor-leaguers and first baseman James Loney, according to a Red Sox source.

The Red Sox will send the Dodgers just $12 million in cash considerations, with payments beginning next year.

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Original Story: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms on a massive nine-player trade that will become official later today, sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to Los Angeles for James Loney, Jerry Sands, Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus and Allen Webster, a source has told Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston:

First reported by Edes early yesterday evening, the only thing standing in the way of the epic deal's completion now is Josh Beckett's pending physical. Boston had no problems at all receiving approval on the deal from Beckett or Crawford, who both had trade restrictions.

As far as cash considerations, the Dodgers have surprisingly agreed to take on more than 95 percent of the guaranteed money owed to Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, meaning the Red Sox will at most give Los Angeles just $13.5 million of the $271.5 million contracted to the trio. With nearly $525 million now guaranteed to just six players over the next several seasons, the new Dodgers owners have proven that, if nothing else, they have very deep pockets.

Including the additions of Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino at the trade deadline, the Dodgers have now added three huge bats to the middle of their line-up and help at the back of the rotation that should prime them for a legitimate run at the NL West title.

On the flip side, the Red Sox' pre-arbitration obligations for next season now drop massively from $106.9 million to just $45.6 million, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, giving them the freedom to be much more active on the free agent market this winter.