BOSTON — The Dodgers are stocking up for the stretch run with some new, expensive players who couldn't help the Red Sox make it to the postseason this year or last.
The Dodgers acquired first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-hander Josh Beckett and injured leftfielder Carl Crawford, the former Rays All-Star, from Boston on Saturday, hoping to boost their playoff hopes by taking on the high-priced stars who failed to thrive in a fractious Red Sox clubhouse.
Boston also sent infielder Nick Punto and about $11 million in cash to Los Angeles in the nine-player trade that was the biggest in Dodgers history. The Red Sox got first baseman James Loney, right-hander Allen Webster, infielder Ivan DeJesus and two players to be named — believed to be minor-league first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands and right-hander Rubby De La Rosa — while shedding more than $250 million in salaries through 2018.
Gonzalez, batting cleanup, hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat for the Dodgers on Saturday night. Beckett is set to make his debut Monday in place of injured right-hander Chad Billingsley.
"We understand that you have to spend money to be good in this league," said former NBA star Magic Johnson, part of the new Dodgers ownership group.
"When we came in, we made it clear that we want to build the Dodgers back to what they once were," team president Stan Kasten said.
Los Angeles has in the past month acquired shortstop Hanley Ramirez, outfielder Shane Victorino, starter Joe Blanton and reliever Brandon League.
"It's just exciting," Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp said. "Everybody wants to win, and the guys up there are really making a statement and showing us that they want to win just as bad as we do."
For the Red Sox, the trade signaled a concession for 2012 and a chance to rebuild without hefty contracts given during an undisciplined foray into free agency that, general manager Ben Cherington conceded, has not worked out.
"It gives us an opportunity to build the next great Red Sox team," Cherington said. "We just felt like to get to be a team we believe in and a team the fans deserve, to sustain winning year after year, it was going to take something more than cosmetic changes. It was going to take something bold."
Also, Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who had returned Friday from a strained right Achilles' tendon, was out of the lineup and is scheduled to be re-evaluated.
CLEMENS COMEBACK: Roger Clemens, 50, made his debut for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League, facing Bridgeport and pitching 31/3 scoreless innings while striking out two.
BAUTISTA BACK ON DL: Blue Jays rightfielder Jose Bautista returned to the 15-day disabled list with left wrist inflammation, the injury that kept him out for 51/2 weeks until Friday.