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Adrian Gonzalez 'excited' for Dodgers

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox returned to their clubhouse
Saturday to find empty lockers where Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez
and Carl Crawford stored their gear before they packed for Los
Angeles in a trade that dismantled the underperforming ballclub and
gave it a chance to rebuild without their hefty contracts.

The deal, which would bring first baseman James Loney and four
prospects to Boston and also send utilityman Nick Punto to the
Dodgers, had not been confirmed by either team when the Red Sox
clubhouse opened at 3:35 p.m. But pitcher John Lackey had already
claimed Beckett's locker and the others' were left with generic
nameplates after the players cleared out Friday night and Saturday
morning.

"They're not down there. Their boxes are all packed. So it's
semi-official," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.

The Red Sox called a news conference for 5 p.m. EDT with general
manager Ben Cherington and the Dodgers called one for 5:30 p.m. EDT
with GM Ned Colletti.

But Gonzalez, a former San Diego Padres star, said on Twitter in
English and Spanish that he was excited to get back to California.
Beckett joined the social media site to thank Red Sox fans, and
Punto posted a picture of the three of them on what appears to be a
private jet with the caption, "(hash)dodgers doing it first
class!"

The trade would save the Red Sox $261 million in salary through
2018 and give them a fresh start as they try to rebuild from the
fried chicken and beer fiasco of September 2011. Manager Terry
Francona and general manager Theo Epstein didn't last through the
fall, and the team's 60-66 record under Valentine so far this
season convinced the team's brain trust that a more drastic
upheaval was necessary.

Beckett helped the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series but was
seen as the ringleader in last year's collapse, when the ballclub
went 7-20 in September and missed a playoff spot on the final day
of the season. Reports of players drinking beer and eating fried
chicken in the clubhouse during games surfaced afterward, and
Beckett's haughty demeanor continued to alienate fans even as his
ERA rose.

The 2003 World Series MVP with the Florida Marlins, Beckett now
moves from the home of Dunkin' Donuts to the land of In-N-Out
Burger, bringing with him a pair of players who were not productive
enough to justify their contracts. Beckett was due $31.5 million
over the next two years; Gonzalez has $127 million coming through
2018; Crawford is due $102.5 million over the next five seasons.