Both Cherington, who replaced Theo Epstein after the September collapse, and Valentine, who was brought in to replace Terry Francona, defended their departing players. But Valentine agreed that change was needed in the clubhouse.
"Yes. It was necessary," he said. "(It) just didn't seem like it mixed as well as it should."
Players traded in August have to first pass through waivers. Any team with a worse record than Los Angeles could have claimed Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford before the Dodgers, but it would have had to pick up their contracts.
Instead, the teams worked out a deal that reshuffled the NL West race and had the rest of baseball talking, too.
"It's surprising," New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You're not used to seeing that many big names go in one trade — a bunch of All-Stars, guys who have been in World Series and played at a very high level."
Red Sox players said before Saturday night's game against Kansas City that they were surprised to see their longtime teammates gone in a deal that came together quickly. Gonzalez, Beckett and Crawford were already on their way to Los Angeles on Saturday, according to a picture Punto posted on Twitter; Boston pitcher John Lackey had already claimed Beckett's locker, pulling rank over Clay Buchholz.
"Nothing surprises me in this game," Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross in the Fenway Park clubhouse, where the nameplates had already been removed from his former teammates' lockers. "This isn't your normal trade. This is a blockbuster deal that will probably go down as one of the biggest, but it still doesn't surprise me."
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, writing "Even in the tough times I ran into so many wonderful people that were so awesome I'm Greatly appreciative to all of you."
The 32-year-old Beckett is 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts this season. A three-time All-Star, he is 130-92 lifetime with a 3.93 ERA.
Gonzalez, 30, is a four-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner. He hit .300 with 15 home runs and 86 RBIs this season, his second since being traded by San Diego to Boston.
Crawford, at 31, hit .282 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 31 games this season. He had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow this week and is expected to take six to nine months to recover. Crawford was a four-time All-Star with Tampa Bay before signing with Boston.
The 34-year-old Punto hit .200 with one homer and 10 RBIs as a backup.
Loney hit .254 with four homers and 33 RBIs for the Dodgers this season. At 28, he'd spent his whole career in Los Angeles.
The 25-year-old DeJesus was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. He hit .273 in 23 games for the Dodgers this year. Webster, a 22-year-old right-hander, was 6-8 with a 3.55 ERA at Double-A Chattanooga.
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.
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