Two years ago today, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Nick Punto and other assorted parts for James Loney, and the baseball world was never the same.

Also included in that deal: Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and four younger players who went to Boston. It was a mess of a masterpiece of a deal, a catapulting of contracts that we're unlikely to see ever again. It was a Frankenstein's monster of a message-board comment coming to life and escaping from the Internet's basement to cause mayhem. My brain still hurts thinking about it.

Two years later, it's time to revisit the deal and figure out what the teams were thinking at the time, if they accomplished what they wanted to, and what it means for future offseasons. We'll spend a feature on just Punto, so forget about him for now.

What the Red Sox were thinking

"Hey, let's get these players off the roster, buy new ones, and win a championship."

Probably. Except it's worth revisiting just how terrible the 2012 Red Sox really were. On the day of the trade, the Red Sox lost to the Royals, 10-9, with Aaron Cook starting and the bullpen getting shelled. It was only the seventh time in the last 100 years that the Red Sox lost a game in which they had 20 hits. The loss moved them seven games under .500, and Bobby Valentine was literally their manager. Literally Bobby Valentine.

The Red Sox had their worst season since 1960, thanks to a remarkable 7-26 finish. But they didn't have to pay Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett again. It allowed them to patch the roster up in the offseason and contend again, and we all know how that worked out. I'd wager that while the goal was to contend right away, in Ben Cherington's heart of hearts, he was looking toward the 2014 offseason just as much, if not more. The 2012 Red Sox were so bad, even the most optimistic of folks weren't likely to think that a tub of Shane Victorino spackle was going to fix everything after the plane crashed into the front porch.