Big moves only happen so often. Yet dating back to last Halloween, the regularity with which they’ve occurred throughout Boston’s major four teams has been comical.
The latest came this week, when the trade of Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers brought to mind confusion that had struck Pats fans a season ago with the Jamie Collins trade.
Those have hardly been the only big deals made dating back to last Oct. 31. Counting only the real biggies (apologies to the Addison Reeds and Marcus Morrises of the world), here’s an attempt at organizing what by my count has been 10 huge shakeups for Boston sports teams:
Trading for Chris Sale
Trading for Kyrie Irving
These are the two biggest, because the biggest change you can make to a team is to add or subtract a franchise player. Both Sale and Irving qualify as such. Plus, the assets moved in the deals show more of a commitment to now than to the future. In the case of the Sale trade, it meant moving more prospects. In the case of the Irving deal, it meant setting the team up to take over as the East’s top team once the Cavs disbanded.
Trading first overall pick, drafting Jayson Tatum
Trading Jimmy Garoppolo
Signing Gordon Hayward
All three of these moves teeter on belonging in that top section because there’s a good chance in each case that we’re talking about a franchise player. Hayward’s addition has obviously been diminished by the combination of injury and the fact that he wasn’t the biggest star acquired by the team that offseason. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Tatum became a franchise player based on what he’s shown through seven games. Garoppolo could be a stud for the 49ers; his departure obviously has twice the impact given what it means for Tom Brady.
Firing Claude Julien
The 2016-17 Bruins were a fledgling team with Claude Julien at the helm, and though he’s widely regarded as the better coach between he and Bruce Cassidy, Julien’s ouster was followed by a spike in shooting percentage that took the B’s from 1.05 points in the standings per game to 1.37 and the team’s first playoff berth in three seasons. The jury on that move should remain out, however, as the Bruins dealt with inconsistent play and injuries en route to a 4-3-3 start this season.
Trading for Brandin Cooks
Trading Jamie Collins
The Cooks trade would rank way higher for other football teams, and though he’s one of the team’s best players, he still ranks behind some of the best to ever play the sport in Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
As for the Collins move, it was certainly shocking, but between the lack of return and the fact that they didn’t go on to miss him, it’s hard to look at it as major in hindsight.
Firing John Farrell/Hiring Alex Cora
Released Pablo Sandoval
If there’s no bigger move than adding or subtracting a franchise player, where would you put subtracting a player being paid what would ruin more thrifty franchises? Eh, low. The Red Sox can always afford it.