Saturday, December 4, 2010

Red Sox Get Gonzalez After Two Year Pursuit

While it seemed as inevitable as the Yankees re-signing Derek Jeter, the Red Sox finally made the deal to land their coveted slugging first baseman in Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres won a surprising 90 games in 2010 but rode out their plan to ship Gonzalez off before he became a free agent after the 2011 season. The Padres made the right move in dealing Gonzalez in the off-season to collect a greater haul of prospects and this most certainly puts the writing on the wall for the future of Heath Bell in San Diego. Although, the Padres might wait until the trade deadline approaches to move their closer because there should be more teams bidding on arms for a playoff push.

What This Means For Adrian Gonzalez
There is one and only one drawback for Gonzalez in this deal. He no longer gets to live in San Diego. The Red Sox are and always have been the ideal landing spot for the slugger. In his five years of playing half of his games in the cavernous Petco Park, he still managed to hit 161 home runs and average a .288/.374/.514 line. With Fenway's short porch in right field, Gonzalez should see a nice tick upwards in his slugging numbers. He also becomes a very rich man. The Sox will, presumably, extend him seven years for around $170 million.

What This Means For Boston
The Red Sox have coveted Gonzalez for two years after it became clear that the Padres had no shot at retaining him with free agency looming. Plugging Gonzalez in at first will move Kevin Youklis to third while urging Adrian Beltre not to let the door hit him on the ass on the way out. The Sox also had to hand over a nice package of prospects from a deep if not great system. Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes are three of the top six or seven prospects in Boston's system plus San Diego will receive what's behind curtain number three in a player to be named later. The move certainly sparks a fun debate about which infield is better between the Sox and the Yanks. I figure Jeter and Marco Scuturo are about a wash.

What This Means For San Diego
The Padres managed to not get all delusional after last season's surprising push for the playoffs and kept their game plan on track. It must have been tempting to take another run with Gonzalez and move him at the deadline if they fell back to earth. But they made the smart move and dealt him when they could get the most bang for their lack of bucks. In Casey Kelly, they get Boston's top pitching prospect who was already pitching at Double A as a 20-year-old. Anthony Rizzo might be the heir apparent to Gonzalez at first base. As a 21-year-old in Double A, he hit 20 home runs and a .263/.334/.481 line. Reymond Fuentes is a toolsy outfielder and the cousin of Carlos Betran. At just 19-years-old, he stole 42 bases during his A ball season. The Padres will certainly deal Heath Bell at some point during the season to continue their youth movement.


  1. 2 things:

    1) Although the right field fence will be moving in about 8 feet next year due to enlargement of the bullpens, it still isn't a "short porch" unless you hit one around Pesky's Pole. It's no Yankee Stadium:

    2) You failed to mention that by acquiring Gonzalez via trade and sign and moving Youkilis to third, the Sox essentially get 2 draft picks out of the deal by letting Beltre sign elsewhere.

    So the question becomes: Is Gonzalez + a first round and sandwich pick in 2011 more valuable than Beltre, Kelly, Rizzo, Fuentes and a PTBNL? I say yes.

    Sox brass has stated their preference of acquiring talented players in their prime via trade rather than free agency and I for one think it's a good strategy. At least until MLB gets their heads out of the sand and fixes the draft instead of spending time trying to expand the damn postseason.

  2. 1) You're right about Fenway not really having a short porch in right but it's a much better hitter's park than Petco even if Fenway isn't all that home run friendly. My point was simply that you can expect his slugging number to go up.

    2) Yes, obviously the Beltre comp picks are valuable. There a factors surrounding them though. If the Angels sign Crawford and Beltre, the picks aren't nearly as valuable. The Angels 1st pick is protected and the Rays would get the 2nd round pick for Crawford. In this scenario, the Sox would be getting a sandwich round pick and the Angels 3rd rounder. Just for example.

    That said, I still think it's a win-win if the deal gets re-worked after the Sox failed to extend Gonzalez today.