You know, I keep planning on writing about the Hall of Fame case of Kevin Brown, and major stories in the game seem to keep coming up. When I went to bed last night, it appeared that the trade talks surrounding Adrian Gonzalez had been heating up, and that teams besides just the Red Sox were involved. When I woke up this morning, it appears that the other teams have fallen by the wayside, and that the Red Sox are very close to acquiring Gonzalez from the Padres.
According to MLBTR, the players involved have been confirmed, but the things holding up the trade remain a physical for Gonzalez and the contract extension discussions as well. The package of players seems to have reached a general consensus, if not complete confirmation for the public. Let’s take a look at how this trade looks:
Boston Red Sox
Clearly, they have coveted Gonzalez for parts of the last 2 seasons, and what’s not to like? Here’s Gonzalez’s stats for the last 4 seasons:
I try to temper my expectations of what we could see, but he played a whole half of his games at Petco, where crushed baseballs don’t go out of the park with any regularity. I’m definitely no expert on adjusting statistics to go from one park to another, but just looking at Park Factors leads me to think we could see even more from A-Gon this year:
Petco Park: 91
Dodger Stadium: 95
AT&T Park: 101
Coors Field: 115
Chase Field: 104
Fenway Park: 106
Yankee Stadium: 105
Tropicana Field: 96
Rogers Centre: 100
Camden Yards: 101
While a lot of the away parks he would play most of his games in remain similar (and even the loss of games at Coors Field), the sheer difference between Petco and Fenway inclines me to believe he’s going to put up better numbers. His road splits also make note of this as well.
Clearly, this is an excellent addition to the Red Sox, and will more than fill the offense lost from Adrian Beltre‘s departure.
San Diego Padres
The prospects who are headed to San Diego widely appear to be P Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Reymond Fuentes, and a player to be named later. I actually wrote about Kelly before last season and while he struggled a bit last season (5.31 ERA, 81 K/35 BB) he was clearly viewed as one of the top prospects (if not the top prospect) in the Red Sox system. I wrote then that I thought he would not be in the Majors until 2012, and I think that probably still holds true.
Anthony Rizzo had a monster year last season between High-A and AA, and looks like he could end up as a solid power hitting 1B.
|2010||20||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-A+||136||531||92||138||42||25||100||10||1||61||132||.260||.334||.480||.814||255|
Getting Gonzalez made him expendable, especially with the anticipated extension Adrian should get. I would imagine that Rizzo will not be up to the Majors until at least 2012, and possibly even 2013 if they don’t feel a need to rush him. The Padres could still put Kyle Blanks back at 1B for the short term and stop trying him as an outfielder.
Reymond Fuentes was a 2009 1st round draft pick, and appears to be a high-speed type outfielder.
I don’t know if I necessarily see a lot of power potential from him yet, but he is still extremely young (just 20 next season), and should continue to develop. Baseball America rated him as the #6 prospect in the Red Sox system recently, and I’m inclined to believe that they know what they are talking about on this one.
I will be interested to see who the player to be named is, but overall they definitely got some excellent prospects in return for Gonzalez.
The Padres might have been able to do better, but they definitely got solid prospects in return for Gonzalez. In that same BA article, Kelly was the Red Sox #1 prospect, Rizzo the #3, and Fuentes the #6. While the Padres clearly won’t look like winners today, they may come 2013 when all 3 of them could be in the Majors and starting for the team. The Red Sox also did well on this trade, getting themselves a young, marketable slugging 1B who is most likely going to be with the team for the next 5+ seasons, right during his prime. And while the prospects they gave up were solid, both Kelly and Rizzo were expendable based on the current makeup of the roster and how it is anticipated to look in the coming seasons as well.
Red Sox: A
This trade also has a significant effect on the free agent and trade markets as well.
Who Else Does This Affect?
This leads me to believe that there is now a 100% chance that Bell gets traded. If the Padres view the season as a rebuilding one already, keeping Bell doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Teams that make some sense to me for him to be traded to include Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and possibly the White Sox as well. They may be more inclined to hold onto him until the All Star break and see which team has to find a closer, and move him then as well.
He went from wanting to return to Boston and publicly stating so, to now having to go somewhere else. The only team I have heard that has (supposedly) made Beltre an offer so far was Oakland, but clearly bringing Gonzalez will move Youkilis back to 3B, and leave nowhere for Beltre to play. If Beltre ended up in Oakland, that would also possibly move some other pieces, including Kevin Kouzmanoff.
The best 2011 free agent 1B who is likely to reach free agency (I don’t think Pujols gets there) probably just lost a bit of money with these happenings. Having both the Red Sox and the Yankees not be in on the bidding for his services seems like it would depress his pricing slightly, as his negotiating team does not have those big spenders to go try and get offers from. I’m not sure if it has a huge impact, but there could be some effect.
Something about this just screams of an overreaction by the Yankees. Whether that turns into an even larger contract offer to Cliff Lee, or some other rash decision, I just have to believe that Yankee Nation will want a huge move of their own. The Red Sox have been making headlines for the last few days, between this acquisition and apparently offering a substantial contract to Yankee great Mariano Rivera, and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak.