Monday, December 6, 2010

Adrian Gonzalez to Boston - OFFICIAL

tWWL is reporting today the Gonzo trade is final, even though the Red Sox and Gonzalez's people could not agree on a long-term extension.

For those of you holding out hope he stays in SD, I imagine it will take the press conference tomorrow and Adrian holding a Red Sox jersey before you acknowledge he's gone.  That said I'm not sure there are many of those folks left.  Trading Adrian Gonzalez away has been expected for more than a year now.  San Diego could not afford the left-handed first baseman.  If they were forced to trade away Jake Peavy and his $16 million dollar a year deal, how where they going to re-sign Gonzo for $20 mil?

2010's almost-run to the post-season only delayed the inevitable.  Jed Hoyer could not trade Gonzalez away in July because his club was not only in contention, they were leading the division.  How would that look? Giving up your best hitter with two months to go and a 4 game lead?  So Gonzalez stayed.

There will probably be comparisons to the fire-sale of the early 1990s.  So far this off-season Jon Garland, Yorvit Torrealba, and Miguel Tejada had all left for other teams (LA, not yet signed, and SF, respectively).  With those losses this team was to have a difficult time contending.  With Gonzalez in the AL East it is pretty near impossible.  Ryan Ludwick is going to be awfully lonely in the middle of this order.

For better or worse this will be the trade by which Hoyer is judged as the GM.  It's a good thing he and key members of his staff know the Boston minor league system well, because he'd better have gotten excellent value for the fourth-best player in the NL last season (if you go by MVP voting) who is in his prime.

Whatever contract value it is Adrian finally agrees to (be it 8 years, $180M or 6/$120) congratulations to him on the deal.  Gonzalez is the best 1B in the history of the San Diego Padres, and will be for some time to come.  He's worked hard and his ship has finally come in.  I will miss seeing him hit in person and on local TV.

As I close, and in case you're not depressed enough by the trade, here's how I project the 2011 Padre team to look:

1B - Kyle Blanks
2B - Matt Antonelli (speculation only; Eckstein is a free agent and I don't know who else to put here)
3B - Chase Headley
SS - Everth Cabrera (see above, replace 'Eckstein...' with 'Tejada signed with SF')
LF - Chris Denorfia Ryan Ludwick*
CF - Cameron Maybin
RF - Ryan Ludwick Will Venable*
C - Nick Hundley

SP:  Mat Latos, Clayton Richard, Tim Stauffer, Chris Young (yes I think he re-signs) Aaron Harang**, Cory Luebke.

Think we struggled to score runs in 2010?  Just wait.

*This seems the more likely lineup after pondering it last night.
** Spaced the Harang signing.

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