While you were sleeping: Adrian Gonzalez-to-RedSox heats up *UPDATED*

SI’s Jon Heyman chips in:

  • @SI_JonHeyman: multiple reports, including early one from @ScottMCBSSports, say gonzalez trade is close with #redsox. source says boston his 1st choice

And that Heyman-related tweet:

Other tweets of note:

  • @NCTPadres: Just was told #Padres-#RedSoxdeal would only involve Adrian Gonzalez and is “close.” No Heath Bell. #MLB
  • @GordonEdes: Source: Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres talking Adrian Gonzalez trade – ESPN Boston http://es.pn/fI5L2K
  • @davidwadeWBZ: AGon: “I’ll have what Teixera is having, Thanks.” RT @Buster_ESPN: Sources: MLB approves a negotiating window for Sox and Adrian Gonzalez.

So here’s what would scare me, if I were a Sox fan:

Starting Wednesday, Padres All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez will begin the rehabilitation process on the right shoulder he had surgery on three weeks ago.

Gonzalez, who has been wearing a sling since having surgery to repair his right labrum, is expected to be ready for Spring Training in February, though there’s no telling when he’ll be able to start swinging a bat.

Gonzalez told the Padres’ flagship station, XX 1090 AM, this week that he might not be able to swing a bat for “four or five months.” The four-month milestone would occur a week into the start of Spring Training

Now, there’s little question that this would be a truly GREAT move for the RedSox to land a guy as good as Gonzalez. A stud at the plate and in the field. The Sox will have to part with several of their very best non-major league talent (ie: not Bard, Ellsbury) AND pay him a Teixeira-like contract.  That’s the old Johan Santana double-dip. Mike Axisa at RAB hits on this point, too:

Just look at how much the failure to sign Mark Teixeira has impacted the Sox. They had to trade three young players to the Indians for Victor Martinez in 2009 to make up for the lost offense, and now they have to deal even more young players to San Diego to fill the first base hole long-term. And they’re still going have to pay Gonzalez a boatload of money as if he was a free agent. Sucks for them.

I’m no doctor but the labrum surgery scares me. Probably not enough to not do the deal, but enough to lose some sleep over an 8 year deal, or whatever it will take to keep Gonzalez given the dumping of high-ceiling prospects.

What’s got me chuckling a bit is the early “OMG, the Yanks need to sign Lee AND Crawford/Werth RIGHT NOW” reactions. No, the Yankees to not need to overreact to a Sox trade.  The Sox were a very good team going into 2010 that got derailed by injuries yet STILL managed to put up 89 wins. A healthy Sox team with the addition of Gonzalez makes them legitimately imposing, particularly if their pitching returns to form (looking at you, Beckett and Lackey).  However, unless the Yanks can get a boatload for Gardner (to make room for a FA outfielder), there’s no need to overreact. Stand down, friends.

Yo Adrian!

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28 thoughts on “While you were sleeping: Adrian Gonzalez-to-RedSox heats up *UPDATED*

  1. I'm not a doctor, either, but if this is one of those injuries that takes a year or two to get back to form, I'd rather have the long contract than a shorter one. If he's feeling great in 4 years, who knows that the market will look like then during his walk year?

  2. Seriously, though. Can't see why the Pads are trading him. Still cheap, great unexpected solid team season, hometown talent and local boy success story. If theyre granting the Red Sux a negotiating window, why not have held him until at least midseason. Pads have a hard time drawing fans now. After dumping Hoffman, Giles, then Peavy, they literally have no one left with any draw power. Sounds like a good deal for soon who has been chasing him seemingly forever, but still seems odd to me.

  3. The Sox are a scary team when healthy. Adding Gonzalez, another unhealthy player as of now doesnt scare me at all. Plus didnt Victor Martinez sign with Tigers. They are trying to make up for lost offense.

  4. This is probably a great move for the Sox, and it probably does strengthen their team, but maybe not by quite as much as I first thought before I looked closely.

    First point is that first base is probably the easiest position to fill in the off-season – yes, Gonzalez is clearly the best player available at that position this off-season, but there always seem to be premium first basemen available. For example, Prince Fielder should be available before too long. If you can get a good first baseman in free agency, why pay the price to get one by trade? Especially if the guy you're getting is 29 years old in May.

    How much stronger will the Red Sox be with Gonzalez? In effect, the BoSox are swapping Gonzalez for Adrian Beltre (it seems obvious that Beltre will not be playing in Boston in 2011). The Red Sox would be THRILLED in Gonzalez put up the kinds of hitting numbers they saw from Beltre in 2010. Of course, Beltre probably won't repeat his near-MVP 2010 performance in 2011 … but the BoSox might have retained Beltre at less than the cost they're paying Gonzalez, while at the same time retaining the three prospects they're trading to San Diego. I'm not convinced that the upgrade represented by Gonzalez over Beltre is worth the cost the Sox are paying.

    I'm also not convinced that Youk is the 3B of the Sox's future. If you go by FanGraphs UZR/150, Youk is a reasonably good third baseman (3.5 over the last three years), but he's never played full time at 3B (2 games there in 2010, 63 games in 2009, 36 games in 2008), and I question how he'll hold up there over a 162-game season. In contrast, Youk is a top-fielding first baseman, a much better defender there than is Gonzales (again, according to FanGraphs UZR). It looks to me like the Sox will be worse off defensively both at 1B AND 3B in 2011, compared to 2010. (So much for "run prevention"?)

    The BoSox will be giving up their number 1, 3 and 6 minor league prospects, as ranked by Baseball America last month. That's a heavy price to pay for Gonzalez, particularly since the Red Sox are also about to sign Gonzalez to free agency-type money for a long, free-agency style contract term. To help translate, the numbers 1, 3 and 6 prospects on the Yankees are Jesus Montero, one of the "killer B" starting pitchers (Dellin Betances) and Austin Romine. I don't know that I'd be happy to see the Yankees make this trade, even if the Yankees needed a first baseman.

    Then there are the usual things to worry about: how Gonzalez will handle the pressure of playing in Boston, how well he'll adjust to American League pitching, and so forth.

    I think this is a good move for Boston, but it doesn't change my overall perception of their team. They were very good before, and will be very good afterwards. By the way, I will NOT have this same reaction if the Sox add Carl Crawford — that would be a HUGE upgrade for them.

  5. I think the Red Sox just really, really wanted him. I'll give Theo the benefit of the doubt on panicking.

  6. FWIW, Marc Normandin weighs in on Gonzalez playing home games at Fenway:

    "Just how much has Petco affected Gonzalez these past few years? At Baseball Prospectus, we have translated lines that take park effects into account, and spit out a line in a neutral location. From 2008 through 2010, Gonzalez’s actual lines were .279/.361/.510, .277/.407/.551, and .298/.393/.511. The translated lines for that same time frame: .300/.379/.554, .311/.434/.612, .321/.417/.555. That is a significant difference in production, and explains why Boston was so willing to go after Gonzalez all this time. Throw in Gonzalez’s road line of .310/.390/.599 over the last three years, and you get a good sense of what the Sox can expect from him–Petco basically kept Gonzalez from looking like the kind of player he is, which is someone like Joey Votto."
    http://redsoxbeacon.com/2010/12/adrian-gonzalez-r

  7. The pitching is much better in the American League East than it is in the National League West. A-Gon will, I suspect, have a tougher time facing the Rays, Yanks, Orioles, and Blue Jays pitchers 46 games per year than he did facing the Dodgers, Rockies, Giants, and Diamondbacks.