Adrian Gonzalez trade rumors now include the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox want to trade for Gonzalez in order to add more power to the middle of their lineup, but also to lay the groundwork for what they will do when David Ortiz plays his last game in Boston. Gonzalez would be an instant upgrade to their offense, and with the loss of Victor Martinez (who signed with the Detroit Tigers), the Red Sox really need to do something to shore up their lineup.
According to ESPN, it is Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein that has been carrying out negotiations with San Diego Padres general manager Jed Hoyer. It appears that they are so far along in the negotiations that a source told ESPN that a trade could “possibly” take place before the baseball winter meetings begin on Sunday. That would take a lot of work to get the trade done that quickly, but things have started to move very fast this baseball offseason.
Earlier in the week, Russell Martin was linked to the Red Sox as someone they could possibly want to bring in as a new catcher, and it was even suggested that Jason Varitek wouldn’t be brought back. The Martin trade talk calmed down, the Red Sox gave Varitek another year in Boston, and it seems that they might now be content to have Jarrod Saltalamacchia as their starting catcher. Don’t count out a deal for Martin though, with Varitek as bait to give the Dodgers a replacement at the position for the 2011 season.
In exchange for Gonzalez in this new proposed deal, the Red Sox would just be sending back minor league players. Likely targets of San Diego have been pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and outfielder Ryan Kalish. A combination of those players, as well as other minor leaguers would most likely make the deal happen, with the Red Sox trying hard to keep pitcher Daniel Bard out of the proposed trade. If the trade does happen, Boston will have to give up four or five of their minor league players in order to get one of the best hitters in baseball into their lineup. Some might argue that it would be mortgaging the future, but Gonzalez brings a lot to the table.
During the 2010 season, Gonzalez hit .298 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI. He also walked 93 times to post an on base percentage of .393. He is a two-time Gold Glove winner in the National League, and he is still a very cheap option at first base. The Red Sox would likely want to get him to agree to a nice contract extension, but getting him on the roster will probably be the first requirement. Gonzalez should be a great hitter in Fenway Park as well, and the Red Sox front office has to know that already.
This trade rumor has seen a lot of movement in the past 24 hours, so don’t be surprised if a deal happens this weekend. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t either, as the Padres could ask for too much at first, causing the trade discussions to drag out.