Buster Olney on his twitter feed reported that the Boston Red Sox have completed a trade with the San Diego Padres for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. In return, the Padres would receive prospects P Casey Kelley, 1B Anthony Rizzo and OF Reymond Fuentes. So what does this deal mean for the respective teams.
The Red Sox finally get a first baseman that they've wanted for a few years now. Gonzalez is a left handed hitter that should fit perfectly in Boston's lineup. He is a career .284 hitter who can hit for power and drive in runs. In addition, he has a very good eye at the plate, draws a lot of walks while keeping his strikeouts to a minimal level for a player that hits for power. He is consistent playing almost every game which is a testament to his conditioning. Arguably his best season was in 2008 when he played in EVERY game for the Padres batting .279 with 31 Homers and 119 RBI. He had 172 Hits (32 2B/1 3B/31 HR), registered an OPS of .871 (.361 OBP%/.510 SLG%). Gonzalez has been a four time All-Star and two time All-Star for the Padres.
On the Padres side, I referred to Mickey Koke of the Friarhood.com for information on the three prospects that the Padres received in exchange for Gonzlaez.
P Casey Kelly: Athletic frame, advanced beyond his years, he has natural instinctive feel for pitching. Kelly has three plus pitches: a low 90s fastball, he can work it to both sides of the plate, cutting it or sinking his fastball. He has hard 12-6 curveball, and an above average change which he throws with the same arm motion as his fastball. He has demonstrated excellent command and control. Repeats his mechanics with effortless delivery. Fastball has exceptional downward movement, and generally sits between 90 and 93 mph, has touched 95-96 mph. Curveball has the potential to become plus out pitch. It sits around 75-78 mph, but he can rely too heavily on it which can get him into trouble. Kelly's changeup sits around 83 mph with a lot of tilt. he is a strike thrower and will keep pitching coaches happy, keeping the ball low in the strike zone. Has demonstrated excellent composure. He is projected to be a top of the rotation starter, has legit ace potential.
1B Anthony Rizzo: A towering strong first baseman with an excellent frame. Solid overall approach at the plate, solid pitch recognition, good bat speed. Needs to be more selective with two strikes. Doubles power but should project 20 homer power. Has a tendency to chase breaking pitches late in the count. A plus defender with a strong arm and surprising mobility for his size. Great baseball fundamentals.
OF Reymond Fuentes: Extremely gifted athletic center fielder. slight in build but very strong. A very good contact hitter, should excel utilizing his speed being a gap to gap hitter. Has some pull pop that some scouts believe could eventually translate into 15 homeruns. Polished bat. Still working on plate discipline. Game changing speed. Fantastic range and glove in the outfield, will make the hard plays look easy. Gold Glove potential. Very solid instincts. Fringe arm but good enough to remain in center-field. Some scouts have compared him to Jacoby Ellsbury but believe he may become a better hitter and defender.
The Red Sox were apparently given a window in which they can work a long-term deal for Gonzalez. Another quality player has joined the AL East and another piece has been added to the Rivalry. With the acquisition of Gonzalez, I think it is safe to say that Adrian Beltre will not be playing in Boston since Kevin Youkilis will be moved back to third base. Welcome to the Rivalry Adrian.
And not to be lost in the Gonzalez trade news, Boston also resigned their Captain, veteran Catcher Jason Varitek to a one-year deal. According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe: Major league sources said Varitek accepted $2 million, with an additional $300,000 available through incentive clauses. The Associated Press reported the incentives breakdowns: $100,000 each for 60, 70 and 80 games started at catcher.
It is good to see Boston Red Sox legend Varitek return for what might be his final season with the Sawx. He should finish his career with them and get the accolades deserved of a player of his caliber and what he means to that team, city and fanbase.
For Further Reading:
- Click Here for Peter Abraham's article Some details on the Gonzalez deal from Boston.com's website dated December 4, 2010
- Click Here for Mickey Koke's article Red Sox Prospects Rumored Coming to San Diego in the Gonzalez Trade from the Friarhood.com website.
- Click Here for Joe Lemire's article Padres Get Max Value for Gonzalez from SI.com's website dated December 4, 2010
- Click Here for Peter Gammons' article Why Gonzalez Deal Works for Red Sox, Padres from MLB.com dated December 4, 2010
- Click Here for Adrian Gonzalez's career statistics from Baseball Reference.com
- Click Here for Casey Kelly's minor league statistics from Baseball-Cube.com
- Click Here for Anthony Rizzo's minor league statistics from Baseball-Cube.com
- Click Here for Reymond Fuentes' minor league statistics from Baseball-Cube.com
- Click Here for Peter Abraham's article Varitek returns to Sox from the Boston.com website dated December 3, 2010