For awhile now, I have been waiting for this. And I’m glad it came. I thought, after the Joe Mauer trade, that San Diego might have delusions of financial legitimacy in baseball’s ridiculously uneven financial landscape. No offense to Peter Gammons, but this wasn’t a “win-win” situation. The Sox stole the Padres blind. The Padres made the best of a terrible/terribly unfair situation. In case you haven’t heard, Gonzalez is in Boston (pending an extension) for three Red Sox prospects: Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes.
In an article today, Gammons claims that Rizzo and Kelly will both be in Padre–that seems overly optimistic to me. Rizzo maybe–he hit 25 home runs between A and AA last year (20 of them in AA); however, he also posted an OBP of only .334 and struck out 132 times. Kelly struggled pitching in AA last season, posting an ERA above 5.00 and WHIP above 1.6, though his K-BB ratio was pretty strong (81 k’s, 35 bb’s, 95 ip). Fuentes’ is only two years out of high school, but they’ve been pretty mediocre years (last year in A ball he hit .270-.328-.377, though he did steal 42 bases). Eventually these guys might develop. Eventually. But I feel pretty confident that the Sox gave up 3 players who aren’t Youkilis, Buchholz, and Ellsbury caliber. They might all be first round picks–something Padres’ and baseball-economic-apologists will highlight–but they aren’t necessarily great talents.
In Gonzalez, the Red Sox grab one of the best players in baseball. Period. He’s not yet 30. He put up a .888 OPS in an incredible pitcher’s park. And, true to Red Sox strategy, he devours pitchers and runs up counts.
I’m hoping to here the extension announced soon. And I’m figuring it will be colossal–something like 8 years 160 million sounds right (just about what they were going to throw Mark Texeria before he went to the Yankees). I am a bit nervous, given the Phillies insanity with Howard’s contract, that the Sox won’t be able to work out a deal with Gonzalez.
So, in short, sorry Padre fans. You didn’t deserve this. But Gonzo is going to look damn good in Fenway.