Friday, October 23, 2009
Adrian Gonzalez, Felix Hernandez and Hanley Ramirez have been rumored to be trade targets of the Red Sox. The trio could be on the wish list, but none are likely to be playing for the Olde Towne Team in 2010. In this post and next two, it will be explained why each is probably not coming to Boston and who is a more realistic centerpiece of a blockbuster deal.
SAN DIEGO - GREAT WEATHER, ZOO, FIRST BASEMAN AND NONE ARE COMING TO BOSTON
Adrian Gonzalez is probably the only reason for Padres fans to head to Petco Park. It is tough to imagine new Owner, Jeff Moorad, alienating his customer/fan base. Some wounds never heal and Pads fans could easily switch allegiance to the Southern Cal's A.L. team. An hour-and-half drive north to watch good baseball isn't all that tough. Neither is just hang out at the beach, playing outside or hitting the inexpensive museums and world famous zoo (yes, I love San Diego). Gonzalez is the Padres and Moorad's only draw. He won’t be dealt as it might cost more to bring back the fans lost down the road.
If Moorad does put Gonzalez on the block, the Red Sox would likely not meet his price. It should take more than the bounty that sent Mark Teixeira to Atlanta, since the acquiring team will have an extra four months of Gonzalez and pay him $11.25M less than Teixeira's 2007-2008 seasons. In 2007, the Braves sent Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia - a conservative estimate assuming Beau Jones and Neftali Feliz would have been exchanged for Ron Mahay - to Texas for the sweet swinging switch hitter.
Before the 2007 season, Kevin Goldstein rated Salty, Harrison as very good prospects and Andrus a good prospect (Feliz was also rated a good prospect). The Red Sox current equivalent would be Casey Kelly, Ryan Kalish and Josh Reddick or Ryan Westmoreland. A trade for Gonzalez would likely decimate the Red Sox farm system making them more reliant on the free agent market in the coming years, which is a route they are trying to avoid.
Theo Epstein said so much when discussing the trade of Julio Lugo.
"We're trying to grow the organization to the point where we don't have to ever get a free agent. We're probably closer to that point now then we were two or three offseasons ago. It's a lesson learned for sure."