Adrian Gonzalez Claimed by Los Angeles Dodgers: Should Boston Red Sox Trade 1B?
After a very slow start, Gonzalez has been one of Boston's best hitters since the All-Star break. A .372 batting average in July and .313 this month have brought his BA above .300, and he's hit almost as many home runs in the last 21 games as he did in the first three months (five vs. six).
The Sox have three options. One, they can simply hand the Dodgers Gonzalez's contract. While that would benefit Boston financially since he is still due around $127 million over the next six years (not counting the seven weeks left in 2012), they wouldn't get anything in return for him though he has a lot of value.
Two, the Sox and Dodgers can work out a trade. Boston GM Ben Cherington would probably want a major package in return but LA's farm system is totally loaded with good young pitching prospects like Zack Lee, Allen Webster and Chris Reed. And if there's one thing the Sox need, it's pitching.
Finally, they could simply pull Gonzalez back off waivers. Everything would return to the way it was before the Dodgers made the claim and Boston would be unable to trade Adrian for the rest of the 2012 season.
The third option is the most likely, but there is still a chance the two teams could pull off something spectacular. Boston more than likely needs to rebuild its core but its huge contracts (Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Gonzalez, Josh Beckett) are stifling.
Getting rid of one of them would help in that respect, even though it would effectively be throwing in the towel on the next few seasons, unless Cherington can replace Gonzalez's bat in the middle of the order. Also, shifting one means little without shifting them all.
Boston has to hold onto its guys and hope it turns things around in 2013, or go all in and blow up the entire team.
ESPN's Gordon Edes is now reporting that a deal is in the works, though "hurdles remain".
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