Carlos Gonzalez is exactly the type of young (27), middle-of-the-order power hitter that the Red Sox should be adding to their team.
Gonzalez is two years younger than current Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury and is signed with Colorado through 2017 for a very reasonable $71 million. That amount is unlikely to even get the conversation started with Ellsbury’s agent Scott Boras. Gonzalez could slot in anywhere in the Red Sox outfield, allowing Boston to add phenom CF Jackie Bradley Jr. to the mix at some point during the 2013 season.
Only during the 2011 season did Ellsbury reached his full potential: a dynamic game changer at the top of the order, making an impact offensively and defensively and in the lineup every night. He has struggled to stay healthy and productive during the rest of his time in Boston.
Why would Colorado trade Gonzalez? Because they finished 64-98 and the Rockies face a massive rebuilding effort with very little immediate help at the major or minor league level. The ability to get four players for Gonzalez would speed up the rebuilding process for Colorado. The Red Sox could put a package together centered on young starter Felix Doubront, a high-end pitching prospect like Anthony Ranaudo, one of their young catchers, and a young OF.
Trading the more expensive Gonzalez and holding on to the less expensive Dexter Fowler will allow the Rockies to spend on pitching.
Why would the Red Sox do this trade? Because one of the side effects of the mega-trade with the Dodgers is that the Red Sox dropped their payroll commitments for 2013 to under $50 million and added four prospects. This allows the Red Sox to be very selective shoppers. They can decide to let Ellsbury play out the season or trade him to fill another area of need.
The Red Sox don’t need to have a $180 million payroll anymore to compete. They need to have strong starting pitching, players signed to contracts that don’t hinder the team’s flexibility and a fertile farm system to support the major league team by providing young players and pieces for trades.
If the Red Sox are going to contend in 2013, adding a player like Carlos Gonzalez would go a long way towards rebuilding the team and strengthening a couple of key positions.