Adrian Gonzalez Trade To Red Sox: How This Changes Balance of Power in AL East
First the rumors included Phillies slugger Jayson Werth heading to Boston. Then it was the possibility of parting ways with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Now, it looks as if Padres' big man Adrian Gonzalez will be aiming for the green monster at Fenway Park.
In a deal that reportedly involves prospect studs Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes, which team would really be the victor in such a trade?
Well, the Red Sox, obviously. Right?
Let's get to know these prospects.
Casey Kelly and Raymond Fuentes are both former first round draft picks in the last couple of years. Kelley is a hurling right-hander, Fuentes a speedy outfielder. Both players are considered the cream of the crop as far as Boston's prospects.
But what about Rizzo?
Boston considers Rizzo as one of the better long-ball hitting prospects within the organization. He plays first base, is the cousin of Carlos Beltran, and has wowed talent scouts with his impressive slugging.
The trade balances on the idea of these three young guns passing their physicals. It's also rumored to be in the last stage of negotiations, which revolves around trying to figure out a long term deal for Adrian Gonzalez considering he becomes a free agent in 2011.
So what does a trade like this do to the balance of power within the AL East?
In the deal that brought Mark Teixiera to the NY Yankees a couple years back, the Red Sox were patiently awaiting their opportunity to strike on a first-base slugger. Even with the loss of catcher Victor Martinez, and Adrian Beltre almost certainly on his way out, Boston is looking to be in a great situation in 2011.
It's perfect: Youklis can move to third base, A-Gon can settle in at first, and Pedroia and Scutaro can work their double play flip magic up the middle.
Originally the Sox had planned to go after Jayson Werth, but does a move like this mean he's out of the picture?
Werth is a Type A free agent, meaning the Red Sox would have to give up a first round draft pick, something they just did for Adrian Gonzalez. In fact, Boston dished three of their top six prospects within the organization for Gonzalez. However unlikely it may seem to now gun for Werth, I wouldn't rule it out.
Back to the power balance shift.
Adrian Gonzalez averaged 32 homers and about a 100 runs batted in his time spent in San Diego. Petco Park features the likes of long fences, a very pitcher friendly place. When you consider that he accumulated half of his stats at home, he becomes that much more impressive. He's also hit for a .288 average during his time in sunny San Diego.
The Yankees have been relatively quite this off-season, and if a deal can't be reached with Cliff Lee, it's the Boston Red Sox who will be the beneficiaries in the AL East.
As it is, Boston has done what's necessary to go toe to toe with the men in pinstripes, as if they couldn't before.
Boston is one move away from a checkmate call. This might solidify a World Series run, if not a title ring.
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