The past 24 hours have been quite a roller coaster for Red Sox nation. First they received news that one of the games premier sluggers, the coveted Adrian Gonzalez, was going to be the team's new first basemen.
Then it was reported that the front office could not agree with the slugger on an extension and the trade was now dead, along with hope of a World Series contender next season. Now, according to a report, Gonzalez has been acquired, again.
Assuming this deal does not fall through, as it did several hours ago, and Theo Epstein can manage to get Gonzalez's contract extended (the inability to do so twice should make many question management's ability to get things done) this deal is too good to be true.
Gonzalez, currently 28 years old, is a "lineup pillar," meaning you can build a lineup around him. Which means with hitters like Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury, this team has a world championship caliber top and middle of the order.
One of Gonzalez's teammates was reported as saying the slugger would add about 10 home runs to his average total (about 35 per year the past four years) hitting in a park and lineup like the Red Sox have.
Also, this finally makes up for the organization's inability to acquire Mark Teixeira before the 2009 season.
Finally, Gonzalez is no slouch with the leather, having earned two Gold Gloves already in his career. The Red Sox seemingly have never had a big time power hitter with Gold Glove caliber defense, at least recently.
The magnitude of this trade cannot be understated. Before the trade through many members of the Boston media were praising the move, discussing how much of a steal and how brilliant it was. After it fell through it was almost a guarantee the front office would face vicious backlash from media and fans for being too inept to sign an MVP caliber player again.
Fortunately, the Red Sox brass appears to have seen a flaw in their execution and will acquire Gonzalez for at least a season, with serious intentions on signing the extension (some numbers floating are seven years, $153 million).
I said earlier in the off-season I believed Carl Crawford was a necessity, however, that was because it seemed Gonzalez was not available, at least not for this few prospects. Now Theo Epstein has filled a hole in the lineup and at third base (Gonzalez moves Youkilis across the diamond) it is time to fix the bullpen and make this previously flawed team a legitimate favorite for the title.