The San Diego Padres have traded first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox for a trio of top prospects, despite the failure of Gonzalez and the Red Sox to come to terms on a contract extension before today's early-afternoon deadline.
Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman and the Associated Press report that the deal will go through, though it remains a bit unclear whether Gonzalez and the Red Sox have now agreed to a long-term deal.
Gonzalez has 107 home runs since the start of the 2008 season, despite playing his home games in baseball's least homer-friendly environs, in San Diego's PETCO Park. The Red Sox paid a steep price to acquire him but they should find Gonzalez well worth their investment: He could easily swat 40-or-more home runs and reach base at a .400-plus clip in 2011.
The AL East is fundamentally different because of the trade, as is the free-agent market. This deal, in combination with Jayson Werth's seven-year free-agent pact with the Nationals, will cause upheaval—and a whole lot of movement—at this week's Winter Meetings in Florida.
Read on for five ripple effects Gonzalez's acquisition will have on the goings-on at the MLB swap meet.