It was a weekend of uncertainty, but Adrian Gonzalez was officially introduced as a member of the Boston Red Sox Monday.
It didn't take him long to give the Boston fans what they wanted to hear.
"I'm very excited to be here in Boston and ready to beat the Yanks," Gonzalez said in Monday's press conference.
Next to playing for his hometown Padres, Boston was also always his second favorite destination.
"Ted Williams was from San Diego and played for Boston, "Gonzalez said. "We're both left-handed hitters. I always felt I had a connection there."
The trade signals the end of the discount days of the San Diego native's services in a Padre uniform.
Gonzalez will earn $6.2 million next season in the final year of his contract, but there are reports that Gonzalez will eventually sign a seven-year extension worth more than $155 million, raising his contract to $162 million over the next eight seasons.
The Padres received four prospects: right-handed pitcher Casey Kelly (considered the top prospect in the Red Sox system), first baseman Anthony Rizzo (No. 3) and outfielder Reymond Fuentes (between sixth and 10th)—plus a player to be named later.
If you're Boston, you're elated. You picked up a 28-year-old, three-time All-Star first baseman without giving up a player on your major league roster.
If you're San Diego—namely the Friar Faithful—there's some frustration the Padres didn't get a player ready to make an immediate impact.
"One of the things we wrestled with honestly was there were other trades we could have gotten that maybe included one major league player back," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "But the rest of the trade would have been weaker and not very deep. So I know there is a disappointment, I guess, that we didn't get more major league players back."
But if there is anyone that knows the Boston farm system, it's Hoyer, who was the Red Sox assistant GM when the three prospects were drafted.
A deal wasn't going to be done without Casey Kelly, the Red Sox 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the year. The Padres look for Kelly, 21, to be a fixture in the rotation.
Anthony Rizzo, 21, is a power-hitting first baseman who had 20 home runs and 80 RBI in less than a full season for Double-A Portland. Rizzo should slug his way to Triple-A in 2011.
Fuentes is the youngest of the three prospects that the Padres acquired in the deal. He is also the fastest. The 19-year-old Puerto Rican swiped 42 bags in 47 chances this past season at Single-A Greenville.
It's the second major trade the Padres have made in as many seasons, including the deal that sent former ace Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox for Clayton Richard and three other prospects.
Richard downright outperformed Peavy in 2010, and the three prospects are progressing in the farm system.
The Gonzalez deal, however, differs from Peavy's in the sense that Padres didn't get a major league-ready player like they did with Richard. But building a solid farm system in all facets is Hoyer's mission.
If you're Adrian Gonzalez, you're also elated. While the San Diego native likely would have preferred to stay in his hometown if financially possible, he is now batting in the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park as opposed to the spacious PETCO Park.
Now that the deal is done, look for Hoyer and Co. to be active in their pursuit of a first baseman and other key free agents.
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