Gonzalez is Big Winner of Trade

December 4, 2010 at 11:48 am 1 comment

Adrian Gonzalez

It has been reported that the San Diego Padres are sending 1B Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for three top prospects and a player-to-be-named-later: SP Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo, and CF Reymond Fuentes. This trade, for the teams involved, is a complete win-win. But, the biggest winner of all is Adrian Gonzalez.

Although you may not realize it, Adrian Gonzalez is one of the top players in the entire league.  He is a power-hitting, Gold Glove fielding first baseman that also hits for average and takes a good amount of walks.  He is now moving to a great hitter’s park after being in the hitter’s wasteland known as Petco park.  People know that Petco limits a player’s offensive production, but they may realize how much it has limited Gonzalez’s.

Gonzalez’s career numbers in 3424 plate appearances with the Padres are .288/.374/.514 with an OPS+ of 141 and 161 homeruns.  Those numbers are being pulled in two opposite directions, though.  His numbers at home with the Padres in 1650 plate appearances are  .267/.359/.442 with 57 homeruns.  His numbers in the road with the Padres in 1774 plate appearances are .307/.378/.579 with 104 homeruns.

His home numbers, if in a neutral park, are James Loney-esque.  His road numbers, though, are Hank Greenberg-esque.  I see no reason why Gonzalez should not be able to appraoch those road numbers every year now, with a real possibility of eclipsing them. (Check out this spray chart created by RiverAvenueBlues that shows Gonzalez’s Petco batted balls in Fenway.)

Gonzalez also wins in this deal because he is now part of one of the richest franchises in all of sports and an extension, with Mark Texiera’s $180M deal as the negotiating point, is likely to be signed.

The biggest losers in this deal are the Tampa Bay Rays and the NL West fans. 

The Rays have no way of adding a player of Gonzalez’s caliber to their roster unless they sell the farm or commit over 25% of their payroll to one player, and they are not going to do that.  On paper, they were already behind the Yankees, who are going to land at least one of Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford to their already impressive roster, and they now sit behind the Red Sox.

The NL West, after bringing a World Series championship to it’s coast, just lost one of it’s main attratctions and are now left with Aubrey Huff being the top first baseman in the division.  Not good for a division that is also in the news for trying to deal Justin Upton, possibly the best young player in the Majors.

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