"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


As the Yanks and Derek Jeter inch closer to a deal–one that could be finalized before the end of the day–it appears that the Red Sox have a trade in place for Adrian Gonzalez. The San Diego front office is filthy with former Red Sox employees who are more than familiar with Boston’s farm system. Word is the Pads will receive prospects in return for Gonzalez, who the Sox have coveted for several years.

The Hot Stove is heating up just in time for the Winter Meetings. Gossip Mongers and Baseball Nerds Rejoice!

[Picture by Bags]

Categories:  Bags  Bronx Banter

Tags:  adrian gonzalez  Derek Jeter

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1 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 4, 2010 10:59 am

I initially expected the Padres to demand Bard in this deal, but considering their ability to annually put together a quality bullpen without big name arms, that probably would have been a waste (also 100mph guys have a tendency to flame out).

Although you can't argue against getting AGon, if the three prospects traded are correct (Kelly, Rizzo and Fuentes), it's a pretty hefty package, even though the first two are coming off relatively disappointing minor league seasons.

As for Boston, AGon is a force, but I think there are some questions that need to be answered, not the least of which is he might not be able to swing a bat after November surgery until just before Opening Day.

2 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 4, 2010 11:05 am

[1] figure he'll get off to a slow start a la Teix. Still a great pickup for the BoSox.
I agree with your blog post that Youk will probably be a downgrade at 3rd.
Any chance they keep Beltre and move Youk to left?

3 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 4, 2010 11:09 am

2) Maybe if they don't want to go for Werth or Crawford. You think they'd get one of those guys AND Beltre?

4 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 4, 2010 11:11 am

[3] yikes

5 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 4, 2010 11:18 am

adding Werth or Crawford & AGon to that lineup changes things dramatically

6 Paul   ~  Dec 4, 2010 11:26 am

it’s a pretty hefty package

How is that a "hefty" package. They didn't give up one player from the major league team or even close. If they simply let AGon walk they would have gotten two draft picks equivalent to Kelly and Fuentes (both first rounders). So for one-year at less than $6M the Sox only had to give up a 6th rounder (Rizzo).

Moreover, if we look at the prospects, not one is a top talent. Kelly has struggled as a pitcher. Fuentes has no stick, and Rizzo is underpowered as a 1B with little patience. Wow, the Sox do a great job of hyping their prospects. The Yanks gave up more for Granderson. The Padres couldn't get one major league ready player from any other team? I find that very hard to believe.

7 Paul   ~  Dec 4, 2010 11:32 am

Gotta like the Yankee chances though with, hopefully, three lefties aboard. AGon is a career .262 .338/.445 against southpaws - .280/.347/.490 against southpaws on the road.

Add to that Papi's struggles, and Pedroia and Youkilis will really have to step up in the AL East.

I'd be surprised if they don't sign Werth too.

8 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 4, 2010 12:04 pm

[2] Youk looked very shaky out there when he played it for a couple of games. The big elephant in the room is how much money AGon will get paid, and the initial word is he is looking for Ryan Howard money.

9 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 4, 2010 12:07 pm

[3] Beltre is a done deal now, but Werth is a possibility. I doubt Boston would go for the length and dollars on Crawford, especially when so much of his value (great defense) would be mitigated by the Green Monster.

10 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 4, 2010 12:13 pm

[6] Kelly and Fuentes were over slot guys who the Padres aren't likely to get drafting at the end of the first round (as they would likely be doing). Also, Kelly and Fuentes are both highly thought off a couple of seasons into their pro careers, whereas any draft selection would be starting over.

Kelly is considered to be a top talent despite his struggles. All three names are probably top-50 in baseball (definitely Rizzo and Kelly and Fuentes really made strides in 2010). That's a pretty good package for a player who is gone after next season.

I am sure the Padres could have gotten a major league ready player like Ellsbury, but they would have been foolish to do so. Also, Bard may have been available, but acquiring hard throwing relievers isn't exactly a recipe for long-term success.

Also, keep in mind the injury. If AGon isn't in full swing until May or June, the Padres are sunk anyway. Also, if he struggled early on, his trade value could have diminished.

11 Paul   ~  Dec 4, 2010 12:41 pm

[10] Highly thought of doesn't equal results and distance from the majors.

How did Fuentes and Kelly make major strides last year? Kelly got smacked around AA in his first full year as a pitcher (11 hits per 9 innings with middling strikeout numbers). Fuentes put up a .270/.328/.377 line in low-A. Rizzo put up a .334 OBP and .480 SLG. That's hardly earth shaking at 1B. None of those performances screams a major league talent - starter or bench.

The equivalent deal from the Yankees is Betances, Heathcott, and Laird. That's hardly a great package for a top-10 bat in baseball with Gold Gloves to his name.

All three are *not* top-50 - not even close. Kelly probably is, based on his 2010 ranking, and that's all from his hype. But that's about it. Neither Rizzo nor Fuentes performed well enough in 2010 to rank in the top 50 after not being ranked at all in the top 100 prior to the season.

12 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 4, 2010 12:49 pm

[11] Re-read [10]. I said "despite his struggles" regarding Kelly. As for Fuentes, his age is highly relevant (young for even single-A). I wouldn't be surprised to see him take a major leap in most prospect rankings.

Like it or not, when dealing with prospects, "highly thought of" is a good part of what we have to go on. From a YF perspective, I'd rather the Padres get back top prospects than a couple of extra pieces, like Ellsbury, off their major league roster. Also, AGon was likely a Red Sox in 2012, so they are essentially trading prospects for one season and the right to exclusively negotiate an extension. If they give him Ryan Howard money, that right is essentially worthless.

Finally, your equivalent deal and opinion of the three players in this one are nowhere near what most independent evaluators think. Unless you have been watching them closely, I'll stick with their opinions.

13 Paul   ~  Dec 4, 2010 12:50 pm

P.s. Fuentes line in low-A was identical to his line in the Rookie league the prior year. He'd didn't make any strides - major or otherwise. Same deal for Rizzo - his 2010 and 2009 are almost identical. And the only stride Kelly made was pitching a full year without results.

14 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 4, 2010 12:55 pm

[13] Maintaining performance as you rise in the system IS progress because it gets harder as you advance. Also, Fuentes had 159 ABs in 2009 and 414 in 2010, so the comparison fails on that basis (maintaining production over a longer season is also progress). The same is true for Rizzo, who advanced as far as AA.

15 Paul   ~  Dec 4, 2010 12:57 pm

[12] I would be very surprised to see a 20 year old barely cracking a .700 OPS in low-A to be ranked at all in the top 100 lists.

I willing to bet that Betances is ranked higher than Kelly going into 2011. And Heathcott and Laird are really no different from Fuentes and Rizzo.

Like I said, given that the Pads would have gotten two 1st round picks equivalent to Kelly and Fuentes, they basically traded AGon for Rizzo. And if they keep him they save at least $6M/year that easily goes into paying for those draft picks.

The Sox got a steal. I see no reason the Pads couldn't get a Teixeira to Atlanta type deal. This ain't even close.

16 Paul   ~  Dec 4, 2010 1:02 pm

[14] Not really, not when you're also getting older.

The facts are still solidly in place:

Fuentes barely has a stick. Heathcott was in the same league this year putting up identical numbers.

Rizzo has never shown power needed to be a MLB player at 1B.

Kelly has potential but was awful in AA.

The Yankees gave up more in AJax and IPK to get an inferior player in Granderson. AGon is an MVP talent, especially playing half his games in the Fenway Bandbox. And the Pads just traded him for 50 cents on the dollar without one impact prospect coming back.

17 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 4, 2010 1:05 pm

(New thread, above. The Jeter deal looks done-ish.)

18 Paul   ~  Dec 4, 2010 1:06 pm

Rizzo also appears to be a pretty bad fielder - 15 errors at 1B in 104 games this year. Laird, by contrast, plays 3B well enough to be a bench player on a MLB team.

19 Raf   ~  Dec 4, 2010 1:39 pm

Paul, did you disappear for a while?

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