Earlier Friday evening, it was reported that the Red Sox were making some headway in putting together a trade for Adrian Gonzalez. San Diego and Boston have been working late into the night, and now, via Buster Olney, we find out that the Red Sox are on the verge of landing the 28-year-old star first baseman.
According to Olney, all the players in the trade have been agreed to, and the deal is far enough along that the Red Sox are trying to work out a contract extension for Gonzalez, who is facing free agency after the end of the 2011 season. At this point, it would be a shock if the trade didn't go down.
The Red Sox have been hot after Gonzalez for years, and have consistently been mentioned in rumors over the last couple offseasons and trade deadlines. To land him now would be a blockbuster move that would counter the Yankees' signing of Mark Teixeira, and that would make up for the loss of free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. In the event of a Gonzalez trade, Kevin Youkilis would slide back over to third, and Beltre would leave for another team.
Gonzalez has hit 107 home runs and posted a .910 OPS over the last three seasons, but, significantly, he's also posted a .943 career OPS on the road, as opposed to .800 at home. He's spent the bulk of his career in San Diego's cavernous Petco Park, which is among the most pitcher-friendly parks in the league. By liberating him from Petco's confines, Boston would give Gonzalez a chance to prove that he's one of the best hitters in baseball. Additionally, he's a strong defender at first base, and he still has his youth.
There's no word yet on what the Padres would be getting in return for their one true superstar player, but while the Red Sox are reluctant to part with anything from their Major League roster, they have a good farm system, and San Diego will surely pick up a small handful of top prospects. Gonzalez is both excellent and affordable, which gives him a sky-high value. Padres fans may not be thrilled with the idea of unloading the team's best player shortly after the conclusion of a miracle year, but Gonzalez had one foot out the door anyway, and trading him allows the team to land some potential future cornerstones.
The Winter Meetings don't begin until Monday, but it looks like the biggest trade of the offseason could take place this weekend. Stay tuned.