The inevitable happened today: Padres All-Star First Baseman Adrian Gonzalez was traded to the Boston Red Sox for three minor leaguers and a player to be named later. Though the minor leaguers coming over to the Padres are considered some of the best talent in the Red Sox organization, none of them have yet played in the majors.
Gonzalez is set to become a free agent at the end of this upcoming 2011 season, and is expected to command a contract that could pay him over $20 million per year. Seeing as how the small market Padres would never be able to afford Gonzalez, they wanted to trade him before he became a free agent to get some sort of value in return. The Red Sox are expected to negotiate a long term contract extension with Gonzalez that would pay him closer to his market value.
As a Padre fan, I am disappointed Gonzalez was traded, but I understand the economics that drive MLB. I also respect that Gonzalez deserves to go out and earn as much money as somebody will pay him. Gonzalez has been a positive and active role model in the San Diego community. He has strong family ties to both Chula Vista (suburb of San Diego) and Tijuana, Mexico, and he has definitely given back through his foundation that works with underprivileged youth in the area.
On the diamond, it’s been awesome watching Gonzalez develop into the player he is now. He averaged 33 HR and 100 RBI per season during the 5 years he played in San Diego. In a pitcher friendly park like Petco, that’s an amazing feat.
¡Buena Suerte, Adrian!