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Adrian Gonzalez Trade Means Red Sox Acquiring One Of Baseball's Best First Basemen

Assuming all reports are correct, and that the physical and contract extension all work out, Adrian Gonzalez will be a member of the Boston Red Sox in 2011 (and years beyond). 

Immediately, this means the Red Sox seemingly set to give up three of their best prospects (pitcher Casey Kelly,  first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Reymond Fuentes), and it also likely marks the end of their pursuit of Adrian Beltre (Gonzalez plays first base, which would shift Kevin Youkilis back to third base). 

So what exactly are the Red Sox getting? 

Gonzalez, just 28 years old, is considered one of the game's best hitters. He has hit 30 home runs or more every year since 2007, doing so while playing his home games in a very pitcher-friendly PETCO Park in San Diego. He hit a career-best 40 home runs in 2009 while drawing a league-leading 119 walks (good for a .407 OBP) and putting up a 162 OPS+. 

Additionally, he's an excellent defensive first baseman, having won two Gold Glove awards (which, whatever), and boasting a career UZR of 6.2. His UZR of 1.1 in 2010 was eighth best in all of baseball (UZR measures a "fielder's defensive contribution in theoretical runs above or below an average fielder at his position in that player's league and year;" zero is considered average). 

More from Over The Monster

So what are the Red Sox getting in Adrian Gonzalez? It's hard to be sure. They could be getting a great first baseman who hits .298/.393/.511, or they could be getting an absolutely ridiculous first baseman who hits .315/.402/.578 away from cavernous Petco Park. Combined with now-third baseman Kevin Youkilis, the Red Sox will have a dominant 3-4 combination that they've lacked since the departure of Manny Ramirez and the decline of David Ortiz.

2010 - Adrian Gonzalez 160 591 87 176 33 0 31 101 93 114 0 0 .298 .393 .511