While the teams have not said anything officially yet, the deal to send Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego to Boston is seemingly all but done, with CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam saying that Gonzalez has already taken his physical and that his recently operated on shoulder "should be fine" with "just minor tests still to complete."
In exchange, the Red Sox are sending three of their top prospects to the Padres: RHP Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo and CF Reymond Fuentes (and a player to be named later). It is important to point out here what Boston did not have to give up, which was outfielder of the future Ryan Kalish (.252/.305.405 in 53 games with Boston in 2010) and shortstop of the future Jose Iglesias.
While the trio of Kelly/Rizzo/Fuentes is still three of Boston's top prospects, with many ranking Kelly as the club's best minor league player, the fact that neither Kalish nor Iglesias were involved makes this deal ever better from a Red Sox' perspective, if possible. Rizzo became immediately expendable with Gonzalez coming to town to takeover at first base for years to come, and the loss of Kelly should be softened by recently drafted Anthony Ranaudo and Brandon Workman.
Even more good news for Boston: the Red Sox have gained five draft picks in what should be a deep 2011 draft as free-agent compensation for losing Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre (all but gone now) and Felipe Lopez.
But still, Boston is surrendering two former first-round picks, and three players who are all expected to make an impact on the MLB level. WEEI's Alex Speier offers an excellent and comprehensive break down of exactly what the Red Sox are losing.
Kelly has been described as having the potential stuff and makeup to become a superstar on the mound. His athleticism on the mound has been compared to that of Royals ace (and 2009 Cy Young winner) Zack Greinke. While he had a 5.31 ERA in Double-A Portland this year, and saw his tremendous command numbers take a hit (he more than doubled his walk rate, from 1.5 per nine innings to 3.3 per nine innings), he saw the development of a power arsenal. His fastball velocity regularly touched 93-94 mph in 2010 (up from 90-92 in 2009), peaking at 96 mph, and he added a potential swing-and-miss curve to a changeup that his Arizona Fall League manager, Mike Sarbaugh, described as "a separator."
This is what Adrian Gonzalez did for the Portland Sea Dogs as a 20-year-old in 2002: .266/.344/.437/.781, 17 HR, 96 RBI, 138 games
This is what Anthony Rizzo did for the Portland Sea Dogs as a 20-year-old in 2010, following his early-season promotion from Hi-A Salem: .263/.334/.481/.815, 20 HR, 80 RBI in 107 games
Rizzo became the 20-year-old to hit 20 or more homers in the Eastern League since Dernell Stenson in 1998. Between his two levels, Rizzo finished the year with 25 homers, 42 doubles and 100 RBI, hitting .260/.334/.480/.814.
"We haven't seen this kind of power production from a player in the last five years that I've been here, especially not from a high school kid," said Hazen. "He's an exciting hitter. The numbers speak for themselves, I think. To do that at that age and at that level is pretty impressive."
As a 19-year-old in full-season Single-A Greenville, Fuentes hit .270/.328/.377/.705 with five homers and 42 steals in 47 attempts. When the Sox drafted him, they suggested that the cousin of Carlos Beltran has surprising power, with his wrists reminding some of Alfonso Soriano. Even so, speed is more Fuentes' game. He is a burner with a chance to make an impact on the bases and, especially important for the Padres, in the outfield. Fuentes is considered a potentially well-above-average center fielder, a significant consideration for the Padres in spacious Petco Park, where games are truly won and lost with pitching and defense.
"This guy has some pop. He's an impact defender," Hazen said during the season. "He's a traditional gazelle."
Read more reaction at our Red Sox blog, Over The Monster.