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Roche: Go Get Gonzalez

By Dan Roche, WBZ Sports
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Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres bats against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on October 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres bats against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on October 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

420x316-grad-roche Dan Roche
Dan Roche is an award-winning sports anchor and reporter for WBZ-TV...
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He’s a franchise player. He’ll only be  29 next season and can sit in the 3 or 4 spot in the Red Sox line-up for years to come.

Theo Epstein has to go get Adrian Gonzalez.

Adrian Gonzalez is a three-time All-Star. He’s finished in the top 20 in National League MVP voting four times. He’s won two Gold Gloves.

Adrian Gonzalez has averaged 35 doubles, 32 home runs, and 100 RBI in his five seasons in San Diego. He’s also hit in one of the toughest ballparks in baseball in Petco Park. Look at his 2010 home/away splits:

Home  .279 BA, 11 Hr, 42 RBI, .383 OBP, .438 Slg%

Away   .315 BA, 20 HR, 59 RBI, .402 OBP, .578 Slg%

And, don’t forget the bullpens will be moved in at Fenway starting next season.

Meanwhile, you take Gonzalez and put him right in the heart of the line-up to go with Pedroia and Youkilis. You can then build around those guys through trade or free agency.

And, again, he’s only going to be 29 next season.

As for what to give up to get him?

Well, Padres GM Jed Hoyer(along with Jason McLeod) knows Theo’s farm system better than anybody. Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo(and/or Lars Anderson), Ryan Kalish, Rey Fuentes, etc…let them put together a package. And, it shouldn’t be as expensive as it would have been last off-season since Gonzalez will be a free agent and leaving San Diego after next season anyway.

On the major league level…..the names of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Daniel Bard have been mentioned in the past. ESPN’s Buster Olney has suggested that Padres closer Heath Bell could also be part of a deal. Losing Bard would hurt, but……the guy’s a franchise player something Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, and others out there just aren’t.

This may take some too. Besides agreeing upon players there would also be a few other things to do before a trade can be completed.

The Sox would also have to request a window from MLB in order to sign him up to a long-term deal. It would be somewhere in the range of Mark Teixeira’s 8 year, 180-million dollar deal that he inked with the Yankees.

Gonzalez would also need to pass a physical since he’s coming off shoulder surgery.

It will be interesting to watch unfold as the Winter Meetings get going in Orlando, Florida.

And if Theo can pull it off then the excitement(and buzz) should return to Fenway Park.

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