Boston Red Sox trade for Adrian Gonzalez

After what seems like two years of rumors, the Boston Red Sox have FINALLY completed a trade for Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres. And the Red Sox instantly become my 2011 World Series favorites.

The prospects going to San Diego are Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Raymond Fuentes, and a PTBNL. At first when I looked at this package, it underwhelmed me. But when I did the analysis, it’s actually a fair haul for San Diego.

In 2011 Adrian Gonzalez will be paid $5.5mil. As you will see on the table I am posting below, I have Gonzalez’s value in 2011 at $22.5mil. So that’s a net value of $17mil. That’s the target value in the return the Padres should aim for.

Well, they got three of Boston’s top ten prospects according to Baseball America. Casey Kelly is a top ten pitching prospect in baseball and was voted as having the best curve in Boston’s farm system by BA. Rizzo was voted the top power bat and Fuentes was voted the best athlete. Using Victor Wang’s prospect value chart, we can value Kelly at $15.2mil, Rizzo around $12.5mil and Fuentes at $5.5mil. That’s a total of $33.2mil. Even if you don’t consider Rizzo is a top 100 hitting prospect, the Padres still get more than $17mil in prospect value. So from their end, they have done well.

As for Boston, a lot of the trade depends on their extension to Gonzalez. Sure, they overpaid in prospects, but it could be worth it for them if it means a World Series ring and if Gonzalez is a useful player for them over the course of the decade. If they overpay him (to a Mark Teixeira like contract) then it could be a bad deal. If they get him on the cheap or for his fair value, than I like the trade for them. If they sign him for fair value, then his future value to them will be zero, since he will be paid what he’s worth. So that doesn’t change the dynamics of the trade. For now, the Padres are getting +$16mil in value, and the Red Sox are losing -$16mil in value if they sign Gonzalez to a fair contract. That sounds bad for Boston, but it’s not. Yes, they are giving up three valuable prospects, but it’s worth the deficit since he instantly makes them World Series favorites.

So, what type of deal does Adrian Gonzalez want? Rumors say he wants a deal similar to Ryan Howard’s. That’s good for Boston because Howard signed a 5/$125mil deal this past season. Here is my table for Gonzalez:

That’s over six years. So it’s also bad news. It’s good because Gonzalez doesn’t want a super-mega deal like Mark Teixeira. But I have him worth about $21mil per year, not $25mil per year. So the extension discussions should be interesting.

Overall though, I like the trade for both sides. Although the Yankee fan in me wants the Red Sox extension talks to fall apart so he leaves after 2011, costing the Red Sox three good prospects for just one season of a first baseman.

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