Dec 17, 2009, 1:20 PM EDT
I don’t know that there’s any trade rumor with as little actual merit creating as much buzz, sturm und drang as the Adrian Gonzalez to the Sox business. Even the most wild rumor-passer-oners in the blogosphere all note that nothing has really happened except the passive acknowledgment of general overall compatibility between the Sox and Padres on this subject. Every report is quickly followed up with a “nothing is close to happening” disclaimer. It’s a hot rumor because so many people want it to happen as opposed to anything being even remotely imminent.
Or do they want it to happen? I don’t follow the politics of Red Sox Nation too closely, but Red Sox Monster blogger Dan Lamothe claims that a lot of Sox fans have “freaked out about the Sox potentially parting ways with Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury.” He disagrees and makes a plea to Theo Epstein to throw Ellsbury and Buchholz over the side in favor of Gonzalez at the first available opportunity.
But is there any chance that such an opportunity will present itself at all? ESPN’s Buster Olney thinks that Ellsbury, for one, would not make sense for the Padres:
In a vacuum, sure, you’d love to have him. But Ellsbury is going to be
eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2010 season, and
in 2011-12, he could make as much or more than Gonzalez will make over
the next two seasons. In other words: His salary would become almost an
immediate problem for the Padres, and given that he is represented by
Scott Boras, the Padres would have to assume there would be no hometown
discounts. Ellsbury would be a nice player for San Diego, but he would
be a money pit.
I think that’s right. The chief appeal of getting a guy like Ellsbury for San Deigo would be that he’s a name player, a Major Leaguer the team would want to show the fans so they don’t revolt during season ticket-buying season after a Gonzalez trade. He doesn’t help with the cost problem, and given that he’ll almost certainly opt for free agency at the first opportunity himself, he’s not going to talk to the Padres about any contract extensions.
I still think this: if the Padres are going to trade Gonzalez — and it’s not a given that they should — they should do it at the break when there are identifiably desperate teams who will pay heavily in terms of big talent that is under team control for a long time.
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