With the trade deadline approaching quickly, non-contending teams are finally starting to put their superstars on the block to see what type of offers they can get. Now, we can add Adrian Gonzalez to the list of players that are potentially obtainable.
Though the Padres have said over the past weeks that they would not move Gonzalez and risk alienating a fan base that has little to believe in these days, San Diego has reportedly reconsidered, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (subscription required). The Padres are now open to dealing both Gonzalez and closer Heath Bell if they believe it will help the team in the long-term.
San Diego's front office has spent the past day evaluating talent from other organizations that have expressed interest in striking a deal — including the Red Sox, who have asked about the availability of A-Gon — and began listening to offers for their first baseman and closer on Wednesday.
Gonzalez, 27, now becomes arguably the best hitter on the trade market. He's hitting .252 with 28 home runs this year — more than any slugger in the American League, despite the pitcher-friendly nature of the Padres' Petco Park.
He would likely command a king's ransom in return, not only because of his tremendous ability, but also because of his favorable contract situation: He's making just $3 million this year, $4.75 million next year and $5.5 million in 2011 (assuming his club option is picked up). Any offer from the Red Sox would likely be built around Clay Buchholz, though it would surely take more to pry Gonzalez away from San Diego.
Of course, if the Red Sox were able to get Gonzalez, it would leave them with a glut of infielders, not all of whom would be able to receive regular playing time. But with a bat as talented and impactful as Gonzalez's in the lineup, it almost certainly would be a problem that Theo Epstein & Co. would like to have.