Proponents of bringing Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, rejoice: The Red Sox boast the best chance of acquiring the slugging first baseman if and when he becomes available.
That's the contention of ESPN.com analyst Keith Law, who appeared on WEEI's Dale and Holley Show on Wednesday.
"There are very few clubs who could match the Red Sox [in a trade for Gonzalez]," Law said.
The main reason why Boston is in such good position to acquire the San Diego Padre is due to Boston's strong farm system. Law recently ranked the system No. 2 behind the Texas Rangers — only missing out on No. 1 due to Texas' prospects being closer to the majors.
The only question is if general manager Theo Epstein would outbid any team.
"If the Red Sox were willing to open the cupboard and say you can have anybody … the Red Sox could probably match just about anybody," Law added.
The Rangers wouldn't try to beat the Red Sox out for Gonzalez's services, as they have youngster Chris Davis at first base already and top prospect Justin Smoak waiting in the wings.
How soon will San Diego shop Gonzalez, who cranked 40 home runs while playing in the most inhospitable major league park for offense? Law seems to think during the season.
"San Diego's not going anywhere, so I think that [Padres GM] Jed Hoyer, at some point, is going to have to say that the best way to accelerate this rebuilding year is to trade Heath Bell and to trade Adrian Gonzalez," Law concluded.
One possible snag in Boston's attempt to acquire Gonzalez during the season would be the entrenched players of Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre at their respective positions. The DH spot is a possibility, but it will take time to evaluate whether David Ortiz can bounce back this year.
The Red Sox may be the favorites to snag Gonzalez, but it may all be for naught if there's no available positions for him to play in July.