Red Sox Considered Favorites in Adrian Gonzalez Sweepstakes for 2012

Most Bostonians consider the Red Sox’ chances of acquiring Adrian Gonzalez to be not much more than a pipe dream. It’s interesting, then, to see what some outsiders are thinking.

The San Deigo Union-Tribune broke down the Gonzalez situation, listing the Red Sox as favorites to acquire the first baseman for the 2012 season.

The story explains that the Padres are sure to be out of the running to sign Gonzalez to a big-money extension, thereby making him a free agent after the 2011 season. A poll by the Union-Tribune showed that 77 percent of Padres fans agreed.

“Bottom line: Gonzalez, playing pepper with the Green Monster, would look good in that crisp Red Sox home white uni,” the article explains. “An added factor: Dave Finley, special assistant to Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, was a Florida Marlins scout and signed Gonzalez when he was baseball’s No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft.”

Hoyer’s former role as Epstein’s assistant is also noteworthy.

The story assumes that the Yankees (Mark Teixeira), Phillies (Ryan Howard) and Cardinals (Albert Pujols) won’t be involved and that Kevin Youkilis will be able to slide across the diamond to third base.

The article groups the Red Sox with two other California teams in the Angels and Giants.

Of course, Gonzalez could be dealt before the deadline next season, and whatever team acquires him will immediately become a front-runner to sign him to a long-term extension.

Still, if acquiring Gonzalez, who hit .298 with 31 homers and 101 RBIs last season, comes down to nothing more than money, the Red Sox have to like their chances come next November.

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