The most-talked about Red Sox trade prospect may finally be on his way to Fenway.
According to ESPN.com, Theo Epstein has been discussing a potential trade for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez with Padres GM Jed Hoyer. A source familiar to the situation said Epstein is making significant progress in the negotiation with Hoyer, as he is reportedly offering two top prospects from the Red Sox’ minor league system.
The Red Sox have been eyeing Gonzalez since the 2009 trade deadline, and his addition to the Red Sox lineup would bring serious offensive clout to Boston. The three-time All-Star finished fourth in the NL MVP voting in 2010, where he drove in 101 RBIs and slugged 31 homers.
Gonzalez is also an asset in the field, earning two Gold Gloves in San Diego. Bringing him to Boston would push Kevin Youkilis across the diamond to third, likely ending any potential pursuit of former third baseman Adrian Beltre.
The Padres have Gonzalez signed through the 2011 season on a $6.3 million salary, but Hoyer has said he will not extend his contract past the end of this year. Trading their most popular player now has its upsides for San Diego, as the Red Sox’ have a talented crop of young, cost-efficient prospects.
According to the source, only minor-league prospects are featured in the deal with the Padres, meaning the Sox would not lose reliever Daniel Bard. Some of the names mentioned as potential trade prospects are first baseman Anthony Rizzo, pitchers Casey Kelly and Stolmy Pimentel, outfielders Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick and Reymond Fuentes, shortstop Jose Iglesias and catcher Ryan Lavarnway.
Several hot stove moves are expected to fall into place during the upcoming winter meetings, which take place next week in Florida.
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