Early this morning, the Padres and Red Sox finalized their big trade which will send Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez to Boston in exchange for three high quality prospects and an ever famous, PTBNL. The Padres are receiving no major league talent in the deal, so, some pundits might be ready to write off their 2011 season but I certainly wont. With that said though, an already anemic offense just became a lot worse. So how does this deal effect the Giants?
Well, for the 2011 season, it can only be a huge help. Much like the Giants, the Padres win with pitching, but as we’re all well aware of, if you can’t score…your staff giving up 1 or 2 runs is just going to end in a tortures loss on most evenings.
So what did the Padres get in return for their prime time slugger? Well, quite a bit to be honest. Starting pitcher Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Reymond Fuentes and a PTBNL will all be making their way to the Padres and there is a good chance Kelly and Rizzo could make the club out of Spring Training, and if not, shortly thereafter. I’d have to believe both will be wearing Padre uniforms at some point this season. Fuentes still might be a few years away (he’s only 19), but, he is quite talented (I believe he’s the cousin of Carlos Beltran) and projects to be a very solid outfielder when his time comes. Kelly has a ton of tools and most scouts think he’ll be a top of the rotation starter and Rizzo should be a very solid impact hitter at the major league level within a couple of years. In short, for long term value, the Padres got out with quite a haul, especially for a player who was walking for peanuts at season end.
For those that expect the Padres to drop off the face of the earth, I don’t really see it. They still have very good pitching and play in a ballpark tailored exclusively for it. But to think they’ll challenge for the NL West crown once again would be pretty hard pressed. Despite their effective pitching, their already bad offense became a lot worse as did their infield defense. I can’t tell you have many errors I saw Gonzo save this year. I believe the Padres could still play solid baseball in 2011, but, for the next few years, it appears the Giants will have one less foe to worry about at the top of the division. But give it a few rotations on the yearly calender and the Giants will have some added extra company me thinks.
But as it pertains to the 2011, 2012, and maybe 2013 seasons – you can’t help but smirk if you’re a Giants fan.