Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gonzalez The Price To Pay For Future of Sox

Curt Schilling has repeatedly said that the Sox got rid of an MVP in Adrian Gonzalez to make this week's blockbuster deal with Los Angeles happen.  While Gonzalez has performed well in his time with Boston, and has far and away been the closest to living up to the slew of big contracts handed out by Red Sox management in the past two seasons, he is more than dispensable in the big picture.  While his gold glove caliber defense and RBI numbers have been outstanding, the expectation for him was that his power numbers from his time at pitcher's haven Petco Park would project to astronomical at Fenway Park.  That simply has not been the case.

Personally I think that the power production that is thought to be needed from certain positions is vastly overrated, and the lack of home runs out of the 1B position is not a major concern, especially with David Ortiz at DH.  That is one of the reasons the Dodgers were so willing to part with James Loney, who has consistently hovered around the 10-15 home run mark with the Dodgers.  My take on that is if the guy is still driving in 90 runs, and the overall goal of the game of baseball is to score runs, why does that matter?

However, the money Gonzo was receiving from Boston was worthy of that perennial MVP that Schilling thinks Adrian is.  That money will be better spent allocated towards the true downfalls of this team moving forward, namely the entire pitching staff.  The arms in this deal, outlined in Norm's reaction to the deal, give the Sox a foundation towards where they need to be to get back into the playoff picture.  De La Rosa and Webster become two of the top prospects in the organization, which has seen a steep drop in pitching depth since the days of Buccholz, Papelbon, and Lester breezing through the organization.  The farm system is loaded with positional talent for the near future with Jose Iglesias and Will Middlebrooks, and down the road with Xavier Boegarts and Jackie Bradley Jr.

It may take a few years and better luck in the free agent market, but we could be looking at a fresh start for an organization that looked to be on the verge of perennial dominance when Pedroia and Ellsbury came up with MVP type seasons in their first four seasons.  If those two players can be extended and even just a couple of the aforementioned prospects pan out, this deal may be looked back on the turning point for the Boston Red Sox making a return to relevance later in the decade.  The Los Angeles Dodgers gave Ben Cherington a chance to wipe away the poor signings of the Theo Epstein regime and start fresh with a new outlook and an education on the peril of big free agent signings.  Let's hope he takes advantage of it.

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