Sox Prospects lists Kelly and Rizzo as the team's #1 and #3 prospects, respectively; Fuentes was #16, though Baseball America had him at #6.
There has to be some amount of regret in seeing these young guys leave, but you can't get a player of Gonzalez's talent by offering table scraps. None of the three named prospects would have made any significant impact on the Red Sox until 2013, at the earliest. As long as Gonzalez keeps doing what he has been doing, everything will be fine.
Theo Epstein has had his eye on Gonzalez for years, and this deal gives the Sox, who Gonzalez has expressed a desire to play for, an exclusive window (without the noise and distractions of free agency) to work out a contract. The deadline for those talks is being reported as 2 PM EST tomorrow. (Gonzalez will be paid $6.3 million in 2011.)
Here are Gonzo's spray charts from 2009 and 2010 overlayed on Fenway Park.
Dave Magadan, Padres hitting coach in 2006, talking about AG in March 2010:
I noticed from the first day I threw batting practice to him, it didn't matter where you threw the ball, he found a way to get the barrel on it. ...SoSHer DeJesus Built My Hotrod:
You see him swing the bat, it's poetry in motion, man. It's so fluid and easy, and he's got such good rhythm up there, the ball just jumps off his bat, especially the other way. ... His ball, when he hits it the other way, doesn't slice. It stays straight. He can hit those balls right down the line that, with a lot of lefties, kind of fade. His just stay straight.
[Petco] has led the MLB in lowest park factor for four of the seven years it has been open. It is the only stadium to show up more than once during that time. Petco Park is damn habitual recidivist when it comes to stealing runs.Which means that Gonzalez will be a big bopper in Febway and Kelly should benefit greatly from a move to the NL.
Anthony Rizzo was actually at Casey Kelly's house this morning -- they both live in Florida -- when he heard the news.
The Red Sox are such a great organization. Theo's smart and the whole staff's smart. I would have loved to have played for them. ... It's better to go over with one of your best friends to someplace where you don't know anyone.
The early reactions of some Red Sox players:
Was I involved? [No.] That's a great trade for us. That's really good to hear.Tim Wakefield:
Obviously this has been in the works for a long time and it's finally some to fruition. It's a great addition to our club. Not only are we getting a quality player but we're also getting a quality guy.Kevin Youkilis:
The way he hits at PETCO, he can hit at Fenway Park because he can use the wall to his advantage. It's going to be great to have him on the team. That'll be a huge acquisition for us if everything works out.Dustin Pedroia:
I'm excited to play alongside him. It's going to be fun. ... We picked up a player who's one of the best hitters in the game, so everyone's excited. We've got an All-Star. He's outstanding. We're excited and I think everyone's pumped to get to spring training and start everything.