Adrian Gonzalez Traded To Boston

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The Chicago Cubs primary target this off-season was Adrian Gonzalez. Even if they were unable to trade for him this winter, the Cubs planned on making a run at him when he becomes a free agent after next season. However, it is now safe to say that Adrian Gonzalez probably will never end up with the Chicago Cubs.  Over the past day, the Padres have intensified trade discussion regarding Gonzalez. The Cubs along with the Red Sox were the two teams that were most interested in Gonzalez. With this news, many believed that Gonzalez would be traded at some point during the Winter Meetings.

As it turns out, Gonzalez will have a new team before the Winter Meetings even start. The Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres have agreed on a trade that would send Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox in exchange for 3-4 top prospects, it is believed that Pitcher Casey Kelley and first baseman Anthony Rizzo are part of the package that the Red Sox are sending to Boston. Gonzalez will be in Boston today to complete a physical, and seemingly sign a long term extension with the Red Sox.

This now puts the Cubs in an interesting position. Because, throughout the off-season the Cubs were looking for a short term first baseman, as they were going to make a run in 2012 at one of premier first basemen that will be on the free agent market. The Cubs top target would have been Adrian Gonzalez, but now they are left with two unlikely candidates in Albert Pujols, and Prince Fielder. You can automatically cross off Pujols on your wish list, as the Cardinals will probably lock him up at some point during the off-season or the season before he hits free agency. To be honest, I do not think the Cubs will be interested in Prince Fielder. Because, they are afraid of his lack of athleticism. Ideally, Fielder is a perfect fit as a designated hitter in the American League.

With Gonzalez going to Boston, the Cubs will probably accelerate their pursuit of Carlos Pena or Lance Berkman. Both Berkman and Pena figure to be in the same price range. Berkman is looking for a one or two year deal worth $8MM-$10MM per season. Pena is also looking for a one or two year deal at about $7MM per season. Of the two, I would have to go with Berkman, considering that he may be the better overall player. While, his numbers were down last season, you have to take into effect that he was dealing with injuries for most of the year.

Also, we heard yesterday that the Cubs could be close to acquiring Chris Davis of the Texas Rangers. However, the addition of Davis would not preclude the Cubs from signing Berkman or Pena. I wouldn’t be surprised if this trade is announced in the coming days, considering that the Cubs no longer can trade for Adrian Gonzalez.