Adrian Gonzalez Sweepstakes: The After Math


We know Adrian Gonzalez is now a Red Sox. According to Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune, Gonzalez’s deal with the Red Sox is for seven years at $154 million total.

It was reported elsewhere that both Chicago teams were also “finalists” in the trade bidding for A Gonz with the Padres. The source told the report that the White Sox and Cubs also had a major league player as part of the package offer.

van Dyck is reporting that the White Sox offered Gordon Beckham along with a prospect combination. However, as we know, it looks like the Padres deemed the Red Sox offer of three of their top prospects was better.

Naturally, this raises some curious questions. Who exactly did the Cubs offer in their package? It obviously fell short of the Red Sox offer, but did their offer exceed the Beckham/prospects combo the South Siders offered? Who was the major leaguer that they had structured their offer with?

Let’s start with the major leaguer. Based on the “finalist” label put on the Cubs attempts to deal for Gonzalez, let’s assume the major leaguer in the Cubs offer is comparable to Beckham. The rumor that the Padres would consider moving closer Heath Bell has been pretty prevalent of late. Bell becomes a free agent in 2012. Did the Cubs offer Carlos Marmol? This would buy the Padres a replacement closer for one extra year as Marmol is not a free agent until 2013. In a recent post, our lead writer Jordan provided some good points as to the reason for dealing Marmol now, while his stock is at the highest it has been. It would also probably help offset having to include multiple top level prospects in the package. Lastly, the large pay raise bump Marmol would have gotten through arbitration could be used to spend on the other needs this offseason.

Maybe major leaguer was Sean Marshall, the trusty lefty that flourished in the set up role over the last two seasons. Also a 2013 free agent class member, Marshall would give the Padres a reliable option in either the bullpen or back in the rotation as a starter.

But more likely, considering the Padres took the Red Sox offer of strictly top minor league prospects, maybe the Cubs offered their newest major leaguers in their offer. As much as we loved Tyler Colvin’s emergence this past season, I’m sure the Padres did as well. Colvin would be under team control through the 2015 season and would potentially provide a good chunk of the lefty power numbers the Padres will need with Gonzalez’s departure. With trading Kosuke Fukudome a difficult task, the Cubs would still have enough OF depth to play out the 2011 season, as well as having prospects Brett Jackson, Brandon Guyer, and Reggie Golden, names our minor league writer Luke have mentioned in recent posts, waiting in the wings for seasons beyond 2011.

The final name that the Cubs may have toyed parting with would be Andrew Cashner. Like Colvin, he would be under team control for the next few years. The power arm and high ceiling combined with major league experience from the 2010 season would be the selling points the Cubs would pitch to the Padres. Like Marmol, Cashner would be a potential replacement for Bell; or like Marshall, the Padres could give him a chance in the starting rotation, an idea the Cubs are considering as well.

van Dyck did not provide the names of the prospects the White Sox offered, but while Cubbies Crib was monitoring the A Gonz rumors leading up to his move to the Red Sox, the potential prospects the Cubs could offer were well discussed. Any two of the names ranging from Brett Jackson (assuming Colvin was not part of the offer) , Chris Archer, Hak Ju Lee, Chris Carpenter, Jay Jackson, and Josh Vitters would have been a tempting offer.

But in the end the offer was not enough to get A Gonz to Wrigley. And while we may never find out all the exact names that were bounced around in the talks with the Padres, the above gives us something to think about in terms of what Hendry may have been willing to part with to get the prized piece to fill the hole at 1B, as well as food for thought as to what could have been with A Gonz in Cubbie blue pinstripes, and what may yet be to come with the young prospects and rookies the Cubs ended up not having to trade in this failed deal attempt. Because sometimes it’s the deal that wasn’t done that ends up being the best.