Boston, your future has arrived.
On Saturday, the Red Sox gave up two strong prospects for a rising star who could be the next face of the organization.The Red Sox traded two top minor league pitchers and a player to be named later to acquire the services of Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres.
Gonzalez reached star status with San Diego, a team that doesn't get much national publicity. With Boston, a perennial Sunday Night Baseball choice, he will likely be quick to reach Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz status.
After uncharistically lackluster performances in the Florida Marlin and Texas Ranger farm systems, Gonzalez has done nothing but excel every step of the way - from being a star with the Kane County Cougars, the Padres' Class A farm team in 2001; to being a Padre All-Star the past three seasons.
Gonzalez put up great numbers in San Diego's Petco Park, a death valley for left-handed hitters, hitting between 30 and 40 homers and driving home more than 100 runs each of the past three seasons. In Fenway Park, he could put up monster numbers.
He plays outstanding defense at first base, doesn't demand the spotlight, and keeps himself out of trouble - an organization's dream. That is exactly why Boston will likely give him a contract extension that will keep him in Bean Town for years and years to come.
For the financially strapped Padres, it is rebuilding time once again. Unable to keep their future signed and sealed, they dealt him for prospects.
For Boston, it immediately puts them back in contention with their nemisis, the New York Yankees.
For Gonzalez, it is the start of superstar status. May he wear it well.