So after a day of “Padres-Red Sox have a trade for Adrian Gonzalez!” “Never mind, they don’t.” “Wait, they got him after all!” trade talks between the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres, the Red Sox finally have their answer to Mark Teixeira.

The slugger from San Diego has finally come to Fenway after years of circulating rumors between the Padres and Red Sox.

The Red Sox drop three prospects—Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes—as well as a player to be named later. The Red Sox also lock up Gonzalez for the next eight years in a massive contract that will cost the Red Sox $167 million in all.

Gonzalez has long been one of the elite hitters in the game but is often overlooked when conversations about the best players in baseball come up, likely due to the fact that he plays on a small-market team.

Expect that to change now.

In his seven seasons with the Texas Rangers and Padres, Gonzalez consistently plays in over 150 games a year, hits for a lifetime average of .284 and has a slugging percentage of .507 with an OBP of .368 for an OPS of .875. In 2010, Gonzalez launched 31 homers with 101 RBI and an OPS of .904.

This trade comes just about a week and a half after fan favorite catcher Victor Martinez left Boston for the Detroit Tigers. Gonzalez is four years younger than Martinez, and although Martinez is a batter hitter for average, Gonzalez is a much better power hitter.

Because of the trade, this will likely mean that one of the pleasant surprises of 2010, Adrian Beltre, will not be re-signed by Boston, as Kevin Youkilis will likely move to third base to allow Gonzalez to play first base. Beltre rebounded in 2010 after years of mediocrity in Seattle, hitting a league-leading 49 doubles with 28 home runs, 102 RBI, an average of .321 and an OPS of .919.

Beltre will likely be missed by many Red Sox fans (assuming that the Red Sox don’t sign him), as will Martinez, but if Gonzalez is anything like he was in San Diego, he will more than make up for the losses.

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