After years of rumors, Adrian Gonzalez has finally been traded to the Boston Red Sox.  Dan Hayes of the North County Times (via Twitter) has reported that the Padres will receive P Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo and OF Reymond Fuentes in return.  Other reports have a player to be named later also included.

Recently, all three of the known prospects were ranked among the Red Sox Top 10 for 2011 by Baseball America.  Kelly was No. 1, Rizzo No. 3 and Fuentes No. 6.  It’s a nice package for the Padres, but you still have to love the deal from the Red Sox perspective.

Yes, there are questions about Gonzalez, who is coming off shoulder surgery, but you would have to think that it isn’t expected to be a problem (he did have to pass a physical for the trade to be approved).  In 2010 Gonzalez hit .298 with 31 HR and 101 RBI hitting in the middle of a weak lineup in a ballpark that significantly favors pitching.  Now, he’ll join a loaded lineup in a hitter’s park, which makes him all the more appealing.

Gonzalez was ranked seventh in our initial 1B rankings for 2011 (click here to view) and should only gain appeal.  There certainly is the chance that he moves up at least one slot based on the news.

This does mean the likely end of Adrian Beltre’s tenure in Boston, with Kevin Youkilis sliding back to third base.  That has to be music to fantasy owner’s ears.  After playing just two games at 3B in 2010, he would not have eligibility there in the majority of formats.  Now, Youkilis is going to gain eligibility there rather quickly, adding a potent bat to a position that is nearly barren of dependable talent.

As for the Padres, Kelly has a ton of upside, despite the lackluster numbers he produced at Double-A in 2010, his first full season as a pitcher.  At 21-years-old, it is not unthinkable that he makes his major league debut by mid-year 2011. 

As Baseball America recently said, “Kelly’s ERA may have ballooned from 2.08 in 2009 to 5.31 last season, but the Red Sox think that’s attributable to having to learn how to harness an increase in velocity and make his mechanics work as his frame started to mature. His fastball now sits at 90-94 mph, up from 89-92 the year before, and peaks at 96.” 

To go with the fastball, he is said to have an above average changeup and a curveball with the potential to be above average as well.

Rizzo has some power (25 HR in 531 AB between Single & Double-A in ‘10) and at 21-years-old could develop into the long-term replacement for the Padres.  However, he’s probably at least a year away, if not more.

Fuentes had 42 SB in 2010 at Low-A and at 19-years-old (he’ll turn 20 in February) is still a few years away.  He has long-term potential and should certainly be viewed as a viable player to stash in long-term keeper leagues, but that’s about it.

Clearly, Gonzalez and Youkilis both see huge gains in value.  As for Beltre, we’ll just have to wait and see where he lands, but the chances of him maintaining his value appears to be slim.

What are your thoughts on the trade?  Who is the big winner?  Who is the big loser?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:


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