It looks like Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein finally got his date to the prom to say yes as the much anticipated deal sending first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to Boston is being widely reported as close to official.
The rumored package back to San Diego includes converted shortstop, now starting pitcher Casey Kelly along with first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Raymond Fuentes. These are the first, third and sixth rated prospects as ranked by Baseball America.
Kelly is still refining his repertoire and control, but there is no questioning his stuff. He has front of the rotation potential and now will be able to showcase his talent in a wonderful pitching environment.
Rizzo led the Red Sox minor leaguers in homers last season and will likely be groomed to take over at first for the departed Gonzalez. The Padres will need a stopgap though, as Rizzo needs a bit more seasoning. He only turned 21 this past August.
Fuentes has solid bloodlines as he is a cousin of Carlos Beltran. He is a raw but toolsy 19 year old, needing to work on his plate discipline. He does make solid contact, so if he can become more selective, his line drive to the gap power and speed will play quite well in the spacious confines of PETCO Park.
Gonzalez should fit right in at Fenway, taking advantage of his opposite field power by often peppering and clearing the Green Monster. He slots perfectly at clean-up, pushing David Ortiz down a couple of spots, which is where he presently belongs.
And now, Kevin Youkilis knows which glove he needs to oil up, as he will most likely shift over to third base, rendering the potential of re-signing Adrian Beltre minimal. There is a small chance Youkilis could play left field, but Boston prefers to continue to court either Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth for that role.