All together now: this doesn’t mean anything yet. The Dodgers submitted a waiver claim on Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and won, meaning the BoSox have 48 hours to decide if they want to work out a deal, let him walk for nothing, or pull him back.
There is a lot of sticker shock associated with Adrian Gonzalez’s contract, considering he is set to earn in the neighbourhood of $22 million through 2018. That is a lot of money, some astutely note. Perhaps the Red Sox would be well served in letting Gonzalez walk to LA for nothing, freeing themselves of that significant financial burden.
The other side of that coin is Adrian Gonzalez’s obvious goodness. Despite slumping for a good chunk of this season, he remains one of the best players in baseball. His .380 wOBA since joining the Red Sox in the top 15 in all of baseball, and his 9+ WAR put him in the top 20.
It is an interesting debate: what should the Red Sox do over the next two days?
Heck, they can play Salty at 1B and catch Lavarnway. Use $ saved to dump Beckett. Sign a FA pitcher. Boom
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) August 24, 2012
The money owed Gonzalez is slightly staggering until you remember they’re the Red Sox, for whom money is no object. While Handsome Petey Abes offers his back-of-the-envelope solution, I don’t see how the Red Sox stand to benefit from just dumping a durable, productive player because they don’t like the contract they just signed him to 18 months ago.
What has changed about Gonzalez in the time since the Red Sox signed him to a long contract extension? Other than a brief cameo in the outfield: nothing. He is still healthy and, by and large, still productive. He will age and become less productive but, again, that isn’t news.
Another thought for Gonzalez: his 9.3 fWAR and .380 wOBA both surpass a high profile free agent to be, Josh Hamilton. What kind of deal is Josh Hamilton going to fetch on the free agent market this winter? Does anyone think it will be less than the money owed to Gonzalez? Positional advantage versus durability – the eternal battle.
It will be very surprising if Red Sox let Gonzalez walk and even more surprising if they are able to work out a deal with the Dodgers. After all the wheeling and dealing at the trade deadline, the Dodgers system is pretty much Zach Lee and Yasiel Puig, as I understand it. What else could they possibly offer the Red Sox in exchange for an All Star-calibre first baseman?
We can only applaud the Dodgers for using their financial heft to try and improve the team and its immediate playoff chances. Adding Gonzalez would represent a huge coup, adding another legit bat to a completely overhauled — and nearly dangerous — lineup. One can only feel for poor Juan Uribe, however. I fear this will send him into another tailspin. Poor guy, been through so much…