|Source: Adrian Gonzalez ‘has wanted this for a long time’||12.06.10 at 3:41 am ET|
According to a source close to newly acquired Red Sox slugger Adrian Gonzalez, the idea that the trade from the Padres to the Red Sox might fall through over money never seemed realistic. The reason why such a fear seemed unfounded was simple enough.
“He’s wanted this for a really long time,” said the source.
Gonzalez has been connected to the Red Sox in rumors for, literally, years. The appeal of his all-around package of offensive and defensive talents to the Sox was well-known. That, in turn, made the Red Sox a more appealing option to Gonzalez, as did his familiarity with team officials. Gonzalez was drafted first overall and signed by the Marlins when they were owned by current Sox owner John Henry, and David Finley, the area scout who tracked Gonzalez and recommended that he be taken with the first pick in 2000, is now a Red Sox Special Assistant to the GM.
The appeal of the Sox to Gonzalez goes further. For the first time in years, the 28-year-old will not have the Atlas-sized task of carrying a lineup. (Opponents have often chosen simply to pitch around the slugger, walking him 212 times in the last two years, third most — behind Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder — in the majors.) He will also be able to experience life in a ballpark other than Petco, whose capacious field tends to play like a relic from the days of Old Hoss Radbourn; in Fenway, the source believed, Gonzalez could “easily” become a perennial 40-home run hitter. (Gonzalez has achieved that milestone once before, in 2008.)
That being the case, it came as little surprise to the source that the deal got done after Gonzalez spent the weekend talking to Red Sox officials. The first baseman had heard rumors of other teams’ interest — including the Cubs and White Sox — but Boston ultimately always seemed like the most sensible fit. While an extension has not been worked out, all sides are seemingly comfortable that one will be, likely after Opening Day.
Clearly, this was a deal that all parties — the Red Sox, Padres and Gonzalez — wanted. And now, all that remains is the unveiling at a Fenway Park press conference on Monday at 11 a.m.
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