Could Jays and Padres Get a Gonzo Deal Done?


On this very day in 1990, December 5th, the Blue Jays made a deal with the San Diego Padres that forever changed the franchise as a whole. The trade:

To San Diego – SS Tony Fernandez and 1B Fred McGriff

To Toronto – 2B Roberto Alomar and OF Joe Carter

Who can think of the Jays winning the World Series without either of these 2 players? As I sit here and ponder that and read about the Adrian Gonzalez deal falling through, I can’t help but ponder whether or not it could happen a second time. This time, the deal could look as follows:

If only for Adrian Gonzalez:

To San Diego – SP Kyle Drabek, 1B Michael McDade, OF Jacob Marisnick

To Toronto – 1B Adrian Gonzalez

If for both Adrian Gonzalez and RP Heath Bell

To San Diego – SP Kyle Drabek, SP/RP Zach Stewart, 1B Michael McDade, OF Jacob Marisnick, RP Alan Farina, and LF Eric Thames.

To Toronto – 1B Adrian Gonzalez and CL Heath Bell

If the Padres were content with the package they were getting from Boston in return for Gonzo, they’d have to be happy with a deal involving Drabek and Stewart. Both could slot in behind Matt Latos in order to give the Padres more starting depth. Marisnick is just as athletic as Fuentes (he has less speed and more power). McDade is more powerful a bat than Rizzo at this point and proved to be very effective in the AFL.

How angry would the Red Sox be if the Jays swooped in and nabbed Gonzo from them. It would be reminiscent of the Alex Rodriguez deal. Wait a minute, does this mean the Jays would regret signing Gonzo to the same kind of heightened demands that Arod made when he signed with the Yankees? Hmm, maybe the Jays should sit it out simply based on the reported 8 years and $160 million that Gonzo is asking for in order to agree to an extension. Still, I can’t help but imagine how great the Jays organization would be with Gonzo and Bautista leading the charge in 2011 and beyond.

With the new Jayson Werth deal announced and official, worth $126 million over 7 years, it’s doubtful that Adrian Gonzalez will budge from his stance in asking for a 8 year deal. What’s more, at his age and with his credentials, he could even increase his asking price based on this deal (Gonzo is 28, Werth is 31). Asking for a 10-year $200 million deal all-of-the-sudden became a feasible endeavor to him and his agent. If he can’t agree to a deal with the wealthy Red Sox, you know he’s asking for a ton of money and guaranteed years to go with it.

Of course, the key to any deal is getting one approved first and foremost. Were the Padres only interested in a package from the Red Sox because many of their execs come from the Sox and were familiar with the players? Or, are they willing to look at other options and agree to terms with another franchise. If I’m the Texas Rangers and I see this going on, I cancel any offer made to Cliff Lee, trade for Adrian Gonzalez and sign a couple of FA pitchers (Andy Pettitte and John Maine seem like viable options here). Gonzo will cost just about as much as Lee would and would carry a lot less risk overall. As a result of this, they’ll get the draft picks – including the 1st rounder from the Yankees or Red Sox since they’d almost be guaranteed to sign him – from Lee signing elsewhere and rebuild my minors with those picks. Then I’d try to get Zack Greinke in a trade if I could. It makes some sense, doesn’t it?

I’m certain that now that the price for Gonzo is known, other clubs will come over the top with offers of their own like flies to you know what. The Padres hot-line will be more active than it’s be since Jake Peavy was on the market and it could lead to another Gonzo signing saga. Could the Jays be that franchise and get a Gonzo deal done? I’m not sure, but at the very least they now have a very clear idea of what the cost would be – both in terms of acquisition and in terms of contract extension. That makes it much easier to weigh the risks and to make a move happen. Extremely fun stuff to ponder as the Red Sox are forced to watch this deal fall through – for now – and watch Jayson Werth sign elsewhere as well.

It’s going to be one very interesting and crazy week folks! Enjoy the ride!

– MG

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