The Red Sox announced Wednesday that they have placed first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez on trade waivers according to Sean McAdam of CSNEE.com, via Twitter. The move doesn’t come as a surprise considering the Sox can revoke the move if they cannot or decide not to complete a deal should a team actually claim Gonzalez.
It was reported earlier this month that the LA Dodgers had some lukewarm interest in Gonzalez prior to the July 31 trade deadline but the Red Sox didn’t appear willing to part ways with Gonzo given the return didn’t meet their expectations. The Dodgers farm system lacks depth and the Red Sox were said to be wanting both major league roster players who can make an immediate impact along with multiple grade-A prospects, making a deal far from relevant.
Putting Gonzalez on waivers could be a way to feel out any potential suitors for those that may consider dealing for Gonzalez in the offseason. The Dodgers make perfect sense given their new ownership and the hoards of money they possess. Gonzalez will make $21MM annually for the next four seasons before seeing a modest bump to $21.5MM for the 2017 and ’18 seasons. He does have a partial no-trade clause, although details surrounding the veto card have not been disclosed.
Many within the game of baseball consider Gonzalez’s contract to be team friendly, but critics are foaming at the mouth given the gold glove first baseman has only 15 home runs this season. He will likely surpass the 100 RBI mark for the fifth time in his career and if he can get to the 20 home run plateau, Gonzo’s season may not be all that bad from a statistical standpoint.
Aside from the Dodgers, there aren’t many clubs that would be willing or able to take on over $20MM per season for the next six years, team friendly or not. The Rangers could be a potential trading partner, if and only if they choose not to resign outfielder Josh Hamilton who is destined for free-agency.
Forget the Yankees as they’ve got Mark Teixeira at first and A-Rod’s massive contract to try and sort through. Nick Swisher is likely to cash in around $15-$18 million per year and it could come from the Bombers, making Gonzalez not even a possibility.
The Phillies have Ryan Howard, the Angels have Albert Pujols, the Tigers have Prince Fielder and the Cubs are focused on rebuilding with youth. While Gonzalez is still only 30-years young, Anthony Rizzo is labeled as the first baseman of the future for the lovable losers. Suddenly the window is much smaller for potential teams willing to claim Gonzalez, or even deal for him with the large market clubs out of the picture.
It’s unlikely that a small market club would dare to invest that amount of money in one player, but baseball has taught us that anything is possible.
This waiver move is sure to bring nothing but mere speculation but it could represent that Red Sox management might consider dumping salary for a package of players that would benefit the club for year’s to come. More is better and while Gonzalez is a cornerstone type player to build around, having three top tier players who are younger and more versatile could bring more long-term value.