Big Haul For Padres

Gonzalez trade brings in top prospects





SAN DIEGO—Adrian Gonzalez figures to hit in the middle of the Red Sox lineup in 2011. The players the Padres got in return in a Winter Meetings trade are all a year or more away from the big leagues.

Still, the Padres like the trade that sent Gonzalez to Boston for three minor leaguers—righthander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Reymond Fuentes—and a player to be named.

None of the three prospects the Padres received played above Double-A in 2010. All, however, are premium prospects. Kelly was Boston's first-round draft pick in 2008 and ranked as the organization's top prospect in Baseball America's recent Top 10 Prospects list. Rizzo was a sixth-round pick in 2007 and hit 24 home runs last season (20 in Double-A), and he ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Red Sox system. Fuentes was a first-round pick in 2009 and ranked No. 6. He hit .270/.328/.377 with 42 steals as a 19-year-old in 2010 at low Class A Greenville.

"It's very difficult to trade a player like Adrian Gonzalez," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "But it was something we felt we had to do for the long-term health of the franchise.

"Ultimately, it came down it came down to we only had Adrian for one more season. That was made very clear. Once we knew it was only one season, we thought the right move was to act somewhat pre-emptively to get the best package of players back."

In this trade, the Padres put their faith in Jason McLeod. McLeod was Boston's scouting director from 2004-09 and is familiar with all three players in the Gonzalez trade. McLeod is now a vice president/assistant general manager in San Diego and is in charge of the Padres' draft.

"This adds three quality players to our system," farm director Randy Smith said. "It should bolster our ranking. It's exciting to think about our depth, especially after the 2011 draft."

FATHER FIGURES

• The Padres took two players in the Rule 5 draft: righthander George Kontos from the Yankees in the major league portion, and third baseman Jake Blackwood in the minor league phase from the Giants.

• The Padres did not tender righthander Luis Perdomo a major league contract for 2011, but they were able to re-sign him to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.