It looks as if Adrian Gonzalez will be hitting homers in Fenway rather than PetCo next season. The Padres were in the untenable position of never being able to sign their franchise player, so rather than let him go to free agency next year they swapped him for a barrel of prospects. It is a big risk on their part as they received no major-leaguers in the deal. The Red Sox were probably going to sign Gonzalez as a free agent anyway since the Yankees already have Mark Texeira (and the Phillies have Ryan Howard). They weren't going to have to outbid anyone except perhaps the the Los Angeles clubs, and Boston can bring the bucks better than anyone not from the Bronx. This just makes that inevitability happen a year sooner.
The Padres made a surprising run at the NL West this season, only succumbing to the Giants in the final month and taking it down to the final game. They were, like the Giants, a pitching-pitching-pitching team, and if they expect to compete in the next few seasons they will have to hope that Mat Latos and Clayton Richard are the second coming of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. Getting rid of their best player and only real offensive threat has to be a blow for 2011. I can't say I'm upset about that. Anything that makes a division opponent weaker is good for the lads in orange & black. Trading a guy like A-Gon is defensible from a long-term organizational health perspective, and it seems like they got some quality in return. In the short term, though, the Padres lose out. We'll see what they do at the Winter Meetings to plug their huge hole.