Report: Red Sox close to acquiring Gonzalez

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Report: Red Sox close to acquiring Gonzalez

Dec. 4, 2010
MLB PAGE

SANDIEGO (AP) All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez has flown to Boston to takea physical exam needed to complete a trade from the San Diego Padres tothe Red Sox, a person familiar with the situation told The AssociatedPress on Saturday.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a trade hasn't been finalized.Gonzalez had surgery to clean up thelabrum in his non-throwing right shoulder on Oct. 20. The Padres saidthen that the three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award-winningfirst baseman was expected to be ready for spring training.The Padres, who have a long historyof dumping star players due to financial reasons, are expected toreceive prospects in the deal.Red Sox general manager Theo Epsteindid not respond to an e-mail seeking confirmation. Padres GM Jed Hoyerhasn't responded to requests for comment.Hoyer worked under Epstein inBoston's front office before he was hired as Padres GM following the2009 season. Additionally, Padres assistant GM Jason McLeod wasBoston's scouting director for seven years before returning to SanDiego last December.According to various reports, thePadres would receive pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzoand outfielder Reymond Fuentes, plus a player to be determined inexchange for Gonzalez.The popular Gonzalez grew up in theSan Diego area and was the No. 1 overall pick by Florida in the 2000amateur draft. He was obtained in a trade with Texas before the 2006season and has blossomed into one of the game's best first basemen. Theleft-hander hit .298 with 31 homers and 101 RBIs last season.Boston was interested in Gonzalez last winter.While many had expected Gonzalez tobe traded before the deadline last summer, the Padres were surprisecontenders in the NL West and had to keep the slugger.The Padres went 90-72 despiteopening the season with a payroll of 37.8 million, second-lowest inthe majors. San Diego was in contention until the final day, when itsloss at San Francisco, coupled with Atlanta's win over Philadelphia,eliminated the Padres from the NL West and wild-card races.Hoyer has said for some time thatthe Padres wouldn't be able to afford the kind of big-money contractGonzalez would command if he hit the free-agent market.Hoyer also has said he anticipatedGonzalez being on the opening-day roster. But the allure of prospectsis probably too much to pass up for a team that anticipates a playerpayroll of approximately 40 million.The Padres recently exercisedGonzalez's 6.2 million option for 2011, the final year of ateam-friendly 15 million, five-year contract he signed in 2007.It wasn't clear whether the Red Sox had started talks with Gonzalez's agent regarding a contract extension.In five seasons with San Diego,Gonzalez has 161 homers - two shy of Nate Colbert's club record - and501 RBIs. Including parts of two seasons with Texas, he has 168 homersand 525 RBIs.He set a Padres record with his fourth 30-homer season. His third 100-RBI season tied Phil Nevin for the most in club history.The Padres already have lostright-hander Jon Garland, shortstop Miguel Tejada and catcher YorvitTorrealba to free agency, and won't re-sign outfielders Scott Hairstonand Tony Gwynn Jr. They also declined to pick up right-hander ChrisYoung's 8.5 million option.If the trade goes through, thePadres will have to find another first baseman, in addition to someoneto play second base and shortstop. Kyle Blanks, the heir apparent toGonzalez, had reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in late Julyand is expected to be sidelined until perhaps midseason.In a salary purge that lasted fromSeptember 1992 to July 1993, the Padres traded All-Stars Fred McGriff,Gary Sheffield and Tony Fernandez, and let Randy Myers and All-StarBenito Santiago leave via free agency. They also traded Craig Lefferts,Bruce Hurst, Greg Harris and Darrin Jackson.After being swept by the New YorkYankees in the 1998 World Series, they let Kevin Brown, Ken Caminitiand Steve Finley leave as free agents and traded Greg Vaughn.Less than two weeks after that WorldSeries ended, voters overwhelmingly approved Petco Park, which wassupposed to have provided the revenue to make the Padres consistentcontenders. San Diego won the NL West in 2005-06, but has won only onepostseason game since 1998.

A's spring training Day 37: Triggs strengthens his bid for rotation spot

A's spring training Day 37: Triggs strengthens his bid for rotation spot

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Last year Andrew Triggs was one of an assembly line of starting pitchers the A’s ran out to the mound after injuries took their toll.

This spring, Triggs looks ready to assume a more instrumental role. On Wednesday, he stepped up with his best effort of the spring in Oakland’s 5-3 victory over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

He fared well against a Chicago lineup saturated with left-handed hitters. He commanded his fastball. His curve had bite to it. And with his cutter lacking, Triggs kept hitters off-balance with his changeup and threw five innings of three-hit ball. He gave up two runs, struck out four and didn’t issue a walk.

In short, it was everything manager Bob Melvin needed to see as he evaluates whether this late-blooming right-hander is ready for the starting rotation.

“This was his best outing so far,” Melvin said. “His best command, sharpest breaking ball. He had good movement on his fastball. Once you’re getting out there to 75-80 pitches, you’ve got a chance to not only evaluate performance, there’s endurance involved. Everything.”

Triggs, 28, had surrendered six runs in just 3 2/3 innings his last time out against Cleveland. He was much more efficient Wednesday.

“I felt like I had a pretty good feel for most everything in the arsenal,” he said.

Most of Triggs’ major league work last season, in his first taste of the bigs, came in relief. If he’s to pitch every fifth day in 2017, he needs to show he can retire lefties consistently, and remain effective two and three times through a batting order.

Catcher Stephen Vogt believes Triggs has the repertoire to do that.

“The nice part about a four-pitch mix is very rarely are you gonna have all four on any given night. So if two go away, you've got two more to back it up,” Vogt said. “Today his cutter, usually one of his better pitches, wasn’t that great. He needed to rely more on the changeup and he did.

“Then he gets those swings and misses with the big breaking ball. It’s fun to make the crowd kind of ‘woo.’ It’s always a good sign.”

STOCK RISING: Another pitcher who helped his cause Wednesday was Frankie Montas, who struck out four over two scoreless innings to seal the victory.

“He continues to do what he continues to do,” Melvin said. “He’s throwing more and more breaking balls too.”

In Montas’ four outings, he’s allowed just one earned run over eight innings for a 1.13 ERA. He’s struck out nine and walked one. In light of Melvin saying his bullpen could use a reliever that can handle multiple innings, Montas has positioned himself squarely in the conversation for a 25-man roster spot.

NOTEWORTHY: The A’s have collected 10 doubles over their last two games, and Wednesday they jumped ahead with big offense early once again. Ryon Healy went 2-for-3 with an RBI and is hitting .359. Vogt is also swinging it well. He doubled home two runs in the first and is batting .324.

FAMILIAR FACE: : Tyler Ladendorf, who spent the previous seven-plus seasons in the A’s organization, entered mid-game at shortstop for the Sox and struck out in his only at-bat. Ladendorf signed with Chicago on a minor league deal earlier this spring.

ODDS AND ENDS: With their 13th victory, the A’s (13-10) eclipsed their win total from all of last spring with 11 games still to go. … Sonny Gray (strained lat muscle) felt good a day after playing catch for the first time in two weeks. He was set to do so again Wednesday. … Rajai Davis (1-for-3) scored two runs and notched his fifth stolen base. … Ryan Madson gave up a run in his one inning of work. His ERA is 7.50 through six outings. He’s allowed 10 hits over six innings. … Santiago Casilla, in his fourth appearance, threw a scoreless inning with one hit and one walk.

Mailbag: How would Raiders' move affect A's ballpark search?

Mailbag: How would Raiders' move affect A's ballpark search?

GLENDALE, Ariz. — With one week to go until the A’s break camp and head north, there are still some roster issues to be cleared up.

The big-picture question regarding this team, obviously, is where it might be building a future ballpark.

With all this in mind, we try to provide some clarity on questions submitted via Twitter:

From @Cjkittrell: If the Raiders move to Vegas, does the Coliseum site jump to the top of the list of possible ballpark sites by default?

That’s not necessarily the case. You have to remember what the A’s crave more than anything in a ballpark location: A thriving surrounding area — with restaurants, bars, shops, etc. — that will make the ballpark an attraction beyond the baseball game itself. Team president Dave Kaval has talked of wanting a “ballpark village” around a new venue. A downside of the Coliseum is that there is nothing around the area right now that would attract fans besides the baseball. Other sites, including Howard Terminal, appear to have more potential as far as surrounding attractions.

This doesn’t count out the Coliseum as an option. As Kaval has said, it’s the only site of four being considered that the A’s know is truly viable. There’s comfort in that. And the BART station, freeway access and available parking are big plusses. But something else I’ll mention in regard to the Raiders: Even if they announce a move to Las Vegas, they have lease agreements that would keep them playing football at the Coliseum at least through the 2018 season while their Vegas stadium is under construction. With the Raiders likely to be on the property for that period, it could complicate the A’s own hypothetical construction plans for the Coliseum site.

From @44BWells: With the emergence of Franklin Barrreto and the contract of Jed Lowrie, what's Joey Wendle's present and future?

They appear murky, don’t they? First and foremost, Wendle has to recover from a sore right shoulder that’s kept him out of exhibitions for a while. But the acquisition of utility man Adam Rosales meant Wendle probably wasn’t going to make the club out of spring training anyway. He’s got a fan in manager Bob Melvin, who was impressed with Wendle defensively last September. It was Wendle’s glove that was the question mark when he arrived from the Cleveland Indians. Barreto has the star-caliber upside and the hype. Once the A’s deem him ready, Lowrie becomes a trade possibility. But Wendle’s advantage is that, to a degree, he’s already proven himself in the majors. He’s a known quantity at this level. If a second baseman is needed early in the season, Wendle could get a call-up before Barreto if Barreto gets off to a slow start.

As for Wendle’s future beyond 2017, it would serve him well to be able to handle as many positions as possible. He realizes this. That’s why he volunteered to play winter ball in Mexico this past offseason, where he played lots of shortstop. His role moving forward could be as more of a utility guy, because I see Barreto growing roots at second base.

@ONChristy: Do the A's have the pieces, both in the majors and minors, to make a run in 2018-2020?

Well, it’s definitely tough to look down the road and forecast a three-year block. Here’s a short answer for you: They better! All of the trades of the past couple seasons have been made with an eye toward stockpiling young talent — especially on the pitching side. Contending this year will be a tall order. But by the end of this season, I’d expect Barreto and third baseman Matt Chapman to have gotten their feet wet in the big leagues. There’s a strong chance you’ll also see young pitchers such as Frankie Montas and Daniel Gossett up. There’s a large core of young players who are on the cusp of being major league ready.

Add to that some core veterans such as Khris Davis, Kendall Graveman Marcus Semien and (if he’s not traded) Sonny Gray— who will all be under team control through 2019 at least — and the A’s have a solid foundation for contending in that timeframe you mention. But let’s face it, there’s a lot that can and usually does happen over any three-year span that completely changes what we think we know going in.