Red Sox Hot Stove Report 
Hitting, December 6, 2010

After the Red Sox lost out on Victor Martinez to the Tigers—presumably because they were unwilling to give 4 years to an aging catcher like they did with Jason Varitek—it was almost a forgone conclusion that the Sox would be looking to add an outfield bat from the free-agent pool led by Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth.

They have been looking to add a slugger to the lineup since Manny Ramirez was traded in 2008, even though they received Jason Bay, another power hitter, in return. They failed in acquiring Mark Teixeira, who signed with the Yankees instead, and won the championship in 2009.

Another name that has been tossed about as a possible trade, has been first basemen Adrian Gonzalez, who has put up awesome numbers as a Padre in a pitcher's paradise, Petco Park. Even though the Sox already have a gold glove caliber first baseman in Kevin Youkilis, he can easily slide over to third base, which was his original position when he was called up in 2004. The only reason Youkilis was moved over to 1B was because the Red Sox had acquired 3B Mike Lowell as a throw-in in the 2005 Josh Beckett deal.

The Adrian Gonzalez rumor has only grown since Jed Hoyer, who was formerly an assistant GM with the Red Sox, took over the GM position in San Diego. The deal was finally completed on December 5, with the Sox sending several cheap prospects to the Padres, for the soon to be expensive Adrian Gonzalez, who is still a relative bargain in 2011, at six million dollars. The Red Sox will be filling offensive holes left by the departure of Victor Martinez at catcher, and most likely Adrian Beltre at 3B, who as of now, is unsigned. Barring any more free agent signings, here is a lineup the Sox may go with in Spring 2011:

1B Adrian Gonzalez 
2B Dustin Pedroia (recovered from his broken foot) 
SS Marco Scutaro  
3B Kevin Youkilis (recovered from thumb surgery) 
LF Mike Cameron/Josh Reddick/Daniel Nava 
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (presumably recovered from his rib injury) 
RF JD Drew 
DH David Ortiz 
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia/Jason Varitek

The Sox could also sign an outfielder, as Mike Cameron is injury prone, and Daniel Nava and Josh Reddick have yet to prove that they can have productive full seasons. The pair may need another year at Pawtucket, or on the bench. Jason Werth can be scratched off the list, as he just signed a six-year $120 million dollar contract with the Washington Nationals. Another name being thrown around has been former Tiger Magglio Ordonez, who is a lifetime .300 hitter, and has played left field for most of his career. Carl Crawford of the Rays has awesome speed, but they already have that type of player in Jacoby Ellsbury, and Crawford has never hit 20 homeruns in his career, even with the cozy left field at Tropicana field. Crawford's agent is also is known for squeezing the marrow out of the owner's bones to get the money he wants, and more.

The Sox lineup has been turbo-charged for 2011, with a left-handed slugger in Adrian Gonzalez who can hit the opposite field, almost tailor-made to hit balls onto and over Green Monster, but it's not likely the Sox are done Christmas shopping this offseason, though.

— Roman Llimar

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