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Finally, a big bat for Sox

AGone? You have no idea.

AGone? You have no idea.

By completing its trade for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Monday, the Red Sox put the finishing touches on its biggest hitter acquisition since Manny Ramirez — coming and going.

Not since Manny came to town via free agency in the winter of 2000 have the Red Sox added such an impact bat into the middle of their lineup.

Sure, David Ortiz proved to be a slugger of such magnitude, but not even Big Papi came with the gravitas of Gonzalez.

Casey Kelly might win a Cy Young Award someday, and when the contract extension is announced in April, it may make Jayson Werth’s deal seem like chump change. But with a chance to acquire a All-Star slugger in his prime, Theo Epstein had little choice.

The Red Sox have plenty of starting pitching. Now, they have an anchor in the middle of the lineup who may have barely scratched the surface of his abilities.

Gonzalez, who won’t turn 29 until May, averaged 32 homers a season the past five years for the Padres — playing half his games in expansive Petco Park. Last year, at least a dozen balls that Gonzalez hit for outs at Petco would have been homers at Fenway — including several to left field, where the Wall should quickly become the opposite-field hitting lefty’s best friend.

“He’s going to be unbelievable in Fenway Park,” said Padres general manager Jed Hoyer, no stranger to the effects of Fenway. “He hit so many fly balls the other way, so many times, it just died kind of helplessly before the warning track in Petco Park. So I think he's going to be a monster at Fenway Park.”

More acquisitions coming up?

The Red Sox are sure to be dropping a ton of money on their shiny, new first baseman.

From the looks of it, their checkbooks aren’t going to shut anytime soon.

Boston is in the running for a number of big-name free agents, according to various online reports yesterday.

Ace starter Cliff Lee’s agent told WEEI’s Rob Bradford that he’d had talks with the Sox.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted that catcher Russell Martin has gotten interest from the Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays and Mets.

Boston has also reportedly expressed interest in relievers Brian Fuentes, Ron Mahay and Koji Uehara. Any of the three would serve to fortify the bullpen. –Metro

 
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