During the 2011 offseason, the Boston Red Sox shipped away a boatload of prospects to the San Diego Padres in exchange for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Among those traded included Casey Kelley, Reymond Fuentes, Eric Patterson, and the person many people don’t always remember was a Red Sox at one point – Anthony Rizzo.
It is no secret that trading prospects is a gamble. You either trade away players who won’t amount to anything, or you trade away a superstar-in-the-making. The Red Sox did the latter by trading Rizzo.
Even though the Sox got the best year and half of Gonzalez’s career, nothing much came of it. In his first full with Boston, he flashed numbers good enough to get him an All-Star game appearance, a Gold Glove, and a Silver Slugger award. But that was the year Boston finished third in the AL East. The next season wasn’t much better as the BoSox finished dead last in what was a dreadful 2012 campaign.
Gonzalez was then traded midway through that season to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, Josh Beckett, and $11 million cash in exchange for James Loney, Iván DeJesús, Jr., Allen Webster, and a pair of players to be named later. This was their major cry for wanting to win games again. The reason this is brought up is to emphasize what the Red Sox ultimately tossed away for a rent-a-player.
So, what did Boston lose with the initial trade for Gonzalez? They lost Rizzo. In case you’re not aware of who he is, he was a member of the 2016 World Series Championship winning, Chicago Cubs.
Rizzo has provided a great deal of power and consistency to the Cubs lineup. Since he started to majorly contribute in 2014, he has posted on average 32 bombs per season with a consistent .283 batting average in that span. During his ‘14, ‘15, and ’16 seasons, he was worthy of an All-Star title, and was even in discussions for the MVP award