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The worst trade in Boston Red Sox history involves some guy named Babe Ruth. The Mookie Betts deal wasn’t much better. But the Adrian Gonzalez swap is one of the more underrated bad trades in franchise history.
Sure, it’s easy to overlook Gonzalez’s time in Boston — he spent just over one year as a Red Sox, and hit 42 home runs in that period before he was eventually traded in a salary dump to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Yet, the trade to acquire Gonzalez is the one Red Sox fans ought to look at in regards to one of the worst deals in franchise history. In order to land a talent like Gonzalez, general manager Theo Epstein also had to deal an intriguing prospect named Anthony Rizzo.
Adrian Gonzalez trade will go down in infamy
Gonzalez was made for Fenway Park in his prime. As a lefty with 30-40 home run power, Epstein was chomping at the bit to trade for Gonzalez for years, but failed to do so until it was too late. Heck, the Padres didn’t want to let him go.
Boston eventually landed Gonzalez in a trade involving prospects like Rizzo, who would go on to become a Gold Glove first baseman with the Cubs and win the franchise’s first World Series in over a century.
The Sox are lucky Rizzo’s accomplishments didn’t occur in San Diego, or fans would rightly be all over them for jumping the gun on Gonzalez. Just over a year later, Gonzalez was traded along with Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett in a salary dump to the Dodgers.
So much for that perfect fit.
And while it’s too soon to list the Mookie Betts trade in this same category, it’s not looking great for Boston at the moment. Alex Verdugo is a solid outfielder, and the success of trading a player of Betts’ caliber will likely depend on the development of Jeter Downs in the Sox’ farm system.