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Red Sox Finally Make a Splash, Trade for Padres’ Adrian Gonzalez

This has gone on too long.  For about two years now, the Boston Red Sox have been “close” to trading for San Diego Padres’ slugger Adrian Gonzalez.  Every winter, every trade deadline, every moment of desperation.  The chess match is over.  Christmas has come early for the Red Sox faithful.  It only took two years and probably about a thousand phone calls, but according to ESPN’s Buster Olney Theo Epstein finally got his man — and all before the Winter Meetings.

Having lost Victor Martinez in free agency over what was reported to be about $4 million, the Red Sox brass had to do something to silence the groans and grumbles down on Yawkey Way.  What better way to have done it than to trade for the best all-around player available on the trade market?

According to the report, Boston will send pitcher Casey Kelly and first baseman Anthony Rizzo — two top prospects in their farm system — along with minor league outfielder Raymond Fuentes to the Padres.  If Olney’s sources are correct, that means Epstein was able to work out a deal while keeping flame thrower Daniel Bard and holding on to Jose Iglesias, another top prospect in Boston’s system that is believed to be a potential solution to their revolving door at shortstop.

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NL Playoff Preview and Players to Watch

Also check out Alan Hull’s AL Playoff Preview

As the season wraps up and the National League contenders begin to separate themselves from one another, here is a look at some key players to watch down the stretch and through October.

ATLANTA BRAVES

Derrek Lee: There is no better way to add zeroes to the back of your next contract than to perform in the post-season when the stakes are the highest and all of baseball is watching. Lee will be looking to sign one last lucrative contract after this season. He had an opportunity to reinvent himself upon being traded to Atlanta, with the hopes he would replace some of the production lost when Chipper Jones went down. Lee responded by hitting a decent .289/.375/.433 since the trade. He will get another chance to start over in October and a few big hits will go a long way for his financial future.

Tommy Hanson: Tim Hudson has had a big season for the Braves, but has faded a bit down the stretch. Hanson, however, is the Braves most talented pitcher and has flown under the radar due to a mediocre win-loss record. This post-season may be a coming-out party for the 23-year-old future ace.

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Adrian Gonzalez Got a Death Threat

Crazy huh? When you think of ballplayers receiving death threats, you think Hank Aaron and Jackie Robinson. You don’t think Adrian Gonzalez. But apparently he received one. Check it out at FanHouse, as well as some other recent stories: