Report: The Red Sox and Padres are talking about an Adrian Gonzalez trade

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We knew this was coming, it was only a matter of when:  Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston is reporting that the Red Sox and Padres are discussing a trade for Adrian Gonzalez. Edes says that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are “making headway.”  The contours of a deal would break down thusly:

According to the source familiar with the negotiations, the proposed deal centers only on minor leaguers, meaning the Red Sox would not lose star young reliever Daniel Bard … [San Diego] almost certainly would seek pitcher Casey Kelly and first baseman Anthony Rizzo in any deal, with outfielder Ryan Kalish, shortstop Jose Iglesias, outfielder Josh Riddick, 19-year-old outfielder Reymond Fuentes, pitcher Stolmy Pimentel, and catcher Ryan Lavarnway also potential targets.

Edes thinks it will ultimately take three prospects to make the deal happen, with some lesser filler coming over to complete the deal.

If it goes down, the Sox will still have ample ability to sign either Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford.  Kevin Youkilis would likely move to third.  The Red Sox offense — which has been far healthier than people have given it credit for these past couple of years — would, once again, be fearsome.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.