|The sweet stroke of Adrian Gonzalez may not be what it used to be. (Getty Images)|
Any such deal is complicated by the fact that Gonzalez is signed through 2018 and owed more than $125 million on his contract. That's certainly enough to give pause, but so should Gonzalez's ongoing power outage.
With a 2012 batting line of .300/.343/.469, Gonzalez has hardly been a liability, but he's in a state of decline when it comes to home run power. Some of his power indicators have been heading south since 2009, when he tallied 40 bombs despite playing his home games in Petco, but this season there's further cause for concern.
First consider that Gonzalez's HR/fly ball percentage has fallen from 22.2% in 2009 to 16.4% in 2010 and 2011 to 10.4% this year. To be sure, HR/FB can be prone to random variation, but that's a steady trend, and it's backed by the fact that Gonzalez simply isn't hitting the ball as far this season.
To put a finer point on it, have a look at Gonzalez's batted ball chart from 2011 ...
And now compare it to this year's chart ...
(Charts courtesy of TexasLeaguers.com)
Not only is Gonzalez hitting fewer balls out of the park and to the deeper reaches of the park, but he's also using the opposite field less often. All of that in tandem with the fact that pitchers are throwing more strikes to him than ever before suggest that Gonzalez has indeed lost some thump. Perhaps that's because of a nagging, undisclosed injury, or perhaps Gonzalez, at age 30, is entering his decline phase.
With all that said, the Dodgers this season have received basement-level production from their first basemen this season, and Gonzalez will without question constitute an upgrade. But some important indicators are trending in the wrong direction, and the commitment to Gonzalez -- even if the Dodgers receive significant salary relief from the Red Sox -- is a lengthy and risky one.
Then again, perhaps one shouldn't underestimate the recuperative powers of getting the hell out of Boston.