- Associated Press - Saturday, December 4, 2010

SAN DIEGO (AP) - All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez was in Boston on Saturday to take a physical exam needed to complete a trade from the San Diego Padres to the Red Sox, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade hasn’t been finalized.

Gonzalez had surgery to clean up the labrum in his non-throwing right shoulder on Oct. 20. The Padres said then that the three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award-winning first baseman was expected to be ready for spring training.

Besides passing the physical, Gonzalez and the Red Sox will have to agree to a renegotiated contract because of the caliber of prospects Boston is giving up, one of the people familiar with the deal said. That person said the teams hope to wrap up the trade before the winter meetings start Monday.

The Padres, who have a long history of dumping star players due to financial reasons, will receive three of Boston’s top prospects, plus a player to be determined in exchange for Gonzalez. The prospects are right-hander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Reymond Fuentes.

Rizzo is probably two years away from the big leagues, so the Padres will have to sign a free agent to play the position to begin the season. Kyle Blanks, a first baseman who had been switched to left field to give him playing time, had reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in late July and is expected to be sidelined until perhaps midseason.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein did not respond to an e-mail seeking confirmation. Padres GM Jed Hoyer hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

Hoyer worked under Epstein in Boston’s front office before he was hired as Padres GM following the 2009 season. Additionally, Padres assistant GM Jason McLeod was Boston’s scouting director for seven years before returning to San Diego last December. McLeod drafted Kelly, Rizzo and Fuentes.

The popular Gonzalez grew up in the San Diego area and was the No. 1 overall pick by Florida in the 2000 amateur draft. He was obtained in a trade with Texas before the 2006 season and has blossomed into one of the game’s best first basemen. The left-hander hit .298 with 31 homers and 101 RBIs last season.

Boston was interested in Gonzalez last winter.

While many had expected Gonzalez to be traded before the deadline last summer, the Padres were surprise contenders in the NL West and had to keep the slugger.

The Padres went 90-72 despite opening the season with a payroll of $37.8 million, second-lowest in the majors. San Diego was in contention until the final day, when its loss at San Francisco, coupled with Atlanta’s win over Philadelphia, eliminated the Padres from the NL West and wild-card races.

Hoyer has said for some time that the Padres wouldn’t be able to afford the kind of big-money contract Gonzalez would command if he hit the free-agent market.

Hoyer also has said he anticipated Gonzalez being on the opening-day roster. But the allure of prospects is probably too much to pass up for a team that anticipates a player payroll of approximately $40 million.

The Padres recently exercised Gonzalez’s $6.2 million option for 2011, the final year of a team-friendly $15 million, five-year contract he signed in 2007.

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