Another blockbuster trade on the horizon?

I read a report today that says the Red Sox are aggressively pursuing first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. I also read a report that says the two sides aren't talking.

I read a report today that says the Mets are offering a five-year deal to free-agent outfielder Jason Bay. I also read a report that says the Mets haven't offered more than four years.

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Again, welcome to the Hot Stove season. Be careful if you want to touch it.

My friend Jorge Arangure at ESPN.com - that's right, Jorge, we're friends, so you can stop denying it - tweeted that a source says Gonzalez could be traded to Boston within the next 10 days.

If it happens, I think they could contend in 2010.

Before everyone blows a gasket, let's see what the Red Sox are willing to surrender and whether Gonzalez signs an extension.

A source told FOXSports.com that Padres general manager Jed Hoyer is asking for "a ton."

Early speculation has the Red Sox parting with pitcher Clay Buchholz and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, now that they've signed John Lackey and Mike Cameron. Not quite a ton, but it's a start.

So we're back to arguing whether the Orioles should give up at least one of their top young starting pitchers and anyone else Hoyer demands to bring in Gonzalez - if he agrees to an extension.

Cameron supposedly makes Ellsbury expendable. I don't agree, but nobody asked me.

I suppose you could draw a parallel and say Adam Jones is expendable because of Felix Pie. And you could decide which young starter is the equivalent of Buchholz (Brian Matusz? Chris Tillman? Someone else?) And then we're back to that same argument that I mentioned above.

Switching topics, the latest Baseball America ranks third baseman Josh Bell as the fifth-best prospect in the Arizona Fall League and includes the following:

Considered a defensive liability coming into the season, Bell got himself into better condition and answered questions about his ability to remain at third base. He's still a below-average runner, but Bell has become a solid defender at third base with smoother actions, cleaner footwork, improved range, good hands and an above-average arm.

At the plate, Bell has excellent raw power and could hit 25-plus home runs annually. He can work the count well to get on base, and while he doesn't strike out excessively, he could do more to tighten up his strike zone and not get himself out on pitchers' pitches. Though he's a switch-hitter, Bell has hit significantly better as a left-handed batter throughout his entire career.

First baseman Brandon Snyder was listed under "stock rising," with the following comment:

Not every scout sees Snyder as a future big league regular, but his improved defense made an impression on Phoenix manager Gary Cathcart. Snyder has good hands and has worked hard to improve his footwork around the bag. Snyder is a solid hitter who walked more than he struck out in the AFL, though he doesn't have prototypical power for a first baseman.

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