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Baseball winter meetings off to fast start

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Reynolds and Shaun Marcum switched leagues yesterday as teams started trading at baseball's winter meetings.

Often, it takes a few days at this annual gathering for any real action. This time, it was brisk from the get-go.

The Red Sox completed their trade for Gonzalez, getting the All-Star first baseman from San Diego for minor-league pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder Reymond Fuentes and a player to be named.

Baltimore added a big bat - and a bunch of strikeouts - by acquiring Reynolds from Arizona for righthanded relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio.

The Brewers boosted their rotation, getting righthander Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays for Canadian infield prospect Brett Lawrie.

A day after Washington gave free-agent outfielder Jayson Werth a whopping seven-year, $126-million deal, several teams took the trade route.

The Red Sox got the 28-year-old Gonzalez, a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover. He hit .298 with 31 home runs and 101 RBIs last season.

"I'm very excited to be in Boston and ready to beat the Yanks," Gonzalez said at Fenway Park.

San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer, who previously worked for the Red Sox under GM Theo Epstein, said the Padres were sure they wouldn't have been able to sign Gonzalez after 2011. So, they decided to make a deal now, rather than risk waiting until next summer.

"There's plenty of examples of trades at the deadline where a team didn't get nearly what they thought they'd get simply because the market didn't develop or because of injuries," Hoyer said. "With that in mind, I felt like this was the right time to do it."

Reynolds is taking his big swings to Camden Yards. There is no doubt the third baseman can hit the ball a long way - when he hits it, that is.

Reynolds has averaged nearly 35 homers for the last three years. He's also struck out over 200 times in each of those seasons - those are the three highest strikeout totals in major- league history.

Other names in circulation: San Francisco might become interested in Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett to fill their shortstop hole and the Cubs hired Mark Riggans as their pitching coach.

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