Adrian Gonzalez hasn't agreed to anything more than a trade. In a phone interview with the Mexican blog Puro Beisbol (link in Spanish), the normally tight-lipped first baseman denied reports from Sports Illustrated, USA Today and other sources that he and the Red Sox have tentatively agreed to an extension that won't be announced until April in order for the team to avoid luxury tax.
"Nothing about that is true," Gonzalez told Fernando Ballesteros. "It's false. I haven't signed any contract." Indeed, by Gonzalez's account, the two sides have yet to even delve into specific figures, despite word that he asked for, and received, approximately $161MM over eight years. "We discussed the trade, but we didn't reach any agreement, and we didn't negotiate numbers," Gonzalez explained. "The only thing I have for sure is the contract that I had already signed with the Padres, and what I can tell you is that over the course of the season we're going to negotiate to reach an agreement."
Left unasked was what, specifically, led to the impasse that nearly derailed the trade last week, but Gonzalez's quotes leave open the possibility that it centered on expectations of years rather than salary. When asked if eight years, $161MM was his goal, Gonzalez stayed mum, saying, "Look, the market changes every day in baseball. Right now I don't know what to tell you because the team could use it to its advantage, so the day that [the Red Sox] want to sit down and discuss my contract, we'll happily do it, and that day we'll say what we want."
Gonzalez gives no indication of discontent with his new team in the interview, insisting that he is "enthusiastic" about both the upcoming season and reports of how his power will play in Fenway Park. However, his portrayal of the negotiations tempers expectations, at least for the time being, about the dawn of a Gonzalez/Crawford decade in Boston.