The Red Sox finalized a contract extension with Adrian Gonzalez today, and while the deal was long-awaited, its completion still generated discussion about how the contract impacts Gonzalez, the Red Sox and some of the game's other top first basemen. Some of the more notable items…
- John Boggs, Gonzalez's agent, talks to WEEI.com's Alex Speier about the history of the negotations between the slugger and the Red Sox, how the deal was almost scuttled in December before Gonzalez was traded from the Padres, and how Boggs "aged a hundred years" when Gonzalez was hit by a C.C. Sabathia pitch last Sunday.
- In a separate post, Speier looks at Gonzalez's extension in the context of the biggest contracts ever. Boston officials note that the Sox have been willing to spend big on players before signing Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. The Red Sox were prepared to commit over $20MM per season to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
- In a video report for FOXSports.com, Jon Paul Morosi said Gonzalez's deal "ratchets up the pressure" on Albert Pujols if the Cardinals slugger hopes to get a milestone free agent deal this winter. If Gonzalez has a better season than Pujols, then it will harder for Pujols and his agents to justify asking for a larger contract than the deal the Red Sox gave the younger Gonzalez.
- Morosi also says "it's possible" Boston could still be in the market for Pujols or Prince Fielder as a DH, as the Sox would part ways with David Ortiz. Pujols and Fielder have both said they want to continue playing first base, but Morosi notes that Victor Martinez and Adam Dunn said the same thing last winter before becoming the primary DH option for the Tigers and White Sox, respectively.
- The theory exists that Gonzalez and the Sox had this extension worked out months ago but waited until now to announce it so the club could avoid paying a luxury tax penalty. Morosi speculates that the new collective bargaining agreement might contain a later deadline than Opening Day for the luxury tax calculations since "the spirit of the law isn't being honored here."
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post