Blog Entry

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

Posted on: April 15, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: April 15, 2011 5:32 pm
 

Gonzalez

By Evan Brunell

The Red Sox will finally sign first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to a contract extension Friday.

The deal will stretch seven years and a total value of $154 million, marking the richest contract Sox ownership has handed out since taking over the team in 2002. By waiting until now to consummate an extension, Boston will save millions in luxury tax payments as his contract will not apply to this season's payroll. That allows the three-time All-Star's current $6.5 million salary for the season to stand instead of having his average annual payment of $22 million impact 2011.

"Very grateful for this opportunity,'' Gonzalez said according to the Boston Globe. "Like I said back in December, I'm really excited about being able to play here for the next seven years, hopefully longer, and I just want to thank John Henry and the whole front office for this extension."

That annual value will become the eighth-highest value in the game and just $500,000 behind Mark Teixeira for the third-most expensive first baseman in the game. The overall $154 million value will land A-Gon's deal into the top 10 of most lucrative contracts ever paid, ranking ninth while barely edging Miguel Cabrera. Red Sox teammate Carl Crawford now falls to 11th in total value rankings. 

Gonzalez will receive a $6 million signing bonus, then average salaries of $21 million from 2012-16 and then an additional $500,000 a year in his final two years.

"This is the culmination of a process that started several months ago and we're pleased to get it done,'' said Sox GM Theo Epstein. "Hope this will go down, and I believe this will go down, as a great day for the organization. Adrian's going to make a major impact here for a long time."

The deal was one of the worst-kept secrets in the game even as Boston and Gonzo's agent, John Boggs, scrambled to come up with pithy excuses as to why the extension had yet to be signed when everyone knew exactly why. 

In any event, now that the contract is inked, the lefty will become the highest paid first-baseman Boston has ever had, and only Manny Ramirez's eight-year, $160 million deal dwarfs the Gonzalez contract for most expensive in Red Sox history. The deal also includes a no-trade clause, as Gonzalez can block deals to two clubs, but additionally, any trade cannot flip him to the Yankees.

The problem is, unfortunately, GM Theo Epstein hasn't had much luck in lucrative free-agent signings. Over the last several seasons, if you throw out players who signed extensions while arbitration eligible -- such as Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis -- his track record is spotty. Witness signings of Josh Beckett (OK, so maybe it's a tad early to pass judgment on this one -- and yes, Beckett technically signed an extension but he was in the final year of his guaranteed contract and was going to become a free agent, so he counts as someone who signed market value), Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lackey, Mike Lowell (technically became a free agent before returning to Boston), Julio Lugo and Edgar Renteria. Even the lone signing of J.D. Drew that's worked out so far has plenty of detractors given the irrational desire of fans to see Drew be more like Paul O'Neill, and the mega-deal handed to Crawford has gotten off to a bad start although no one expects that to continue.

It's difficult to imagine the 28-year-old (29 in early May) not living up to his deal. While he only has one home run to his name so far in 2011, he's already shown enough that fans are excited about Gonzo's potential. And if you look at his numbers over the last several seasons , it's notable how much playing in Petco Park harmed him. Over his last two seasons in Petco, he hit .262/.398/.442 with 23 home runs in 670 plate appearances. His road numbers tell a completely different story, having bashed 48 home runs in 704 PA, hitting .310/.401/.609. Those are massive numbers, and ones certainly worth $22 million annually.

“We had a pretty good idea what we were getting," manager Terry Francona added. "But it’s nice to see it. ... It’s kind of reassuring. You go through a tough week, he’s been so positive. Like I said, he gets it. He understands why we’re here. He gets it, that’s the best way to see it. He understands what’s going on. I think he flat-out gets it."

Gonzalez is currently hitting .268/.362/.439 in 47 PA for the Red Sox. The extension is expected to be formally announced Friday afternoon prior to a game against the Blue Jays.

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Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Apr 10, 2007
Posted on: April 15, 2011 4:42 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

I wish they'd pay me $22m to hit .268 in one of the most batter-friendly parks in the league.



Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2011 4:37 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

2-9 team spending an awful lot of money the last couple of weeks on top of money they already spent trying to BUY a championship.

If the Knicks split this weekend on top of the Sox start and the Bruins losing an awful lot of parents in the Boston area are going to have major repairs to make to their basements.


 - Remember, you can't spell Pedroia without P.E.D.



Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2011 4:33 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez might have flourished with the Padres in the supposedly "weak" NL West but how will he fare in the supposedly "tough" AL East. Haven't baseball general managers learned to never ever sign players to long-term big money contracts?

Lumpoco, this is one of the dumbest questions I've heard.

First, the pitching isn't much better in the AL then in the NL. In fact, I would say the pitching is better in the NL (Wainright, Carpenter, Oswalt, Halladay, etc)... even NL West (Cain, Lincecum, Jimenez). Normally, this issue you mentioned is when a pitcher switches leagues and has to face more talented hitting in the AL East. A-Gon is not in this situation.

In fact, I would say he would BENEFIT from going to the Red Sox since he'll not have protection from top-to-bottom of the order. No pitching around him like what has been done for the past few years with the Padres! A-Gon will do great with the Sox.


™HAILTHECHIEFS™
Since: Oct 11, 2010
Posted on: April 15, 2011 4:28 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: April 15, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

Enough of the "If he didn't make so much, I could afford to go to the ballpark" rants. Baseball is a business, not a societal safety net. If they can fill enough seats at $200 per family, to be profitable, then they should. If you want charity, go to the Church, Obama, or the Church of Obama.

Apparently, there are enough people willing to go at those prices. Fine. If you cannot, stay home and watch the game on television, go to a minor league/college game, etc.

Cheap tickets to a MLB/NFL/NBA/NHL game are not a right.

Well thanks for setting that straight!

Nobody said it was a "right" to pay low costs for games.
Why don't you get off your pulpit now because you sound like a prick.

By the way.... watching games on TV is in fact what I do because there's no way in hell I'm spending my hard earned cash on those money sucking a**holes. Business or not, it's out of control. And if the fans---ya know, THE ONES WHO PAY THEIR SALARIES---all got together on this and stopped paying the high prices, they'd go down. Simple supply and demand principles apply.




Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: April 15, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

Okay, I got the press release ready and Adrian's statment ready.  "I would like to thank the Red Sox for guaranteeing me and my family financial security for the next seven years rest of my life.

If this guy can't make $150 million last him 40 years, there's something wrong with that.



Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: April 15, 2011 3:49 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

It's nice to see the Red Sox keep handing out money to this impressive bunch of players.  Only a weather man can be successful 2 times out of 11 and get a new contract. 



Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: April 15, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

Okay, I got the press release ready and Adrian's statment ready.  "I would like to thank the Red Sox for guaranteeing me and my family financial security for the next seven years.  I can tell you that these discussions were not about the money.  In fact, I have no idea of the compensation value of this contract, but knowing the Red Sox and the class they use to handle these decisions, I know it is fair market value.  I am relieved that I can call Boston home for the next seven years.  As we all now, the Hub has some of the finest schools and colleges in the world and my family and I are grateful for those opportunities."

"Baseball is a business.  People and loved ones who understand me would say, 'Adrian would play the game for nothing.  He would like to play baseball in a parking lot in front of young fans to get them to appreciate and love the game.'  I love this game, I love the fans, the camraderie with my fellow teammates.  I am glad to be able to be here for Red Sox fans around the world.  Thank you very much you Kool-Aid drinking impressionable schmucks !



Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: April 15, 2011 3:37 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

And I am convinced that PIT and KC have no interest in winning one.

TarlsQtr-  Have you noticed KC's record lately?  I think they are more than interested.  Might take a couple of year, but if they can keep from losing their best players to FA, maybe they can join the party.



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Red Sox finally extend Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez might have flourished with the Padres in the supposedly "weak" NL West but how will he fare in the supposedly "tough" AL East. Haven't baseball general managers learned to never ever sign players to long-term big money contracts? This contract works out to only $22 million a year, but I think the Red Sox would have been better served if they gave him $24 million a year for only 5 years. We all know that the 6th and 7th years are lost years because the player is just a shell of his once former glorious self.


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