Adrian Gonzalez Agent Says First Baseman Nearing Contract Extension With Red Sox

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Adrian Gonzalez Trade Pulled Off Between Red Sox And Padres After All

Re-write everything. Then re-write everything again. The Adrian Gonzalez trade has taken its latest twist, and according to Jon Heyman, the deal is done. A press conference is expected for Monday.

To recap, the Red Sox and Padres agreed in principle to an Adrian Gonzalez trade on Thursday night. Gonzalez was set to become a free agent after the 2011 season, and the Red Sox were given until 2pm ET Sunday afternoon to work out a contract extension. No such contract extension was reached, but there remained a possibility that the trade could still go down anyway, and, now, it has.

Unclear is whether a contract extension agreement has been reached, but if one hasn't, then the Red Sox are presumably confident that they can get something done with Gonzalez before he becomes a free agent. They're still trading Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, and a fourth player to the Padres, and that would be a hefty load to give up for one year of a player.

The 28-year-old Gonzalez has been one of the better hitters in baseball over the last few seasons despite spending half his time in an extreme pitcher-friendly ballpark, and his good defense and power to all fields should make him a superstar in Boston.

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Adrian Gonzalez Trade To Red Sox Possibly Off As Contract Extension Can't Be Reached

The Red Sox figured they'd made arguably the addition of the offseason when they swung an Adrian Gonzalez trade with the Padres that brought the star first baseman to Massachusetts. However, Gonzalez is set to be a free agent at the end of the year, and the trade was contingent on the Red Sox being able to get Gonzalez signed to a contract extension. And according to Jon Heyman, they couldn't.

Gonzalez and the Red Sox had until 2pm ET Sunday afternoon to work out a new contract. This was considered a "soft" deadline, and Alex Speier reported that the two sides were still working right up to and through the limit, but nothing materialized. The 28-year-old Gonzalez was rumored to be seeking an eight-year contract, while the Red Sox were reluctant to go that long and wanted to keep things a few seasons shorter.

There had been reports that the Red Sox would be willing to swing the trade even if they couldn't get Gonzalez signed, but, evidently, that wasn't true. And so all of this action may have gone for naught. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox and Padres can still talk about the deal, and that only the contract negotiation window has closed. The trade isn't yet completely dead. But the most likely scenario now is that Gonzalez returns to the Padres, where he may play out the season, while the Red Sox turn their attention to signing Jayson Werth and re-signing Adrian Beltre

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Adrian Gonzalez Trade: Red Sox, Padres Agree To Deal In Principle

On Saturday, MLB.com is confirming that the Red Sox and Padres have, in principle, agreed to a trade that would send Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, though an official contract is still yet to be signed. The teams themselves have yet to confirm the trade to the media.

Gonzalez, who posted a .904 OPS last season, is arguably one of the top five hitters in baseball, and the prospect of him in the middle of the already-powerful Red Sox lineup is sort of frightening. He'll make up the heart of the order, along with Kevin Youkilis (.975 OPS in 2010) and David Ortiz (.899). This does mean, however, that the Sox are almost certainly not going to retain third baseman Adrian Beltre, as Ortiz is firmly entrenched in the DH spot and Youkilis will need to move to the five-hole in order to make room for Gonzalez.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein seemed intent on landing Gonzalez without having to wave goodbye to any major league talent, and he succeeded, but the Padres are certainly getting a lot more than bread crumbs. Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes, all minor leaguers, have been highly-regarded by scouts. Padres general manager Jed Hoyer has offered some pragmatic remarks regarding the decision to trade away Gonzalez:

“My view is that we have a great player,” Hoyer said Friday. “We’re also aware that player is not going to be here in 2012. While we would never minimize the value of the 2011 season, we have to think about the long-term health of the franchise.”

While it's no fun to trade away your franchise's best player months after coming within a game of a playoff spot, he's right. The Padres were and are apparently unable to support Gonzalez by placing another power hitter in the lineup, and re-signing him to a massive deal without building a quality bat or two around him doesn't make much sense.

This seems to be a solid move by both teams. For more, check in with our Red Sox blog, Over the Monster, and our Padres blog, Gaslamp Ball.

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