Adrian Gonzalez 2009

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Adrian Gonzalez 2009

2009 was Gonzalez' breakout year, as he reached the 40-homer plateau for the first time and was named one of baseball's two most underrated players in an MLB.com poll of executives and managers. He was named to the All-Star team again, and also won another Gold Glove. He became the first Padre to have six hits in a nine-inning game when he went 6-for-6 against the Brewers on Aug. 1.

His affordable contract also made him one of baseball's most sought-after players -- with the Red Sox again as one of the suitors -- but San Diego had him under contractual control through 2011 and was not inclined to trade him.

Here he's shown posing with his father, who was a member of the Mexican national baseball team in his youth, prior to a game on Father's Day in San Diego.

2009 STATISTICS

GAMES: 160
AT-BATS: 552
RUNS: 90
HITS:153
DOUBLES: 27
TRIPLES: 2
HOME RUNS: 40
RBI: 99
WALKS: 119
STRIKEOUTS: 109
BATTINGAVERAGE: .277
ON-BASE PERCENTAGE: .407
SLUGGING PERCENTAGE:.551
OPS:.958
OPS : 162
SALARY: 3.125 million

Stats courtesy baseball-reference.com.Photos courtesy of AP Images.

ADRIAN GONZALEZ, YEAR-BY-YEAR

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

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Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”