Agent: Gonzalez deal likely only weeks away

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Agent: Gonzalez deal likely only weeks away

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Almost four months after obtaining him in a deal, the Red Sox still don't have a contract extension done with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. But his agent, in town to meet with Red Sox management Tuesday, said a new deal is likely only weeks away.

Negotiations broke down in the 48-hour window the sides had in the first week of December, but there was an understanding even then that Gonzalez was seeking a seven-year, 154 million deal.

That, of course, would represent the second-biggest deal ever given by the Red Sox and the biggest ever given by the current ownership group.

John Boggs, who represents Gonzalez, met with general manager Theo Epstein and assistant GM Ben Cherrington and came away with the meeting filled with optimism.

"It was a very positive meeting,'' said Boggs. "At the end of the day, everything has been as expected. I just think it's going to move very positively in the direction of probably trying to get something done sometime in April.''

As has been widely reported, there's an accounting and payroll benefit for the Red Sox to announce a new extension after April 1, Opening Day.

If the Sox make a deal official before then, the average annual value of the entire deal would be applied toward their payroll for 2011. If it's completed after April 1, the Sox get to use Gonzalez's budget-friendly 2011 salary of 6.25 million.

Nonetheless, Boggs and the Red Sox continue to maintain that the lone holdup is the slugger's health. He underwent surgery last October to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and, because of that, didn't appear in a Grapefruit League game until March 12, two weeks after exhibition games began.

"The main thing,'' said Boggs, "is the health issue. When he's seen to be every day, playing competitively in a regular season, I think the Red Sox are going to have a degree of comfort and obviously, that will be a time to probably get something done.

"Prudently, probably, on their part, they just want to see him play back-to-back-to-back-to-back, get into the season and say, 'OK, we're good to go.' ''

Asked for a specific timetable, Boggs said: "I would anticipate something around April. When in April, I don't know. It could be the beginning, middle, end -- but that's it. That's really the parameters we're looking it. If something drags it on past that, then, yeah, we'll probably have to revisit a lot of things. But I don't anticipate that at all.''

Boggs emphasized that no new ground was broken during Tuesday's meeting and that it was merely a continuation of where they left off in December and hinted that there's a degree of inevitability to an extension.

"I would be very surprised if a deal didn't get done,'' he said. "You can always be surprised in life, but I would be very surprised. There were very positive feelings on both sides. There's a lot of relationships in the past. I've deal with Theo a lot. I've dealt with Larry Lucchino a lot. John Henry was the first owner Adrian played for with the Florida Marlins. There's so many relationships involved here that if you can't have an agreement, I probably can't have one with anyone.''

Beyond the general parameters in place, Boggs said there's other work to do before a deal is in place, covering performance bonuses, award incentives and other "nuanced" parts of the deal.

But he reiterated that Gonzalez isn't concerned that he signing months ahead of two other potential free agent first basemen -- Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.

"Adrian made it perfectly clear in December where his bottom line was and if they were ready to accept his bottom line, he wasn't going to play those logistic options . . . Adrian knew what it was going to take, bottom line. He wasn't concerned with chasing after or breaking salary records. He just wants to be fairly compensated.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays

 

QUOTES:

"Rick has been the model of consistency.'' - John Farrell on starter Rick Porcello

"It means that we have a heck of a team, really. The runs we put up, and I don't think anybody talks about our defense.'' - Porcello, asked about the significance of being baseball's first 18-game winner.

"It's cool to be a part of that, but we're in a race right now and that's way more important.'' - Mookie Betts on the crowd chants of "MVP!" during his at-bat.

 

NOTES

* Hanley Ramirez has nine extra-base hit in the last 15 games.

* Opposing baserunners have stolen only 54 percent of the time when Sandy Leon is behind the plate, the lowest figure for any Red Sox catcher (minimum 20 games) since 1987

* Brock Holt tied a season high with three hits, including two with two outs and runners in scoring position.

* Mookie Betts set a career high with 72 extra-base hits.

* Betts became the third player in franchise history to have a 30-homer season before the age of 24. Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro are the others.

* Betts has five homers and 13 RBI in his last five home games.

* Rick Porcello is just the fifth major league pitcher since 1913 to begin a season 13-0 at home

* Porcello is the third Red Sox pitcher to win 18 of his first 21 decisions after Cy Young (1902) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (2008)

* David Ortiz leads the majors in doubles, slugging percentage and OPS.

 

STARS:

1) Rick Porcello

The righthander became the first 18-game winner in the big leagues and he did it by supplying seven innings for the sixth straight start while improving to 13-0 at home.

2) Mookie Betts

Betts gave the Red Sox an early lead with his 30th homer of the year, becoming the third player in franchise history to reach that milestone before the age of 24.

3) Travis Shaw

Shaw broke out of a month-long slump with a three-hit game, including a double, to go along with two RBI.

 

First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

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First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

First impressions from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays:

 

* Rick Porcello followed form.

Porcello has, throughout the season, struggled some in the early innings before making some adjustments and stabilizing as the game wears on.

So it was Monday night against the Rays.

Coming into the start, Porcello had compiled a 4.15 ERA in the first three innings with a 2.13 ERA in innings four through six.

Sure enough, Porcello allowed four straight hits and two runs in the third inning. After that, he looked like a different pitcher. He did yield a solo run in the fifth when he gave up a leadoff double and two groundouts.

But from the fourth through the seventh, he faced 13 hitters and retired 12 of them, including five by strikeout.

 

* Travis Shaw showed signs of digging out his funk at the plate.

Shaw was 0-for-6 to start the homestand, and since the beginning of August, had compiled an anemic .141/.236/.264 slash line with only four extra-base hits (two doubles, two doubles).

That resulted in Shaw losing playing time to Aaron Hill at third, and being dropped lower in the batting order.

But Monday, Shaw smacked a double to right -- the kind of extra-base power that he almost routinely flashed in the first half -- and later added two singles for a three-hit night.

It marked the first multi-hit game for him since July 26, better than a month ago.

 

* Lo and behold, the Red Sox can collect hits with the bases loaded.

The team's struggles in that department have been well-chronicled. Coming into the night, the Sox were hitting just .211 in such situations, ranking them 14th out of the 15 A.L. teams.

Time after time, the Sox have failed to come through with the bases full, sometimes even with no outs.

But that wasn't the case Monday. Twice, in fact, the Sox had innings with the bases loaded and both times, they scored.

In the second, Brock Holt's single to left scored Chris Young, though Sandy Leon was cut down at the plate when the Sox tried to get two runs out of it.

In the seventh, a sharp single to center by Sandy Leon scored two more.