Gonzalez hopes to resolve his health, contract

Gonzalez hopes to resolve his health, contract
February 18, 2011, 2:23 am
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By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Adrian Gonzalez is happy to be a member of the Red Sox. He'll be happier still when two issues get resolved -- his surgically-repaired right shoulder and a completed contract extension.

Gonzalez underwent surgery on his right shoulder in October, but is waiting to get get clearance from surgeon Dr. David Altchek to begin swinging. That should come next week and could put him a week ahead of schedule.

"I'm looking forward to that day," he said. "I've been counting the days now. Hopefully, when the doctor sees me, he clears me and I can start swinging that day or the following day. It's different (not being allowed to swing at the start of spring training), but I'm in no rush. It's a process and you don't want to get ahead of anything."

Gonzalez said he and the Red Sox were waiting to hear back from Altcheck Thursday to set up an appointment. The visit will take place in Port St. Lucie, across the state (Altchek is based there as the Mets' team physician), and should take no longer than 15 or 20 minutes.

Originally, the Sox and Gonzalez had set March 1 as a tentative date for when the first baseman would beging swinging, with a Grapefruit League debut three weeks later. Under the revised timetable, Gonzalez would appear to be about a week ahead of schedule, meaning he might see some game action in the second week of March.

"There's zero discomfort, zero limitations (with the shoulder)," he said. "I'm exactly where I need to be post-surgery. Everything's going as planned. It feels great. I know I could swing today if I wanted to, but there's no rush. I'll be ready for Opening Day. I feel like I'll be 100 percent. April 1 is definitely something I should be ready for."

Gonzalez added that he customarily doesn't swing until "spring training, so I'm not too far behind," where he would be in any other off-season.

Then there's the issue of his contract. There's a general feeling around the Red Sox that Gonzalez and the club have essentially reached agreement on a seven-year, 154 million extension, but are waiting until after Opening Day -- for payroll and luxury tax purposes -- to finalize it and officially announce it.

"Hopefully, we can get it done sooner rather than later," said Gonzalez. "From my end, I want to show them I'm healthy and I'm playing 100 percent out there."

Gonzalez said he watched the recently concluded negotiations involving Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals with some interest, but said those talks wouldn't have much influence on his own.

"He's him and I'm me," said Gonzalez. "For the most part I feel he's the best player in the game so you can't really compare yourself to him."

Said GM Theo Epstein: "I think it was well documented that we had a lot of conversations in the window that led up to the trade. As we said at the time, we developed a lot of mutual trust and understanding. When the time is right, I think both sides will be able to sit down, be fair with each other and hopefully work something out."

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