Red Sox sign Adrian Gonzalez

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Red Sox sign Adrian Gonzalez

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- What had been rumored for months was made official Friday -- the Red Sox and Adrian Gonzalez have agreed to a seven-year, 154 million contract extension.

The team held a 3 p.m. news conference to announce the signing.

Gonzalez, obtained from the San Diego Padres last December in exchange for four players, will sign the richest deal in total dollars ever given by Boston's current ownership. Manny Ramirez, who once landed an eight-year, 160 million deal with the Red Sox, was signed by the club's previous owners.

The contract is the second megadeal for the Red Sox in the last five months. At the winter meetings last December, a week after trading for Gonzalez, the Sox signed free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year, 142 million deal.

Earlier this week, the club also announced an four-year extension -- with two option years -- for pitcher Clay Buchholz, worth 30 million.

In the days following last December's trade, the Red Sox and agent John Boggs worked toward finalizing an extension for Gonzalez, who was under contract for one more season (2011) at a salary of 6.5 million.

When the trade was agreed upon, the sides were given a 48-hour window by Major League Baseball to come to terms on a new contract. That deadline passed, and the assumption was the deal would be scuttled. But they agreed to continue talks in the spring, and the Red Sox went ahead with the trade.

Boggs visited Fort Myers in late March to resume talks. The remaining issues, including finalizing contract language and some performance bonuses, were completed this week, sources said.

While he was in Fort Myers, Boggs said he would be surprised if a deal didn't get done sometime during the first month of the season.

The deal includes a signing bonus.

For the Red Sox, there was incentive to delay the signing until after the start of the season. By doing so, they can use Gonzalez's 6.5 million salary toward the luxury tax computation for this year. Had the extension been agreed upon before Opening Day, the average annual value of the entite deal -- about 20 million for 2011 -- would have applied.

The delay also bought some time for the Red Sox to evaluate the condition of Gonzalez's right shoulder, which was surgically repaired last October, about six weeks before the trade took place.

Gonzalez, who will turn 29 next month, reported to spring training on time, but didn't appear in a Grapefruit League game until March 12. The Sox then had the better part of a month to determine that Gonzalez was fully healthy and not limited by his shoulder.

The first baseman has started all 11 games thus far this season and is hitting .268 with a home run and seven RBI.

The average annual value of the extension, 22 million, is the eighth-highest for active players in the game. The 154 million, meanwhile, is the ninth-biggest contract in the history of the game.

Gonzalez had been a target of the Red Sox for some time, especially after the team failed in its pursuit of free agent Mark Teixeira after the 2008 season. The Padres, knowing they couldn't afford to sign Gonzalez to an extension and were likely to lose him to free agency when his current contract expired, began shopping him in earnest last winter.

San Diego GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod, eminently familiar with the Red Sox farm system from their time working under Theo Epstein, quickly zeroed in on Casey Kelly and first baseman Anthony Rizzo as the centerpieces to the deal.

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

Felger: Will October be a dance or a dud?

Felger: Will October be a dance or a dud?

For a Red Sox team that has been the best in baseball in September and had won 11 straight prior to last night, you have to admit: There are a lot of things that could go the other way with this team in the playoffs that wouldn't surprise you.

To wit:

-- Would it surprise you if David Price blew up again in the postseason? He has a 5.12 career postseason ERA and has never won a playoff start. Was last night a precursor? He looked like his old shaky October self with a chance to clinch the division in Yankee Stadium.

-- Would it surprise you if Clay Buchholz crapped his pants when it mattered most? This is your No. 3 starter, folks, or No. 4 at worst. He's getting the ball in the playoffs either way, and if I told you that two months ago you'd tell me the Sox are sunk. He looks good now, but we all know he is the ultimate tease.

-- Would it surprise you if John Farrell blows a game with a bone-headed decision from the bench? Of course not; he's been doing that for nearly four years. Yes, he did it all the way to a title in 2013, but the possibility remains very real. It's in the back of most everyone's mind.

-- Would it surprise you if Koji Uehara regresses and the eighth inning once again becomes a problem? Uehara certainly has the experience and has pitched well recently, but the fact is that it feels like his arm is attached by a noodle.

-- Would it surprise you if some of the Sox' youth shows its age? It shouldn't. Happens all the time. Would it surprise you if Craig Kimbrel can't find the plate in a big save situation? It shouldn't. He's shown glimpses of it all season and has never pitched past the division series in his career. Would it surprise you if Hanley Ramirez makes an important mistake at first? Or the Sox' hole at third becomes a factor? Nope and nope.

We could play this game all night.

Now, what do I think is going to happen? I think the Sox are going to pitch well, even Price, and the offense will remain a force. I have full faith in Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Rick Porcello and the lineup in general. There's a feeling on this team that's hard to ignore, likely inspired by Ortiz, and I think they'll keep it going in the postseason. I agree with those who say the Sox have the most talent in the American League, so that's a great place to start. I don't know if that means the ALCS, the World Series or a championship. I just think they'll continue to play well into October.

But all of that is just a feeling, just a prediction -- and you know what those are good for. The point is this: If it goes the other way for the Sox, I think we already have the reasons why.

E-mail Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz weekdays, 2-6 p.m., on 98.5 FM. The simulcast runs daily on CSN.

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

NEW YORK -- The division title was there for the taking Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. When you've won 11 straight and steamrolled every other team in the division, what's one more?

One too many, apparently.

The Red Sox' 6-4 defeat to the New York Yankees postponed the Champagne party for at least one night. In and of itself, that's not a huge concern. The Sox' magic number remains one with five games to play and the club's epic hot streak had to come to an end eventually.

A better night by either David -- Ortiz or Price -- might have resulted in corks popping and on-field celebrations.

Ortiz was 0-for-5 and stranded a total of seven baserunners. When he came to the plate in the top of the ninth against Tyler Clippard with two outs and two on, it almost seemed scripted.

Here was Ortiz in his final Yankee Stadium series, about to inflict one final bit of misery on the rival Yankees with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth.

Talk about drama. Talk about one more famous, final scene.

Alas, Ortiz took some feeble swings and swung through strike three for the final out. Not even Ortiz, for all his clutch performances, can conjure a game-winner on-demand every time.

A far bigger concern was the work of Price. Perhaps the best thing than can be said of him for now is that he almost certainly will not have to face the Yankees again this season, against whom he's compiled a gaudy 7.89 ERA this season.

More troubling, though, is that Price is not exactly hitting his stride as the postseason appears on the near horizon. In his last three starts combined, Price has pitched 19 1/3 innings and allowed 27 hits and 14 runs.

That isn't the line of someone at peak form at the right time. To the contrary, after a run of outings in which it again appeared Price had figured everything out, he's regressed in his last three.

Most troubling Tuesday was a repeated inability to turn back the Yankees after his team had pulled close on the scoreboard.

Price spotted the Yankees a 3-0 lead, and the Sox finally scored twice in the top of the 6th to close within one at 3-2. But Price quickly gave anther run back in the bottom of the inning.

Then the Sox scored two more times in the seventh to tie things at 4-4. . . but Price gave the two runs right back in the bottom of the inning.

"Very frustrating,'' sighed Price. "It's something I talk about all the time. It's a very big deal. And it's something I feel like I've struggled with this entire year. Whenever you're going good, it's something you're doing very well. And whenever you're going bad...you get a lead, give it right back. . . that's tough.''

It also doesn't portend well for the postseason, where Price, as you may have heard, has a spotty track record.

With some strong starts in the final few weeks, he could have reached the playoffs with both momentum and confidence.

Instead, he's got one more start -- Sunday -- to straighten things out.

Ortiz? His postseason bona fides are set.

Price, meanwhile, has no such reservoir of success upon which to draw. And starts like Tuesday's only reinforce the doubts.