Report: The Red Sox have a tentative contract extension in place for Adrian Gonzalez

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Bob Nightengale reports that the Red Sox have a preliminary agreement to sign Adrian Gonzalez to a seven-year $154 million extension. The deal probably won’t be announced until April because of the luxury tax, however.

Two observations:

  • If Gonzalez couldn’t bootstrap the Jayson Werth deal into something bigger for himself, there’s no reason to think that Carl Crawford can, as so many people are assuming he will. Just because the Nats are dumb doesn’t mean any other teams are; and
  • If there really is a deal in place now, this waiting until April to avoid the luxury tax business is silly.  When the game is being so transparently rigged, it’s time to change the rules of the game.

All of that said, anyone who thinks that the Sox traded for Gonzalez without thinking that they were certain that an extension would get done is nutso.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.