The Adrian Gonzalez trade was prefaced by a negotiating window between Gonzaelz and the Red Sox. No contract was signed during that time, but it has been widely speculated that the sides agreed to a framework of a deal. Gonazalez spoke with the Providence Journal yesterday about that:
“We don’t have any set deadline. Hopefully, we can get it done sooner rather than later. But, from my end, I want to show them I’m healthy and I’m playing 100 percent out there.”
The Projo likewise spoke with Theo Epstein:
“It was well-documented that we had a lot of conversations during the window that led up to the trade. As we said at the time, we developed a lot of mutual trust and understanding, mutual faith that when the time is right, both sides will be able to sit down and be fair with each other and, hopefully, work something out.”
This is so cute. It will be even cuter when, almost immediately after Opening Day, they announce the deal they have likely reached but have not yet formally completed. With Opening Day being relevant, of course, because announcing a new contract then and not now kicks the Red Sox’ luxury tax hit down the road a year. They did the same thing with the Josh Beckett deal last season.
There’s no way to really prove this, of course. It’s not like Major League Baseball is going to put people under oath in an effort to find out if the Sox and Gonzalez actually do have a deal in place. They’re not even going to investigate it. And, technically speaking, there’s no ink on a contract.
But it does feel like the system is being gamed a bit. Does that bug you? It doesn’t keep me up at night or anything, but it kinda bugs me.