Adrian Gonzalez totaled eight hits in three games while facing the Padres for the first time since they traded him to the Red Sox in December and now leads the league in batting average (.359), RBIs (69), hits (109), and doubles (25) while ranking among the top three in slugging percentage (.609), OPS (1.019), and runs scored (55).
Gonzalez’s raw numbers were severely deflated by playing half his games in San Diego’s extremely pitcher-friendly ballpark, as his road numbers always dwarfed his home production. That has all changed now that Gonzalez is calling Fenway Park home, as he’s hit .380 with a 1.025 OPS in Boston.
Gonzalez has always been one of the truly elite hitters in baseball, but now his home ballpark is actually allowing his raw numbers to show his greatness. In addition to the .359 batting average Gonzalez is on pace for 151 RBIs, which would be the eighth-highest total since 1950. He’s also on pace to join Lou Gehrig, Chuck Klein, and Joe Medwick as the only players in baseball history to hit .350 or higher with 30-plus homers, 50-plus doubles, and 150-plus RBIs. Medwick was the last guy to do it … in 1937.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.