Red Sox might wait on extension for Adrian Gonzalez

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The Red Sox traded prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes and a PTBNL to the Padres yesterday for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.  They got their man, and are now working toward a contract extension with Gonzalez in an exclusive negotiating window.

That window closes Sunday at 2pm ET, but it might not really matter.

Alex Speier of Boston-based WEEI.com speculates that the Red Sox could wait until the 2011 season begins to announce an extension.

Gonzalez underwent shoulder surgery in October and the Sox might want to see him throw, catch and hit before making a massive offer of guaranteed money.  The procedure went well and he’s recovering swiftly, but it only makes sense to ensure that the big man is healthy before signing off on a deal that is expected to look similar to the five-year, $125 million extension that Ryan Howard landed from the Phillies earlier this year.

The Red Sox can use their negotiating window to discuss parameters.  Then if all goes well in spring training, they can announce a new deal for Gonzalez just before Opening Day.

There will be a pitch clock for spring training

Associated Press
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Major League Baseball just announced that there will be a pitch clock for spring training. It will be a 20-second pitch clock, phased in like so:

  • In the first Spring Training games, the 20-second timer will operate without enforcement so as to make players and umpires familiar with the new system;
  • Early next week, umpires will issue reminders to pitchers and hitters who violate the rule, but no ball-strike penalties will be assessed. Between innings, umpires are expected to inform the club’s field staff (manager, pitching coach or hitting coach) of any violations; and
  • Later in Spring Training, and depending on the status of the negotiations with the Major League Baseball Players Association, umpires will be instructed to begin assessing ball-strike penalties for violations.

As is the case in the minors, the batter will have to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with at least five seconds remaining on the timer; and the pitcher needs only to begin his windup before the 20-second timer expires, as opposed to having thrown the pitch. The timer will not be used on the first pitch of any at-bat. Rather, it begins running prior to the second pitch once the pitcher receives the ball from the catcher.

The league has not decided if the pitch clock will be used in the regular season yet. It can do so unilaterally, without union approval, for one year if it chooses to since it first introduced the idea last year.

There will likely be a lot of complaining about this, but as someone who has been to several minor league games with the clock in place, it’s pretty seamless and not noticeable. Minor leaguers had few if any complaints about its implementation.