Red Sox to get Adrian Gonzalez after all

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In a deal set to be announced Monday, the Red Sox will acquire Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres for right-hander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Reymond Fuentes.

The deal will get done without the extension Boston and Gonzalez were working on up until Sunday’s 2 p.m. ET deadline. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman says the two sides have the parameters of a deal agreed to, but will wait to finalize.

It’s possible that the two sides do in fact have an agreement, but the Red Sox will wait until April to announce it in order to stay out of the luxury tax for 2011. As is, Gonzalez will only count for $6.2 million for tax purposes next year. If he agreed to, let’s say, a seven-year, $154 million extension now, then he’d count as $20 million for 2011, potentially putting the Red Sox over the threshold at which they’d have to pay the luxury tax.

What looked like a potentially ugly day for the Red Sox now appears a whole lot better. No, they didn’t get Jayson Werth, but there were mixed signals on whether the team really wanted him anyway. And since Werth didn’t go to Detroit — and Carl Crawford is a big long shot to sign with the Tigers — the Red Sox will almost certainly get the first-round pick Detroit owes them for signing Victor Martinez. Crawford is the only remaining free agent who trumps Martinez in the Elias Rankings.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.