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.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.