The Red Sox may want to wait on officially inking a contract extension with Adrian Gonzalez, but they do want some terms in place before signing off on their blockbuster five-player trade with the Padres. And it’s now officially crunch time.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Sox won’t finalize the Gonzalez trade unless the first baseman agrees to an “understanding” toward a long-term deal. The deadline for negotiations has been set at 2pm ET — less than 30 minutes from now.
Gonzalez is thought to be seeking a contract similar to the five-year, $125 million one that Ryan Howard signed with the Phillies earlier this year. That’s far from unreasonable, but the Red Sox rightfully have some concerns about Gonzalez’s shoulder, which he had surgically repaired in October.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.