Report: The Red Sox have a tentative contract extension in place for Adrian Gonzalez

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Bob Nightengale reports that the Red Sox have a preliminary agreement to sign Adrian Gonzalez to a seven-year $154 million extension. The deal probably won’t be announced until April because of the luxury tax, however.

Two observations:

  • If Gonzalez couldn’t bootstrap the Jayson Werth deal into something bigger for himself, there’s no reason to think that Carl Crawford can, as so many people are assuming he will. Just because the Nats are dumb doesn’t mean any other teams are; and
  • If there really is a deal in place now, this waiting until April to avoid the luxury tax business is silly.  When the game is being so transparently rigged, it’s time to change the rules of the game.

All of that said, anyone who thinks that the Sox traded for Gonzalez without thinking that they were certain that an extension would get done is nutso.

Cubs have considered trading Ben Zobrist

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The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports that the Cubs have considered trading super-utilityman Ben Zobrist in order to free up payroll space, which would allow the club to address other areas of the roster.

Zobrist, 37, is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $12 million in 2019. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Cubs project to have an Opening Day payroll of about $204.5 million, just a hair below the luxury tax threshold of $206 million. The Cubs have notably been absent from the free agent marketplace, particularly involving Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, due to luxury tax concerns.

Last season, Zobrist hit .305/.378/.440 with nine home runs, 58 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 520 plate appearances. He played all over the field, logging 100-plus innings in both outfield corners and second base while also spending a handful of games at first base. With Addison Russell serving a 40-game suspension to open the 2019 season, Javier Báez will handle shortstop and Zobrist figures to be the starting second baseman.