Sean McAdam of Comcast New England reports that the Red Sox have agreed to a seven-year, $154 million extension with Adrian Gonzalez. The team plans to announce the deal at press conference later today.
This has been in the works for a long time. Many believe that it was agreed to in principle several months ago and was being held back due to luxury tax implications (i.e. if it was signed after Opening Day, the luxury tax hit won’t come until 2012). But it ain’t official until the ink is put to paper, and that has happened now.
Gonzalez’s $154 million deal would be the biggest contract John Henry has given out since taking over the Red Sox and the second biggest Red Sox contract ever, after Manny Ramirez’s $160 million deal. And in my view, it’s a good investment. Gonzalez seems tailor made for Fenway, and he is one of the best defensive first basemen in the game.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.