Source: Red Sox, Gonzalez agree on deal

BY foxsports • April 15, 2011

The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a seven-year, $154 million contract extension with star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, a major-league source confirmed to

The Red Sox will hold a press conference today at 3 p.m. ET to announce the deal. By waiting until after Opening Day to formalize the agreement, the Red Sox may be able to avoid Major League Baseball luxury-tax fees for 2011.

A source confirmed to that the agreement includes a $6 million signing bonus, along with $21 million salaries during the first five years of the contract. Gonzalez will earn a $21.5 million base salary in the final two seasons, 2017 and 2018.

The extension completes an expensive four-month period for the team, which included a seven-year, $142 million contract for free-agent left fielder Carl Crawford. Gonzalez was acquired in a December trade with San Diego for prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes and utility man Eric Patterson.

Gonzalez's deal includes the same no-trade language that the Red Sox included in the free-agent contracts of left fielder Carl Crawford and right-hander John Lackey, according to a source. Gonzalez can block trades to only two clubs, and the team that acquires him cannot subsequently send him to the Yankees.

The Red Sox, though, are off to a horrible start — 2-9, entering this weekend’s series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Gonzalez has an OPS of .801, not far off his career mark, but Crawford is mired in an astoundingly poor April: a .152 batting average with just one extra-base hit (a double).

Gonzalez is earning a $5.5 million base salary this year. The extension will take effect in 2012.

Without the extension, Gonzalez would have become a free agent after this season. But even now, the open market will include two superstar first basemen – Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.

— senior writer Ken Rosenthal contributed to this report.

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