|Alex Gonzalez Signs With Toronto||11.26.09 at 11:12 am ET|
Eric Goldschmidt, agent for shortstop Alex Gonzalez, confirmed in a text that Gonzalez signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays last night. The news was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford learned that Gonzalez will make $2.75 million next year, with the Jays holding a $2.5 million option for 2011.
Gonzalez, who was the Red Sox starting shortstop after Boston acquired him from Cincinnati in a trade in mid-August, hit .284 with a .316 OBP and .453 slugging mark in 44 games for the Sox this year, his second stint with the club.
The Sox declined Gonzalez’ $6 million mutual option for the 2010 season, but did have interest in bringing him back for less guaranteed money. Boston said that they would offer the shortstop $3 million to return, but that he would have to wait for the winter meetings. But Gonzalez elected not to wait, instead going with the bird in hand from the Jays.
While the team viewed his defense as having provided a significant upgrade down the stretch, the team did harbor concerns about the lineup impact of a player with a career .294 OBP.
“At a time of the year when we had a lot of moving parts at shortstop, he was really a stabilizing force. When the ball was hit, you’re out. Nobody more than myself, I appreciated I a lot, because we had a lot of moving parts. Going forward, to have him back, from our front office’s side, if we could get him back at the right price, yeah. We would enjoy that,” explained manager Terry Francona in a visit to the Dale & Holley Show a week ago. “The thing to remember with Gonzy, what he did the last six weeks of the season was really helpful. [But] when you look at that .310 on-base percentage, for a full year, if that’s what you’re going to go with, you’ve got to recoup that somewhere else. That’s something to think about.”
The Boston Herald, meanwhile, is reporting that the Red Sox are “at or near the top” of the list of preferred destinations for Marco Scutaro, according to Scutaro’s agent, Peter Greenberg. Scutaro, who played shortstop for the Blue Jays in 2009, is believed to be seeking a three-year deal.
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