Shortly after the Red Sox officially introduced Adrian Gonzalez late Monday morning, reports began to surface that the two sides had reached an agreement on the now infamous contract extension.
According to SI's Jon Heyman, Boston and Gonzalez have agreed to a seven-year contract extension for "about $154 million," keeping the prized first baseman in Fenway Park through the 2018 season for an average of about $22 million/year. Combined with the $6.2 million Gonzalez is due in 2011, and that bring Boston's total investment to eight years and about $161 million.
For the record, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal is hearing something similar and tweets that the extension "will be no more than 7 yrs/154M - a 22M average salary."
Mark Teixeira signed with the Yankees for $180 million over eight years (roughly $22.5/year), while the Phillies secured Ryan Howard with a five-year, $125 million extension.
Heyman adds that the extension won't be finalized yet for "tax considerations." As previously noted, it's in the Red Sox' best interest to wait until after the 2011 season starts to announce an extension.
If the extension is signed after Opening Day rather than before it, then it would not be factored into the calculation of Gonzalez' AAV for the 2011 season. So, he would have a $6.2 million CBT hit in 2011, and then count for $22 million (or whatever the average salary is of his long-term deal) against the luxury tax threshold during the life of the extension.
That would means the Sox can still be big players in the free agent market as they search for a corner outfielder and relief pitching -- notably former Angels LHP Brian Fuentes, whom they've expressed interest in, according to a number of sources.