The Yankees secured their iconic shortstop this weekend, but what may happen in Boston may affect the 2011 AL East race even more significantly than Derek Jeter.
With a potential trade for San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox were seeking getting the big left-handed bat they missed out on when the Yanks swiped free agent Mark Teixeira from under their noses in 2009
The sides were working on an extension thought to be in the neighborhood of eight years and $160 million, but reports Sunday indicated Gonzalez and the team were still far apart in their negotiations.
However, assuming those numbers are addressed, the Red Sox will savor the other statistics Gonzalez might offer from the three-hole in their batting order. Experts indicate that the man who averaged 35 homers over the last three seasons could hit between 40 and 50 playing half his games at Fenway Park. As inviting as the Pesky Pole might be to him, remember that Yankee Stadium also has a comfortable right-field porch.
But Gonzalez can also spray hits to left and left-center. When hitting to the opposite field, his batting average was .516. And he’s knocked in 100 runs in three of the past four years.
He’s also a Gold Glove first baseman who would move the less-steady Kevin Youkilis to third, a player The Fielding Bible calls “as good as they come at fielding bunts.”
The Red Sox remain in the free-agent hunt for an outfielder so they can rid themselves of injury-prone Jacoby Ellsbury and possibly pick up right-handed hitter Jayson Werth. A combination of Werth and Gonzalez would make the Boston lineup dangerous to a much greater degree than re-signing Jeter made the Yankees.