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Report: Sox 'working hard' to get Gonzalez

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  December 16, 2009 10:44 AM

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The Red Sox will introduce recent acquisitions John Lackey and Mike Cameron at separate press conferences this afternoon. But just because the Sox have spent over $100 million on that pair of players this week apparently doesn't mean Theo Epstein is done shopping.

In fact, according to one report this morning, the Red Sox general manager may have a masterstroke in mind. According to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, Epstein is "working hard to obtain" Padres slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, though he does note a deal is not close at this time.

Citing major-league sources, Rosenthal writes:

Jed Hoyer, the Padres’ new general manager -- and Red Sox’s former assistant GM -- wants a high price for Gonzalez, whose contract is one of the biggest bargains in baseball.

"Jed has been asking for a ton," one source said.

Rosenthal also notes that the signings of Lackey and Cameron may have made a trade more palatable for the Sox.

The addition of Lackey will give the Red Sox the flexibility to trade right-hander Clay Buchholz, who likely would be the centerpiece of any package for Gonzalez. Likewise, the addition of Cameron will give them the flexibility to trade outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Padres would be tempted to move Gonzalez if they could get Buchholz and Ellsbury in the same deal, sources say. However, the Red Sox would be very reluctant to include both, according to another source.

The 27-year-old Gonzalez has one of the most team-friendly contracts in baseball, with a $4.75 million salary next season and a $5.5 million team option the following season. The lefthanded hitter hit 40 home runs last season and won a Gold Glove for his defense at first base.

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