FORT MYERS - Adrian Gonzalez' agent, John Boggs, said he would "extremely surprised" if a contract extension between his clent and the Red Sox didn't get done.
Boggs met with Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington today in Fort Myers and came away encouraged. Boggs felt a deal could be worked out as soon as sometime in April and that both sides understand the parameters involved. Boggs said he has no problem coming to an agreement even with the deals for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder unresolved. He said Gonzalez walked away from an offer in December because it did not meet his bottom line. Boggs said this was the first time the sides had spoken since December and continued to claim that no deal has been in place as has been speculated on in some media circles.
Boggs also had lunch with Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was in the lineup last night against David Price and Tampa Bay and was also scheduled to play in a minor league game on Wednesday.
One powwow that will take place will be after tonight's game when Francona, pitching coach Curt Young and Epstein get together to discuss the status of potential moves and to plan out innings for relievers over the next few days.
When asked whether he was any closer in his own mind in deciding about the final two bullpen spots, he said. "No."
Francona will have to choose a lefty reliever and a righty.
Dennys Reyes seems to be the front runner and he has a Friday out in his contract.
"He has late sink, good sink, late breaking breaking ball. He's pitched four or five times. Those are decisions that are hard to make. He does have a good track record," Francona said.
It appears to be between Reyes, Hideki Okajima, who has options and possibly Rich Hill, who has performed well with his new sidearm delivery. The righty spot could come down to Matt Albers, out of options, and Alfredo Aceves, who can be sent down. There has been much speculation about the status of Tim Wakefield, but it would be surprising to see any move except a possible start of the year on the disabled list, even though there don't appear to be any ailments to justify it at present. The Red Sox would seem to need Wakefield at some point this season in the rotation.
Francona said that Darnell McDonald, who jammed a thumb in Monday's game, was fine but was held out a day for precautionary reasons.
We await the arrival of Manny Ramirez, who will be here with the Rays this evening.