Gonzalez traded to Boston
Gonzo is the latest Reds veteran to have gone elsewhere.
SS Alex Gonzalez cleared waivers on Friday and was traded to the Red Sox for Class A Minor League shortstop Kris Negron. Cincinnati also sent cash to Boston in the deal.
“The Red Sox had interest in Gonzo and have had problems at shortstop,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We viewed this as an opportunity for him to play for a contender in a possible playoff situation.”
This move isn’t too stunning, to say the least. Gonzalez was in the final guaranteed year of his contract and the Reds held a $6 million option for 2010 with a $500,000 buyout. It always seemed unlikely the club would have picked that up.
In 68 games this season during a woeful season production-wise, Gonzalez batted .210 with three home runs and 26 RBIs. His on-base percentage was .258.
When you look at the return against the three-year, $14 million contract he signed with the Reds in the 2006-07 off-season, and Gonzalez was a bust. He batted .248 over his tenure and missed all of 2008 with a knee fracture. He missed a month this season because of elbow surgery. His defense is superlative but I still don’t think it added up to a successful run in Cincinnati.
Paul Janish will get the bulk of playing time at shortstop. Adam Rosales could also play there once Scott Rolen returns from the DL to play third base.
“I didn’t find out until I got to the yard,” Janish said about the trade. “Actually I stopped to sign autographs right before I got into the parking lot and one of the guys out there told me. I didn’t know. When I got in here, I found out. It’s bittersweet. Alex is a great dude but obviously this is a huge opportunity for me so I’m excited.”
Not Chris Valaika or Todd Frazier – both will remain in the minors for now.
“We think they should stay down and keep developing,” Jocketty said.
First baseman Kevin Barker was called up from Triple-A Louisville to take Gonzalez’s roster spot. Barker will be a left-handed bat off of the bench.
In 111 games for Class A Salem, Negron batted .264 with three home runs and 34 RBIs. The Reds will assign him to Class A Sarasota.
“We got a young player back that we like,” Jocketty said. “He has average-to-better tools in every category. We’ll see what happens.”
Since July 31, the Reds have dealt Jerry Hairston Jr., Edwin Encarnacion, David Weathers and now — Gonzalez.
Keep an eye on the Bill Hall situation with the Brewers. I’ve learned that the Reds have some interest. Hall was designated for assignment earlier this week but has yet to clear waivers. Jocketty did not want to comment on Hall, who is owed $11 million still by the Brewers. It’s likely his next team could pick him up for the league minimum.