Just about a year ago (April 16, 2011 to be exact), the Red Sox announced they had agreed to a 7-year/$154-million contract with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez that would last until 2018. Even for a player who had consistently put up big numbers - he has a career batting average of .293 and from 2006-2011 he has averaged over 31 homeruns and 103 RBI - that was big money, especially considering he would be 37-years-old when the deal expired.
That deal looks like an absolute bargain today.
Since that deal was signed, Gonzo's fellow first basemen Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Joey Votto have all signed new contracts that seemingly dwarf the $21-million annual average value (AAV) of his contract. The 32-year-old (and three-time N.L. MVP) Pujols signed a 10-year/$246-million ($24.6M AAV) contract with the Angels this winter right before the 27-year-old Fielder signed a 9-year/$214-million ($23.8M AAV) deal with the Tigers. Yesterday the Reds announced they had agreed to a 10-year/$225-million ($22.5M AAV) contract with the 28-year-old Votto.
If Gonzalez continues to produce like he did in his first year with Boston (.338/27/117), the Red Sox will be getting one of the best deals in baseball and will have the financial flexibility to build a championship contender around him.