Thanks to RN reader Dan for bringing this to our attention:


The Red Sox have completed a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, bringing shortstop Alex Gonzalez back to Boston.

Gonzalez is not expected to join the team until tomorrow in Texas. The most likely move would involve the Sox releasing infielder Chris Woodward to make room for Gonzalez on the roster.

Gonzalez, as Red Sox fans will recall, is an excellent defensive player who should sure up the team’s defensive issues on the left side of the infield. His contract calls for a $6 million club option next season, meaning the Sox will have the right to retain to his services.

It was unclear whom the Sox are sending to Cincinnati in exchange for Gonzalez. We hope to have more on on this shortly.

UPDATE: From reader, Travis, a bit more, including who the Reds received.

UPDATE 2: The return for Gonzo, as mentioned above, is 23-year-old shortstop Kris Negron, who was picked in the 7th round of the 2006 draft and is still languishing in A ball.

Also, the Reds are reporting that 1B Kevin Barker has been promoted from AAA. Welcome to Cincinnati, Kevin!

102 Responses

  1. shane

    Walt Jocketty for President
    not until Taveras is gone too

  2. rpa

    well, that’s one piece of debris cleared from the roster. hopefully taveras is right behind him.

  3. Bill Lack

    How big of news is this though? It was a mutual option, so the Reds weren’t going to pick it up…they still might sign him in the off-season. It saves a few dollars this year, but that’s about it and he’s not going to bring anything.

    Pretty much a nothing deal.

    Now, if Phillips is moved to SS tonight (or soon), then the deal impresses me.

  4. Chad Dotson

    Oh no, wait, I just thought of something. Dusty doesn’t have any other shortstops on the roster, and Hairston has been traded.

    What will Dusty do? Just play with 8 players and a hole at SS?

  5. John

    So…Jocketty unloads Hairston, an overplayed Dusty favorite, and a couple weeks later unloads Gonzo, another overplayed Dusty favorite.

    Very sneaky, Uncle Walter…very sneaky.

  6. Steve

    I bet Gonzalez doesn’t bat second in the Red Sox lineup.

    No matter who plays the last six weeks at SS (and I agree, I hope they try BP there, starting tonight) it will be better for the Reds long term. Try out Janish, Sutton, Rosales…anyone!

    What if we packed Taveras in Gonzalez’s duffle bag and ship him to Boston?

  7. rpa

    it saves a few dollars this year (gonzalez was due $5.375 mil this year, the season’s about 3/4 over so, what, $1.25 million plus change?). it’s not a mutual option for 2010, at least not at cot’s. gonzalez was due $500K if the reds did not pick up the option (gonzalez had the option to void it, but would forfeit the buyout… i have a feeling he would have happily stayed for $6 mil next year if the reds wanted him back).

    i’m just hoping the reds didn’t have to send any money to the sox to do this. if they didn’t, it doesn’t matter what they get back so long as another horrible waste of a contract isn’t headed back this direction.

  8. Dan

    I like it for that reason – it FORCES Dusty to play someone who might actually matter to the Reds future beyond 2009! How novel!

    (For similar reasons, please, just DFA Taveras. Today.)

  9. GregD

    SS? Who’s going to bat 2nd! Does this mean more Taveras in the OF? Taveras had been playing the OF batting 2nd on days that Gonzalez doesn’t.

  10. Dan

    I am slowly adjusting my opinion of Jocketty from “completely short-sighted moron” to “semi-reasonable man with a Scott Rolen fetish.”

    Release Taveras and my conversion will be complete.

  11. Abner

    Hmmm. I fear we all thought AGonz was an offensive black hole (well especially in the #2 hole). But I’m more than a little leery of seeing Janish play out the season at SS. I have a feeling Rosales gets a bulk of the playing time, knowing Dusty.

  12. Andy

    You’re missing the point, Bill. This was addition by subtraction. A-Gone (see what i did there?) was a massive pile of suck when he was in the line-up offensively and was coasting on reputation defensively. I know we’re not playing for much at this point, but this gives us an opportunity to evaluate what we have in-house (Janish, Sutton, minor leaguer?) for the rest of the year. This is the first move Walt’s made all year that’s made a lick of sense. I do think its sad that this is the only way to prevent Dusty from batting him 2nd.

  13. Dan

    I really want to see more Sutton, and I’d like to see Phillips play some SS!

    Also, Gomes-Dickerson-Balentien in the OF every day!!

    Please! I don’t ask for much! 😉

  14. GregD

    They’ve run out of 40-man roster position players (in AAA.) They have room to add players, but there is no one currently on the 40-man.

    It’s unfortunate that Valaika has had a down year.

    That’s why the Reds can’t perpetually play the “wait til next year” game. We’ve already started talking about 2011 as “the year”, but in doing that, you’re counting on IF Volquez can return healthy and IF certain minor leaguers continue to develop.

    I think a lot of fans thought Valaika was a 2010 solution in the middle of the Reds infield (and maybe he still is), but it is looking more likely that he’ll still be in AAA on opening day 2010.

  15. GregD

    wrt the money…if they didn’t send money the prospect will be nada. If they did send money, the prospect will be better (though obviously still not a “top” prospect.)

  16. Jared

    Chad – “What will Dusty do? Just play with 8 players and a hole at SS?”
    What’s new? At least now it doesn’t cost anything.

    What great news. I don’t even care what happens as a direct consequence, Alex Gonzalez had to go.

  17. Dan

    Totally agree, Greg. I’m expecting nothing in return, and I still really like the move.

  18. Dan

    I’ll say one thing for Theo… two thumbs up for him knowing when to “buy low.” 😉

  19. RiverCity Redleg

    @Andy #5, that’s funny sh*t.

  20. RiverCity Redleg

    Janish? Didn’t we cut a guy named Janish earlier in the year?

  21. Jimmy

    Trade Taveras for a bag of beads and a date with Dusty’s daughter.

  22. Travis G.

    Rob Bradford of reports that the Red Sox are sending minor league shortstop Kris Negron to Cincinnati in the deal. The Red Sox selected the 23-year-old in the seventh round of the 2006 draft and he’s now hitting .264/.338/.347 with 20 steals in high-A ball.”

  23. pinson343

    The Red Sox media and fans think this is a good move for them, and keep talking about Gonzo’s excellent defense. They think they’re getting the guy he was 3 years ago. They’re going to be mad at Theo very soon, and they’ve even run good SSs (young Edgar Renteria) out of town.

    Who will take Taveras ?

    I’m fine with trying out Sutton/Roasles/Janish, but I’d prefer an upgrade to Hardy.

  24. Sultan of Swaff

    While I think you have to move Phillips over if you don’t acquire Hardy (wouldn’t that be a coup?), tonite is not the time to do it. He’ll need a weeks worth of practice to stretch his arm out and reacquaint himself.
    Janish=Adam Everett

  25. Sultan of Swaff

    Hardy was rumored to Boston. One less competitor for his services, perhaps?

  26. pinson343

    (28) Yeh but we won’t be able to throw away the muffin stumps. Newman (“the cleaner”) will have to consume them.

  27. shane

    Come on guys, pay attention, Janish- seldom used relief pitcher, not very good

  28. RedBlooded

    I told you the Red Sox were desperate and in a panic. I just didn’t know how desperate. Now we need to convince them they really really need Tavarez. Oh well, I can dream. I think they might bite on Harang or even, miracle of miracles, Arroyo. They had AGon once and wanted him back. They had Arroyo. They could use some pitching.

  29. pinson343

    I actually like Gonzo – at least the player he used to be – but this is cause for celebration. WJ trades away one of Dusty’s boys, Dusty’s SS.
    Same thing with Hairston, but the problem there was that Hairston had value (Yankee fans love him so far) and we didn’t get enough in return.

    But keep in mind that Gonzo was Krivsky’s mistake. When does WJ own up to his own mistakes, especially the big mistake in CF.

  30. Jimmy

    Muffin stumps, hilarious. I’d trade Tavares for a case of halitosis, which would be fair since he’s left a bad taste in my mouth all year.

  31. pinson343

    (35) I seriously think the Red Sox could be interested in Arroyo, especially with the way he’s pitched lately. He’s still popular there, and don’t forget his role in the Red Sox first WS win in about 85 years. He pitches well down the stretch, and has the positive postseason experience. Plus they just gave up on Schmolz.

  32. shane

    Maybe we could convince the Sox that Gonzo isnt quite what he used to be and we’re feeling guilty about them giving us a good prospect for him, so we’re gonna throw in Taveras to even up the dael?

  33. Matt B.

    Phillips moving to SS after this would be the icing on the cake.

  34. GregD

    tonite is not the time to do it. He’ll need a weeks worth of practice to stretch his arm out and reacquaint himself.

    It’s the Natinals. It’s like a weekend worth of practice.

  35. brublejr

    Great news, now only if Taveras was dealt or waived…then it would make my day. 😀

  36. Sultan of Swaff

    Actually, this move makes me think it’s less likely Hardy gets traded. If Boston couldn’t pry him away, I don’t like our chances, especially being in the same division.
    Restating the obvious, move Phillips over and audition the kids.

  37. Matt WI

    Well how about that? A sensical front office move… and as people have said, if Phillips gets some time at SS, it’d almost be like Walt starting reading Redleg Nation. How sad is it that this is the most exciting thing we’ve had going in awhile?

  38. preach

    I guess Rolen made our quota for veteran presence. I still say take a flyer on Crosby. He’ll be cheap and the change of scenery will really benefit him.

  39. WORLD

    Gonzo didn’t fit here but he has been a decent major league shortstop.

    JJ Hardy, where are ya?

  40. Big Doofus

    I guess that I will never see this on Fox Sports Ohio again…

    AG: You’re washin’ the Reys. On Fox eesport ohio.

  41. Chad Dotson

    Another benefit to this trade:

    The temptation is no longer there for Walt to pick up Gonzo’s 2010 option.

    Yeah, it probably wouldn’t have happened, but now it definitely won’t. We can rest a tiny bit easier.

  42. crypticphrasing

    Reds reportedly are sending 1.1M along, so how much money is being saved??

    I’m glad he’s gone regardless.

  43. Matt Steele

    I’m pleased about this. Gonzalez was horrible this year and injuries wrecked most of his time here.

    Maybe we can get JJ Hardy this offseason and have a pretty good infield next year

  44. brublejr

    If that is true (@#52) then half of that covers the buy-out, but most importantly they won’t pick up the option, so whatever it took to get him outta here works for me. Plus they get a SS with speed…this is a good deal regardless.

  45. brublejr

    Wow, I really can’t believe Sox fans are that happy about Gonzo, very bizarre…

  46. RiverCity Redleg

    We are still owed a PTBNL from the Brewers. Does this not bode well that it could be Hardy? It would explain why we are trading our starting SS with no legitiment replacement already in place.

  47. Mark in CC

    Hopefully Janish gets some playing time now. I would have to say if he gets the balk of the playing time from here on out he has to hit at least .260 to put himself in serious contention for the job next year.

    Maybe Cozart will get the call too, to see what he can do. Even though Valaika hasn’t hit he might even get a look see, if he is finally healthy.

  48. Steve

    Negron is 23 and struggling in A-ball, unlikely to ever make it to the majors.

    Even with the Reds paying half the remaining salary and the buyout this is still a necessary move.

    I wonder if the Red Sox are aware about AG that “he’s a quick healer”(Baker)?

  49. Travis G.

    RT CincinnatiReds: “Reds trade Gonzalez and cash to Red Sox for minor league SS Kristopher Negron. Promoted IF Kevin Barker from Louisville.”

  50. Chad Dotson

    Just getting ready to report what Travis G did above….

    Glad to see that Kevin Barker is going to get a chance for a few more major league ABs. He’s earned it down at Louisville.

  51. Travis G.

    Just got Rob Butcher’s press release, thus officializing things:

    Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty today announced the acquisition of minor league SS Kristopher Negron from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for SS Alex Gonzalez and cash.

    Negron, 23, has spent the season at Class A Salem, where he hit .264 with 3 homers and 34 RBI in 111 games. He will be assigned to the Reds’ Florida State League affiliate in Sarasota.

    Gonzalez, 32, this season for the Reds hit .210 in 68 games. In June and July he missed 28 games following surgery to remove 4 loose bodies from his right elbow.

    To fill Gonzalez’ spot on the 25-man roster, the Reds have selected from Class AAA Louisville the contract of IF Kevin Barker. In 100 games for the Bats he hit .284 with 22 HR and 68 RBI. He will wear uniform number 60.

  52. Steve Price

    Barker can stand at 1b…and hit home runs… he’s earned his opportunity. Won’t be a star, but he should have been up here a long time ago.

    Major league career 71 games at 1b, 1 game in RF (.243, 6 homers in about 300 plate appearances

    Minor league career: 1214 games at 1b; 48 games in the outfield; none at 3b

  53. Mark in CC

    Yes he can play third. Does that put Rosales or Janish at short.

    How did Janish make the team in Florida over Rosales?

  54. Chris Garber

    Great move, as far as I’m concerned. It shows that Jockerty can recognize dead weight and sunk costs, and act accordingly.

    Now, the true value in this deal is putting BP at SS and giving it a go. If that works, it solves a HUGE problem for this team and with the various 2b options already in-house, makes the 2010 lineup a legitimate one (assuming Willy Taveras gets stuck down a well in the off-season).

  55. Steve

    Janish vs. Rosales in Florida was an extremely close decision, as they both had excellent springs. That’s one of the reasons we could afford to trade Jeff Keppinger – who was mired in one of the worst three-week slumps I’ve ever seen.

    Janish hit with quite a bit of power in Sarasota, which is one of the reasons I’d like to see the Reds start him for a couple of weeks to see how he would hit if got regular at bats. He’s a great fielder, super-strong arm.

    Although if the Reds want to try BP at SS I’d be for that, too.

  56. Steve

    I wonder if we are sending Taveras through waivers? Surely, yes. If some other team was foolish enough to claim him we’d wipe our hands of him (although Baker would have to get over it).

  57. Kurt Frost

    Thank goodness Hairston is gone or he would be the starting shortstop for the rest of the year. How many of Dusty’s guys are left?

  58. Matt B.

    So the Reds ended up saving about $900,000 since they sent $1.1 million to the Red Sox. Not bad.

  59. Steve

    Tonight’s Lineup

    Janish at shortstop (good) batting second (huh?) Taveras back leading off (ugh) Dickerson on the bench (sigh).

    Don’t underestimate the ability of Dusty Baker to undo all the potentially good moves by the organization through his incredibly stupid lineups.

    Taveras CF
    Janish SS
    Votto 1B
    Phillips 2B
    Nix LF
    Gomes RF
    Rosales 3B
    Tatum C
    Harang P

  60. MLH

    I’m surprised Gomes isn’t sitting after last night.

  61. The Mad Hatter

    It’s good to know, that lineups are made as to what your strengths and weaknesses are with the bat but what position you play.

  62. Dan

    Much rather see Dickerson and Balentien in there.

  63. Matt WI

    WJ to Theo Epstein: “Hey, Theo, I’ve got unload Gonzalez, Dusty won’t stop putting him out there with Taveras.”

    Epstein: Um, I’ve noticed and I’m not really interested

    WJ: I’ll take whatever you want to give me, and if he ends up even halfway decent, I’ll trade him back to you in a few years.

    Epstein: Well…. we are rich, so ok.

    WJ: Really? Great! I never thought that would work. What can I do to get you into a Willy Taveras too?

    Espstein: Now, now Walt. Let’s not get greedy. NOBODY wants Taveras, you’re going to have to DFA him.

    WJ: Yeah, can’t blame a guy for trying. Thanks Theo. Good luck in the World Series.

  64. The Mad Hatter

    should read aren’t made, please forgive

  65. David

    Steve at least Dusty didn’t convert Taveras to SS.

  66. David

    Seriously, this is a great move, but if they promote one more IFer from AAA before Stubbs I am going to cry.

  67. shane

    he didn’t have the arm, but he’s fast!

  68. David

    According to Sheldon the Reds have interest in Bill Hall.

  69. CVail

    This is what I like to call addition by subtraction. Adios Alex.

    Now we just need to get BP to short and we might not be terrible next year. Maybe.

  70. RiverCity Redleg

    They should have brought up Barker when Votto was on the DL instead of trying to cut and paste a 1B.

  71. al

    again, a laugher of a lineup. well, there’s really nothing left for walt to do, he’s just going to have to get rid of all the bad baseball players on the team, or else dusty will find a way to play them.

    this has actually turned into quite a firesale. i wonder if walt’s got any more working. i would almost feel like this season was worth it if they fired dusty and canned tavares. i mean c’mon, stubbs ain’t a world beater, but he’s better than willy in every way.

  72. al

    so barker is just a lefty off the bench now, right? i mean, our first baseman is one of 2 legitimate major leaguers on our team right now, i’d hate to see him sitting for some minor league hero.

  73. preach

    The only way I want Bill Hall is if he is Mr. Utility and not expected to be a starter next opening day.

    The only decent offensive numbers he has are AGAINST the Reds.

  74. doktor

    LOL. Got luv Dusty’s ol’ thinking cap. “Dang, walt just traded my other .200 hitting SS. what am i going to do? I dont know what to do. Hmmm, who is the Janish guy on my roster everyone speaks of. Crap, he must be good, has SS next to his name. great, means I can bat him 2nd as well. Whew, that was a close call there. almost an anxiety attack. My world is in balance.”

  75. jdarts84

    Batting Janish 2nd tonight of course, what a frickin idiot! Just replace one light hitting shortstop in the 2 hole with another. What is this guys malfunction? It’s like Walt is sending the message that the lineup construction just isn’t working and Baker does the best he can to F it up regardless.

  76. jdarts84

    doktor, it’s mind boggling isn’t it?

  77. Travis G.

    I was going to joke a couple hours ago about Janish batting second, but I figured it was too far-fetched for the joke to work. Shows what I know.

  78. jdarts84

    It’s so predictable what Baker does but in the back of your mind you’re hoping he’ll wake up one day and get it. But it’s NEVER gonna happen, the guy is so stubborn it’s laughable. I’m starting to think Dusty Baker and Mike Brown share the same brain, I’m serious.

  79. preach

    ” I’m starting to think Dusty Baker and Mike Brown share the same brain, I’m serious.”

    goes to show that being related to or team mates with a HOF’er do not guarantee you know what you are doing in any sport.

  80. GregD

    Yes, Barker should have been called up when Votto missed a month on the DL.

    I’m not sure why he’s the one to come up now, other than he has the most deserving AAA numbers. I thought they’d use the AAA playoff race as an excuse against some of their other players/outfielders, but this probably hurts Louisville the most while giving the Reds a LH pinch-hitter only, unless there are a lot of planned days off for Votto down the stretch.

    Hardy cannot be the PTBNL SS because he was on the ML roster at the time Weathers was traded to Milwaukee. It has to be a minor leaguer who was in the minors between the time of the trade and the time the PTBNL is named.

  81. Glenn

    I’m suprised that any club would trade anything more than a bucket of baseballs for Gonzo. The Sox must be pushing the panic button.

  82. KY Chip

    As both a Reds and Yankees fan, I wholeheartedly support the trade of Alex Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox.

  83. mike

    Re: “I’m surprised that any club would trade anything more than a bucket of baseballs for Gonzo. The Sox must be pushing the panic button.”

    I think the Sox are trying to catch a bold of lightning.

    Nick Green has a 70 OPS+ and a sub-.300 OBP while playing mediocre defense
    Lugo was traded
    Lowrie was hitting worse than Gonzo and is now on the DL
    neither Navarro or Tejada are ready

    I wondered if the same thing could happen with Taveras and the White Sox. The difference is Gonzo has hit in the past and Taveras really hasn’t cept for 1 year

  84. mike

    one more thing
    In August (I know it’s limited PA) Gonzo has hit .275/.333/.400 for .733

  85. brublejr

    I want to know in what “MLB Managers Manual” that it states the CF bats first and the SS bats second no matter who is playing.

    But in defense to Dusty with Rosales and Tatum also in the lineup, Janish is a better option than those two batting 2nd…

  86. Eddie

    I know I’m way late but I need to comment on this. What a great trade! You traded a guy who now plays average defense and hits like crap for a prospect at a weaker position in our organization SS…Win!
    You now get to see what Janish can give you full time. At the minor league level calling up Barker lets Dorn play 1st and gives him a chance to play full time.
    A bunch of wins in my mind.

  87. BigRedMike

    I just wanted to add that the fact that Gonzalez is finally gone is a great great thing!! He might have been my least favorite Reds players in a long time.

    Now, just get rid of Taveras and I would really get behind this team.

  88. doktor

    jdarts84 – i think you are on to something. “I’m starting to think Dusty Baker and Mike Brown share the same brain, I’m serious.” Maybe its not been Corey Patterson and Willy T dating Bakers daughter, I bet its Mikey-boy and he has been mentoring Dusty over dinners……… Nahhhhhhhhhhh. Not possible…. Is it?