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Gonzalez finally signs, scratch BoSox off of Pujols' list

Slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has finally inked his long-rumored long-term contract with the Red Sox likely taking Boston out of the potential market for Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols.

The contract will pay Gonzalez $154 million for seven seasons -- or $22 million a year. The Redbirds supposedly offered Pujols $21 million a season for nine years -- $189 million -- or $23 million for seven years -- $161 million. Pujols camp disputed the numbers, but it's fairly obvious that the Cardinals would have to do better than those offers if they want to sign Pujols.

Gonzo is a three-time all-star and a career .282 hitter with 169 homers. Pujols is a three-time MVP, a nine-time all-star and a career .331 hitter with 410 career homers.

While the Sox, who also lavished $140 million on speedy outfielder Carl Crawford last off-season, are likely out of the Pujols derby, I still don't believe the Yankees aren't a threat.

Sure, they have Mark Teixeira at first base, but current DH Jorge Posada is about done for. And, while Pujols might not sign to be a DH, there's nothing to stop the Yankees from ordering Tex to make a position change. Besides, he's half way through his eight-year contract. So, Texeira could much more likely be traded now than when the deal was new, and the Yankees could let him go as a free agent before Pujols' new deal was half over.

I still think the Birds' best chance to sign Pujols is to try to do something at the All-Star break -- BEFORE he reaches the open market. It seems laughable when a deal couldn't be worked out over the last two years that an agreement can be reached in the five-day window the Birds would have at the end of the season. Sounds like just enough time for a take it or leave it offer.

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