Adrian Gonzalez Not Concerned With Albert Pujols, Looking Forward to ‘Many Years’ With Red Sox

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February 17, 2011

Adrian Gonzalez Not Concerned With Albert Pujols, Looking Forward to 'Many Years' With Red Sox FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring training has barely begun, but most of the talk in Florida has surrounded one player, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.

Adrian Gonzalez Not Concerned With Albert Pujols, Looking Forward to 'Many Years' With Red Sox Although the Pujols negotiations have an impact in setting the market for the best first basemen in the game, his counterpart in Boston, Adrian Gonzalez, is barely paying attention.

Gonzalez said Thursday that he is only focusing on himself and not what Pujols gets or doesn't get from the Cardinals.

"No, he's him and I'm me," Gonzalez said when asked if his negotiations on an extension with the Red Sox are impacted by the Pujols situation. "I feel he's the best player in the game, so you can't really compare yourself to him."

Gonzalez and the Sox have been rumored to already have an extension in place for more than $150 million, but both sides apparently are still in the process of hammering things out. General manager Theo Epstein said Thursday that the team and Gonzalez have a "mutual understanding" on the situation.

To his credit, Gonzalez wants to prove his worth before actually signing a deal.

"We don't have any set deadlines. Hopefully we can get it done sooner rather than later," he said. "From my end, I want to show them I'm healthy and I'm playing 100 percent."

That process could rocket forward in about a week. Gonzalez will see Dr. David Altchek, who performed the player's right shoulder surgery. If everything checks out OK, Gonzalez could swing the bat for the first time that day.

It is a sight Red Sox fans, and the coaching staff for that matter, have been itching to see for some time. The mild-mannered Gonzalez is content waiting for the go-ahead. He normally doesn't start swinging until spring training anyway, so one extra week will not set him back much at all.

"I'm definitely in no rush. I want to get swinging already but it's a process and you don't want to get too ahead of anything," Gonzalez said. "It's good for me to talk to the guys and get to know the guys' swings, take a step back, and watch everybody else."

It's not as if Gonzalez is lacking in having anybody good to watch. One of the groups hitting in the cage Thursday included David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and fellow newcomer Carl Crawford. It was that star-studded foursome, among other things, that has Gonzalez head over heels for what lies ahead.

"It's great to be part of a group like this and hopefully we can be together for many years," Gonzalez added.

For that to happen, Gonzalez will focus on his negotiations and nobody else's.

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