Report: Carlos Gonzalez gains extension

Updated: January 4, 2011, 3:35 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Carlos Gonzalez and the Rockies reached agreement on Monday evening on an $80 million, seven-year contract as Colorado continued outlaying big sums of money this offseason to sign some of its core players.

The outfielder must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Colorado has not yet announced the agreement.

"It's not at all finalized. But everything is practically concluded. All that's left are the physical evaluations," Gonzalez told Meridiano Television in Venezuela.

"It's a blessing for me to have this contract at such a young age," he added.

Even before the agreement was reached, Fabiola Bohorquez, a publicist for the outfielder, confirmed from Venezuela the deal was imminent. Gonzalez will soon fly to Denver to sign the contract, she said.

"He's really happy. He loves Denver and loves his teammates," Fabiola Bohorquez told the Denver Post by telephone.

Gonzalez, 25, won the National League batting title with a .336 average last season and finished third in the NL Most Valuable Player balloting to Cincinnati's Joey Votto and St. Louis' Albert Pujols.

If and when Gonzalez does agree to the extension, it would cover him through 2017, or his first three years of free agency.

Gonzalez looks to become the latest young member of the Rockies to get a big deal from the club.

Jorge De La Rosa, one of the top lefties on the free-agent market, agreed to a $21.5 million, two-year contract to return to Colorado.

In November, All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki signed an agreement that guarantees him $157.75 million over the next decade.

Now, Gonzalez will potentially have protection in the order for quite some time.

In a recent teleconference, Tulowitzki jokingly took a little credit for Gonzalez's late season run at the Triple Crown, especially since Tulowitzki was hitting behind the player known as "CarGo."

It was a pick-your-poison option as Tulowitzki turned in a sizzling September, hitting a franchise-best 15 homers and knocking in 40 runs.

Still, the production of Tulowitzki and Gonzalez, along with the pitching of ace Ubaldo Jimenez, wasn't enough to lift Colorado into the postseason last season.

The Rockies brought in versatile infielder Ty Wigginton in the hopes he can replace Melvin Mora, who signed with Arizona.

Gonzalez has been involved in two major trades in his burgeoning career. In December 2007, he was part of the deal that landed Dan Haren in Arizona and sent him to Oakland.

A year later, just as he was settling in with the Athletics, Gonzalez was shipped to Colorado, along with closer Huston Street and lefty Greg Smith, for All-Star Matt Holliday.

He's embraced the challenge of living up to Holliday's shadow, even if he faltered at first.

Gonzalez struggled early in 2009, before helping the Rockies into the postseason that season.

Information from ESPN.com senior write Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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