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02/06/2006 2:34 PM ET
Red Sox agree to 2006 contract with free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez
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BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein made the announcement. Terms were not disclosed.

To make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, first baseman Roberto Petagine was designated for assignment.

Gonzalez, who turns 29 on February 15, is a veteran of all or part of eight major league seasons with the Florida Marlins. The native of Venezuela is a career .245 (788-for-3,221) hitter with 183 doubles, 23 triples, 81 home runs and 375 RBI in 896 major league games.

Regarded as one of the elite defensive shortstops in the game, he made a career-low 16 errors each of the last three seasons and owns a .968 career fielding percentage.

Signed by Florida as a non-drafted free agent in 1994, Gonzalez established career highs and led all National League shortstops with 23 home runs and 79 RBI in 2004 before hitting .264 with five long balls and 45 RBI last season. The right-handed hitter and thrower has hit at least 30 doubles each of the last three seasons and in four of the last five years.

Selected to the National League All-Star team in 1999, his first full season in the major leagues, Gonzalez has averaged 15 homers and 68 RBI per 162 games over his career. The 6-foot, 202-pounder hit a 12th-inning walk-off home run against Jeff Weaver of the Yankees in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series, helping the Marlins to the World Championship.

Petagine batted .281 (9-for-32) with a home run and nine RBI in 18 games with the Red Sox last season after opening the year at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .327 with 20 homers and 69 RBI in 74 games. In parts of six major league seasons with the Astros, Padres, Mets, Reds and Red Sox, the 34-year-old is a .230 (78-for-339) hitter with 11 homers and 52 RBI in 211 games.

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