Gonzalez no longer an option for Sox

Gonzalez no longer an option at short

BOSTON -- As the Red Sox explore options at shortstop, they can cross off the name of Alex Gonzalez, who has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.

When the Red Sox declined Gonzalez's $6 million option earlier this month, general manager Theo Epstein said the club was still open to bringing him back under the right circumstances.

Apparently, those circumstances never presented themselves and Gonzalez took the opportunity he found in Toronto, signing a one-year deal for $2.75 million that includes a club option for 2011.

One scenario that can't be completely ruled out is that the Red Sox and Jays could simply be swapping shortstops for 2010. Marco Scutaro, who turned in a career year for the Jays last season, is a free agent and the Red Sox -- according to the Boston Herald -- have already expressed preliminary interest.

The one drawback in signing Scutaro is that he is a Type A free agent and would require Draft compensation, assuming the Blue Jays offer him arbitration by Tuesday's deadline.

In '09, Scutaro hit .282, scored 100 runs, clubbed 12 homers, drove in 60 runs and had a .379 on-base percentage.

Gonzalez made two pretty short-lived stints with the Red Sox. He was their starting shortstop in 2006, but left after that season to sign with the Reds. Boston brought him back last season in a deal with the Reds on Aug. 14, and he gave them the stability they had lacked at the position for most of the year.

In his 44-game return with the Red Sox, Gonzalez hit .284 with five homers and 15 RBIs. His on-base percentage was .316.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.