ESPN's Peter Gammons is reporting that free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez has negotiated a three-year, $14 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds, pending a physical.
Gonzalez, a slick-fielding shortstop who replaced Edgar Renteria in Boston, is a nine-year veteran who batted .255 with 99 hits and 50 RBI last season for the Red Sox. He had a .985 fielding percentage in 111 games at shortstop in 2006.
He played in Boston under a one-year deal he signed after spending the first eight years of his big-league career with the Florida Marlins. He has a career batting average of .246 and a career fielding average of .970.
The Reds, who have been looking to upgrade their defense, started 2006 with Felipe Lopez at shortstop and ended with veteran Royce Clayton at short. Lopez was dealt to the Washington Nationals on July 13 as part of an eight-player trade that also sent Austin Kearns and Ryan Wagner to D.C. and brought back Clayton, Bill Bray, Brendan Harris and Gary Majewski.
The Reds had a .979 fielding percentage and committed 128 errors in 2006 -- second-worst in the NL behind the Nationals in both categories.