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Gonzalez says 7-year Rockies deal finalized

Slugger Carlos Gonzalez says he has finalized a seven-year, $80 million deal with the Colorado Rockies.

The outfielder's publicist released a statement in his native Venezuela saying the deal will be signed Tuesday in Denver, where a news conference was announced by the Rockies. The statement quoted him as saying, "I'm happy and thankful to God because an agreement has finally been reached that benefits all of us who are involved."

Fabiola Bohorquez, a publicist for Gonzalez, confirmed last Monday that the deal was imminent, pending a physical.

Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd texted The Associated Press that Gonzalez underwent his physical Monday, and his publicist said Monday night on Twitter there were no issues, clearing the way for the deal to be signed.

Gonzalez arrived in Denver on Sunday with relatives to finalize the deal that covers what would have been his first three seasons of free agency

Without the agreement, Gonzalez, who is represented by agent Scott Boras, would have been eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

"I feel satisfied with the offer because it's not only the money that counts, but also the possibility of doing what I love, which is playing baseball," Gonzalez was quoted as saying in the statement. "On top of that, I will play with a team that has always made me feel at home, that from the beginning trusted in my talent and has allowed me to improve day after day on the field."

Gonzalez had a breakout season in 2010, winning a Silver Slugger award and a Gold Glove. The 25-year-old won the NL batting title with a .336 average and also hit 34 homers and drove in 117 runs despite batting leadoff for 44 games early in the year.

Gonzalez said he's not thinking about accolades now.

"I think that comes only if you're persevering and you focus on doing your job every time you take the field," Gonzalez said. "My goal, like all ballplayers, is to have good performance that helps the team win, reach the postseason and the World Series. That's why we're here."

Smooth at the plate, Gonzalez was just as splendid in the field, turning in seemingly effortless catches as the Rockies shifted him around between all three outfield spots.

Colorado has been committing large amounts of money this offseason to sign some of its core players.

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 the Rockies, and in November, All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki signed an extension that guarantees him $157.75 million over the next decade.

Now, Gonzalez will potentially have protection in the order for a long time.

Tulowitzki jokingly took a little credit for Gonzalez's late-season run at the Triple Crown because 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.

Now that Tulowitzki and Gonzalez are signed long-term, the Rockies will try to get a big deal done with Jimenez, likely next winter.

Gonzalez has been involved in two major trades during his burgeoning career. In December 2007, he was part of the deal that landed pitcher Dan Haren in Arizona and sent Gonzalez 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 slugger Matt Holliday.

Gonzalez struggled in Denver at first, but things began to click right after the break and he finished 2009 with a .284 average with 13 homers and 29 RBIs in 89 games. Then, he went wild in the playoffs, collecting 10 hits in 17 at-bats against the Philadelphia Phillies in the division series. Remarkably, nine of those hits came off lefties.

Last season, he shrunk his strike zone, laying off pitches down and away, and emerged as one of the game's superstars.

Now he's got the security to go with it.

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AP freelance writer Billy Russo in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.