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Adrian Gonzalez trade talk is starting up again

Feb 3, 2010, 2:50 PM EST

Just when the Adrian Gonzalez trade talk seemed to have died down, his agent told the San Diego Union Tribune yesterday that he expects the Padres to deal the 27-year-old first baseman:

I don’t ever want to speak for ownership because I have no knowledge of what they have and what they don’t, but the feeling we’re getting is more than likely they are going to have to trade Adrian Gonzalez because they can’t afford him.

Asked about Gonzalez’s chances of remaining in San Diego long term, team CEO Jeff Moorad had a similarly pessimistic response:

While I’d be thrilled to have him part of the organization for the long term, the early signals indicate his cost will be greater than our ability to pay.

The combination of those quotes seemingly makes it all but certain that Gonzalez will be traded, but here’s the thing: San Diego still has him under contract for two more seasons at a combined cost of just $10.25 million. Controlling him cheaply for 2010 and 2011 obviously gives Gonzalez a lot more trade value, but it also means the Padres could try to rebuild around him and address the contract issue when he’s actually, you know, somewhat close to becoming a free agent.
Acting like he’s a goner two full seasons before his contract ends mostly just seems like a great way to piss off your entire fan base. Gonzalez can become a free agent after 2011, but so can Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Papelbon, Mark Buehrle, J.D. Drew, and a couple dozen other prominent players. You know why there aren’t articles every week with quotes about how those guys are all goners? Because for the most part their teams realize that two years is a long time.
A lot can change between now and 2012. Gonzalez could get hurt or simply decline from his current superstar level. Or maybe the Padres could even improve and start making more money. If they want to trade Gonzalez in an effort to rebuild that’s one thing, but acting like they’re being forced to make a decision two years ahead of time–and constantly letting their fans read all about it in the newspaper–is just silly.

  1. Mike Dark - Feb 3, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    But Yorvit Torreabla may be coming aboard, so we few Padre fans got that going for us!
    I think some fans want the team to trade Gonzalez, because we can finally get to rock bottom. Until then, the situation could get worse, will get worse and we know it’s only a matter of when. So whether Gonzalez is in the news or not, we know this is hanging over us. Once they finally pull the trigger and move him, we will officially be at the lowest point, with no where to go but up.
    But I agree with you Craig, let’s ride it out, enjoy AG while he is still here. I hope he stays here all season because I enjoy watching him play.
    However, I highly doubt that will happen, and fully expect to be disappointed at some point this season with the crappy haul of prospects we get for him.

  2. john - Feb 3, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    This is starting to remind me of the Coco Crisp trade talks that never ended. Although o be fair, a large part of those involved actual negotiations.

  3. ecp - Feb 3, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    “Gonzalez can become a free agent after 2011, but so can Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Papelbon, Mark Buehrle, J.D. Drew, and a couple dozen other prominent players. You know why there aren’t articles every week with quotes about how those guys are all goners?”
    Because except for Prince Fielder, those guys play for teams that have money and are willing to spend it. As for Fielder, there are plenty of articles out there about him being a goner.
    (Aaron, are you tired of people calling you Craig? I try to make it a point to read the byline, otherwise I would probably make the same mistake.)

  4. Richard Dansky - Feb 3, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Let’s be fair. This started a year ago, so they’ve been banging this drum for three years before the guy’s contract runs up.

  5. Kid Charlemagne - Feb 3, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Well, at least the Padres have a reasonable replacement for Adrian waiting in the wings in Kyle Blanks, so they could make a deal without suffering too much on the field.

  6. moreflagsmorefun - Feb 3, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Go ahead blame the Yankees ……

  7. Dave G. - Feb 3, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    The point I think being made by his agent and possibly Padres ownership is that: Agent- trading two years earlier, perhaps a rich contract extension could be made with the acquiring team, Owner- What’s more valueable, AG with one cheap year left or AG with two cheap years left? If they already know he’s out of their price range and they know that he MUST be traded then two cheap years begets a larger better haul in talent coming back.

  8. JoeT - Feb 3, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    You are so right. Teams are going salivate over the chance to sign J.D. Drew. And Coco Crisp, what a free agent market.

  9. Mark C - Feb 3, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    And the players themselves better not complain about AG, the ballpark, or the dysfuntional ownership otherwise they will get run out of town on a rail! Just ask Phil Nevin, Ryan Klesko, and Jake Peavy.

  10. Amol - Feb 3, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    But Blanks is only a few years away from being a couple years away from free agency, so they’ll have to start talking about trading him soon.

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