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Springtime Storylines: Will Adrian Gonzalez finish the season with the Padres?

Apr 2, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of
the 30
teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally
breaking down their chances for the 2010 season.  Next — and last — up: The Padres. And there is no significance to me using the old logo this time. I just like it better than that Love Boat looking thing they use now.

big question: Will Adrian Gonzalez finish the season with the Padres?

This is kind of like the Diamondbacks/Webb question in terms of obviousness, but it has far more important competitive consequences for everyone involved, so I don’t have similar angst about asking it. Anyway:

You know the drill by now: San Diego still has him under contract for two more seasons at a
combined cost of just $10.25 million. That makes him simultaneously tradable and affordable, which puts the Padres in something of a bind. If he made $10 million this year alone it would actually be easier for them. As of now, the team may want to trade him and could get max value for him, but your average fan who doesn’t think too terribly much about long term contracts and baseball economics will view the move as the team being cheap and hopeless and stuff.  And it doesn’t help that Gonzalez is from San Diego, is invested in the community and seems to truly love it there.

Thankfully for the Padre fans who do pay close attention, Jed Hoyer seems like the kind of guy who will make decisions based on long term competitive concerns and not the whims of columnists, dilettantes and sentimental ballplayers.  As hard as it may be to do, I think they’ll trade Gonzalez this year, I think he’ll realize a hefty return for him and I think that, eventually, everyone is going to be happy. Gonzalez because once he’s freed from his home run killing park he’s going to put up frighteningly good numbers and make himself nine figures. The Padres and their fans because the trade will bring back talent that will be part of the next good Padres team.  In the meantime, the weather is nice there and the fish tacos are excellent, so let’s just enjoy it all, shall we?  

else is
going on?

  • With Jake Peavy gone the rotation is rather anchorless. Jon Garland will eat innings, as they say, and beyond that are a lot of very tall question marks. Chris Young gets hurt a lot, but if he can recapture his 2007 form he’d be a poor man’s ace (if I could recapture 2007 form I’d be drinking too much and wondering how injured I’d have to be before I could claim disability payments and not have to practice law anymore. How about you?).  Mat Latos represents a lot of promise but growing pains are inevitable. That describes half the roster, of course.
  • The Padres have gone all-in on Hairstons, but the offense is going to be pretty ugly. If Gonzalez is traded the team can probably save money by turning off the lights on the home half of the scoreboard.

  • Lest Padres fans despair at the loss of Gonzalez, at least they have Kyle Blanks to look forward to. He’s 6’6″ and pushes three bills. He’s had a great spring and as a power source he ranks somewhere below the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and somewhere above the Grand Coulee Dam.  Once Gonzalez goes, Blanks will likely rumble over to first base as God and nature intended (note: God did not intend for there to be DHs, so 1B is the best He can do).
  • My Padres expert of choice is Geoff Young, who notes something in his Padres preview at The Hardball Times that I never would have noticed: the new owners, led by Jeff Moorad, are doing a lot of fan-friendly things such as lowering the price of beer and changing the start time of some game to make things easier for everyone.  Given how much attendance has taken a hit in San Diego these are some smart moves.

are they gonna do?

What’s going on in San Diego is the dictionary definition of rebuilding. But as is the case in Pittsburgh — and is not the case in Houston — rebuilding can be a nice cleansing exercise if you choose to have the right attitude about it. At least in San Diego the process isn’t going to take 18-20 years and, hey, didn’t I mention the weather and the fish tacos already?

Prediction: Fifth place in the NL
West, but tomorrow will be a better day.

  1. peteinfla - Apr 2, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    You just had to mention the Fish Tacos, didn’t you? Now you just KNOW that Old Gator is gonna see this, and go off on a complete journey all about Tacos, his feesh, where to eat in San Diego, what the best dish is there, etc… Should at least be interesting reading though.

  2. Grant - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    I have three thoughts:

    1. In 2007 I was a fat drunk college student. Now I’m not, so that’s an improvement. Still kinda drink too much, but at least I lost some weight.

    2. The DH is coming. Embrace your AL overlords.

    3. I want a fish taco. Posthaste

  3. lukasaltar - Apr 3, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    yea i think it will be finished. Their team has really improved
    they got some hitters besides Adrian Gonzalez like Kyle Blanks and Will Venable
    and they actually have some pitching this year like Mat Latos, Jon Garland and more
    and everybody says they have no speed than how could they lead Spring Training in Stolen Bases
    they have a good chance at going over .500
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  4. Bryan - Apr 3, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    This team will NOT finish last in the N.L. west. Writers seem overly adept at glancing at the previous year’s standings and “going with the flow”, without enough research. The Padres shines with young stars and will be in the race for the division title if not more. And yes, I’ll be at the park getting more 411 in one game than most of these so called “expert” writers do in a season.

  5. john Pileggi - Apr 3, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    It is obviously better for the game if a team like San Diego, with a new ballpark, can keep a player like Gonzalez and build around him.

  6. Nasty Boy - Apr 11, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    I agree with you , but the Padres only think about saving money. My guess is they’ll allow the red sux to hose them for some of their so-called prospects . They (bosux) will probably throw in their prime bust, dice-k (the pillsbury doughboy) there’s a real gem. I can’t wait for this screwing to start. Padres beware of the little gestapo Epstein, he’ll stick it to you good.

  7. Automated Forex Trading System - May 11, 2010 at 7:36 AM

    Will Adrian Gonzalez finish the season with the Padres? I’d like him to finish the season with the padres.

  8. Antor - May 11, 2010 at 7:39 AM

    May be the padres think about saving money. However, i think they play good enough.
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