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Adrian Gonzalez is not going anywhere; Heath Bell, maybe

Jun 4, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

Adrian Gonzalez headshot.jpgJayson Stark reports what the Padres’ continued success in the standings is making inevitable: Adrain Gonzalez — once thought to be the plum of this year’s trade deadline pie — isn’t going anywhere, so teams have basically given up even asking the Padres about him.

Makes sense. It’s one thing to disappoint your fan base by trading your big star when you’re losing, but doing so when you’re winning is positively unthinkable.  I hate to be as cynical as this, but I wonder if there hasn’t been one or two conversations among Padres’ officials that start out with “you know, winning is totally awesome, but man this makes it harder to build for the long term . . .”

Winning aside, Stark reports that the Padres are still willing to shop Heath Bell.  That also makes sense inasmuch as a Certified Closer can be created pretty easily these days.  Winning or not winning, a team can stand to give up a relief pitcher if the price is right. Even one as good as Bell.

  1. BC - Jun 4, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Adrain Gonzalez is not going anywhere. But as for Adrian….who knows? ;-)
    Captcha: gwen bob. What a lovely couple.

  2. okobojicat - Jun 4, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    “I hate to be as cynical as this, but I wonder if there hasn’t been one or two conversations among Padres’ officials that start out with “you know, winning is totally awesome, but man this makes it harder to build for the long term . . .” ”
    .
    I honestly hope that the Padres front office isn’t so dependent on silly thinking like this. If they are winning with Adrian Gonzalez now, why do they need those prospects they would get for him to win in the future? It appears that they have the talent right now to compete.
    .
    Maybe a Gonzalez trade gives them a star or two a couple years down the road, but keeping him isn’t necessarily going to prevent them from winning IF THEY ALREADY HAVE A WINNING BALLCLUB.
    .
    Even if he walks away after next year, Kyle Blanks appeared to be a serviceable 1B offensively in 2009 in both AAA and in San Diego. Considering he’s been hurt/horrible this year, they obviously have a viable replacement for Blanks in LF.
    .
    Teams can rebuild on the fly. You don’t have to have three seasons of 65 win teams. In fact, if they do it right (and win while ‘rebuilding’), its better because it keeps a fanbase interested and thus keeps a much more stable revenue position and ensure a much more vibrant fan base when the teams returns to good baseball.

  3. JBerardi - Jun 4, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Again, why wouldn’t they just sign the guy long term? They don’t have a single major contract on the books past this year.

  4. okobojicat - Jun 4, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    To sign him long term would require them probably using 20-25% of their payroll on one player. Usually that prevents the team from being competitive simply because they can’t add useful pieces like a veteran pitcher (Garland) or a bench bat that can play anywhere (Jerry Hairston).

  5. lenNY's Yankees - Jun 4, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    I hope Padres’ officials read this.

  6. Luis - Jun 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    I believe Craig’s suggestion of such hypothetical front office cynicism stems from a belief that the Padres’ current division-leading pace is unsustainable given the current roster and farm system – a view that seems pretty widespread among people who think about such things, and which might plausibly also be held by those running the franchise. I mean, Jed Hoyer seems like a sharp guy, and that roster seems pretty obviously…flawed, let’s say.
    .
    I don’t think anyone can reasonably expect the Padres as currently constructed to seriously compete long-term, and as Gonzalez gets closer and closer to free agency, his trade value only diminishes – thus the proposed dilemma that may or may not be preying on the minds of the SD brass.

  7. okobojicat - Jun 4, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    That is very true. Perhaps the Padres’ hot start is simply that, a hot start and it will come crashing down.
    However, there is evidence that it isn’t just a start, but it is sustainable.
    The Padres pitching staff has been ridiculously good this year: (3.01, 3.55, 3.73) ERA/FIP/xFIP. Over a two month sample size, that’s pretty consistent. Their strand rate is kind of high, but that is also a product of their great xFIP (those too correlate fairly well).
    Now, their offense is…bad. 5ht from the bottom in OPS, wOBA and they aren’t even getting unlucky (their BABIP is .305). They simply don’t get on base at a great rate and they don’t hit for much power. They do have a great defense (2nd best by UZR/150) and best by DRS.
    So, they are excelling at two areas.
    Moreover, their run Pythag record actually has them winning one more game than they have (33-20 vs. 32-21 actual) so from every appearance they appear to have the record that their play indicates to this point.
    Now, some of the individuals may be out performing their expectations, especially the bullpen guys. But as a mass, this team is not necessarily out of thought to stay in competition all year

  8. Joey B - Jun 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    It looks that way on paper, and I agree that it’s tough to see them maintaining, but they’ve played .600 since 7/27/2009. That’s 115 games.

  9. Drakos - Jun 4, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    It would most likely be even worse than 20-25%. Most of the estimates I’ve seen for a new contract for Gonzalez have been around $20 million/year if not more. This year the Padres total payroll was ~$38 million. The team has said that they expect the payroll to increase to $60+ million in the future but they haven’t said when. It’s probably also going to be hard to increase payroll when only 5 people are showing up to each game.

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