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Adrian Gonzalez continues to make it clear that he’s not stayin’ in San Diego

Nov 9, 2010, 5:11 PM EDT

Adrian Gonzalez

If the recent comments of his agent and his general manager weren’t enough, today Adrian Gonzalez himself put to rest the notion that he’d be giving anyone a hometown discount to stay with the Padres. Here he is on a radio show today:

“In essence, if I take what you call a San Diego discount then I’m affecting their market. I’m affecting what they are going to make. It’s a lot like real estate. That’s the reason why. The way the game of baseball is set up, we have to protect each other. We have to do what’s best for each other.”

Really, the only hope there has ever been that the Padres could keep Gonzalez was that he’d want to stay near his home.  These comments make it clear that Gonzalez isn’t going to undercut current and future free agents in order to do that. Union solidarity is something you may or may not agree with, but it’s obviously important to Gonzalez.

As it is now, the only ones who are going to be undercut are the Brewers, who are going to find it most difficult to trade Prince Fielder when Gonzalez is cheaper and better trade bait at the same position.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 9, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    It’s also important not to have every third pitch thrown directly at your head. So much for union solidarity.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 9, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    He’s a schmuck for making himself sound selfless. I really hate big free agent contracts and everything that surrounds them because it’s a mix of union greed, player greed and wonderment about owners who may or may not be able to afford them.

    Is any player ever just happy to be with the team they’re with, regardless, anymore? Ever?

    • schlom - Nov 9, 2010 at 6:13 PM

      Why are you blaming Gonzalez for wanting a big contract? According to Fangraphs he’s provided about $95m in value to the Padres the past five years. During that time the Padres have paid him under $10m. If anything, don’t the Padres owe him?

      • skipperxc - Nov 9, 2010 at 10:03 PM

        I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted the money for himself, he’s got that right after being paid less than market value all this time. Sure, I’d like him to stay, just like I’d like my boy Prince to be in Milwaukee forever. It happens.

        I do, on the other hand, blame him for passing off the “show me the money” sentiment as “I’m only doing it because if I don’t I’m hurting others”. Totally disingenuous. Just say you want to get paid! We all know already, it’s not like he’s fooling anybody.

        And besides, if he gets paid under market again agents can still point to Ryan Howard as the comp and just ignore Gonzalez.

      • Bochy's Head/Timmy's Bong - Nov 9, 2010 at 11:44 PM

        @skipperxc “Totally disingenuous. Just say you want to get paid! We all know already, it’s not like he’s fooling anybody.”

        To skipperxc: Totally bullshit. Just say you’re making shit up! We all know already, it’s not like you’re fooling anyone.

        I live in the San Diego area, so I read interviews with Gonzalez often and listen to him on the radio fairly frequently. I have no problem taking his comments at face value. He seems to be a pretty standup guy. Outspoken on matters of conscience (see his remarks re: Arizona immigration law). And proud to be a union guy. If you have evidence to the contrary, by all means, I’m listening.

      • skipperxc - Nov 10, 2010 at 12:03 PM

        @Bochy Point taken, and a fair one. I just can’t wrap my head around such an unusually ideological stance.

        There’s really only two sides to this aren’t there? He either wants to stay or he wants to get paid. If his main priority was staying in San Diego, he’d work something out with the Padres no matter what. So clearly that’s not the case.

        That leaves leaving for the money. I understand that the Padres can’t make a market price offer — like I said, my main interest this offseason is Prince Fielder’s situation so I know how that goes. As I said, I can understand wanting to get paid, what with the vagaries of a baseballer’s career. I can understand wanting to say but being unwilling to take such a team-friendly deal a second time.

        But if you want to get paid, just say so! I don’t understand the union argument at all — all it says is that he’s subservient to suits. If, as you say, he’s such a bright guy, why is he letting The Man tell him how he should conduct his free agent affairs?

        Or, in what I suppose is a possible third option based on your reply, he really does feel for his fellow ballplayer and thus has to take the money…which consequently means he really doesn’t want to stay in San Diego at all — his hometown has taken a back seat to his peers. Which…I mean, I suppose it’s possible, but he’d get run out of town for saying so outright.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 10, 2010 at 12:13 PM

        While I see your point, Schlom, I’ll agree to disagree.

        I think an active player under contract for a team making comments and opinions like this about how he plans to conduct his business is tactless, classless, and arguably breaks the very idea of business ethics. And if he’s such a union guy, and a smart guy, he should know better and shut his mouth before he disses his own team any further.

        When he’s a free agent, and he’s behind closed doors, he can get paid whatever he wants, if that’s all that matters to him. But I think he comes off as greedy and petty, in the very least, from this interview.

      • Bochy's Head/Timmy's Bong - Nov 10, 2010 at 12:23 PM

        @skipperxc: And thanks for your rational response.

        I do think the 3rd option is what is happening here. Look, let’s throw out some rough ballpark numbers… the Padres offer him $75M, but someone else puts $100M on the table. $75M sets you and your family up for life. And your children’s lives. Gonzalez doesn’t strike me as the type to be calculating just how many more toys the extra $25M will get him. So I do think this has to do with union solidarity – and with the union’s position that when the industry is awash in a record $7B, even teams like the Padres could pony up that extra $25M (not saying I completely buy that argument, but owners do work hard cooking the books to make profits look like losses).

  3. ta192 - Nov 10, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Let me say one thing about “home town discounts”; they’re NOT…
    Baseball players are just like most of the rest of us, they live where they work and work where they live, but they don’t work FOR their place of residence, they work for some overbearing corporation that doesn’t care a rat’s ass about them, except to make sure that they’re not being overpaid…
    Screw “home town discounts”, get the cash!

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