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Adrian Gonzalez’s shoulder surgery may be more significant than initially believed

Nov 10, 2010, 12:46 PM EDT

Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez repeatedly making it clear that he has no plans to remain in San Diego long term could motivate the Padres to trade the All-Star first baseman with one season left on his contract and now Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that there’s some doubt about Gonzalez’s health status as well.

Three weeks ago Gonzalez had surgery to “clean up” his right shoulder after playing through pain for much of the season. Initially the Padres said he’d be fully healthy in time for spring training, but yesterday Gonzalez revealed he may not be cleared to swing a bat for 4-5 months.

The four-month mark would come around a week into spring training and the five-month mark would arrive about a week before Opening Day, so based on those timetables any kind of setback could mean missed games in April. Gonzalez’s agent, John Boggs, put a slightly different spin on the timetable:

I think what Adrian is saying it that he’s going to be very cautious and take it a step at a time. He’s the type of player who can pick up a bat and be ready in a week. But what he’s saying is he’s going to take his time and make sure [his shoulder is] ready. The timeline has always been four months. He’ll be ready, but he’s not going to burst out of the gates if he’s not.

It’s an interesting situation because Gonzalez may not be exceptionally motivated to rush himself back from surgery for a team he’s not going to play for beyond 2011, particularly since the strength of his 2011 season will go a long way toward determining the size of his contract as a free agent next offseason. Should he rush back to help a team that may trade him anyway? Should he rush back if it means risking his health and performance on the verge of free agency?

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 10, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    Do you mean ‘beyond 2011′, Aaron?

    Either way, I hope the Padres can trade the disrespectful cad at the deadline or something next year, so they can fulfill his desire to leave there as soon as possible.

    • Adam - Nov 10, 2010 at 1:24 PM

      When exactly has he been disrespectful? When he said he wanted to get fair market value for his services?

      Why do people think that athletes “owe” their team a discount to stay? Do the owners really need a discount to receive their services? Adrian Gonzalez is one of the premiere hitters in the MLB and, honestly, deserves to be compensated like it. If that means the Padres aren’t suitors so be it, but the guy doesn’t owe it to the team to take less than he can get elsewhere unless he really wants to.

      Would you turn down a raise for the good of your company that’s turning a nice profit? If you say yes I’d say you’re either a) a liar or b) one of a very, very few group.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 10, 2010 at 1:29 PM

        I’m just saying, commenting on this now as a player on their roster isn’t right. I don’t go around my office saying I’m going to leave if I don’t get paid what I want. I’d look like a jerk.

        Plus, Adrian plays in the entertainment industry, and someone in the spotlight talking in any capacity about how much money they make in an already over-indulgent world will always look tacky.

      • Adam - Nov 10, 2010 at 1:37 PM

        The big difference between your work scenario and his is that he has a definitive date when his contract is up (I’m assuming you’re in a right to work area where it’s an open ended agreement). If you had a 2 year contract with a company and they knew you were going to be heavily recruited by companies in their field I would consider it okay for you to tell them you want to be paid at the level your talents are in demand.

        You also have to remember that the Padres have come out and said that unless he takes below market value he won’t be with the team after this year. That opens the door for him to say whatever he wants in regard to pay without being tacky, in my opinion.

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