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No one really seems to think that Adrian Gonzalez will remain with the Padres in the long term. Given the Padres financial limitations, the odds of the Padres signing Gonzalez to a contract extension seem to be slim to none.
But I'm not ready to give up just yet. Two things need to happen for the Padres and Gonzalez to have any chance of a deal:
1. Gonzalez wants to stay in San Diego and is willing to take a hometown discount 2. The Padres' payroll will increase from around $40 million in 2010 to $70-$80 million by 2012 or 2013.
If those two things don't occur, then there is virtually no chance of a deal happening.
But let's stay positive. What would it take for the Padres to keep Adrian Gonzalez long term? Let's take a look at what each side would need to make Gonzalez a Padre for the foreseeable future.
1. Buyout at least two years of Gonzalez's free agency 2. Salary structure that fits the Padres' potentially growing payroll in the coming years
The Adrian Gonzalez Camp
1. Increase salary in each 2010 and 2011
(Note: In my opinion, the Padres' best chance to extend Gonzalez is this offseason because they can offer him a salary boost in each of the next two seasons. That is something that could appeal strongly to Gonzalez, depending on how much he wants to stay in San Diego)
2. Yearly salaries that demonstrate how much the Padres value his performance
3. Contract that allows him to become a free agent again in the near future
So how about this deal for Gonzalez and the Padres?
(5 years/$70 million)
Here is the contractual breakdown:
2010: $9 million 2011: $12 million 2012: $15 million 2013: $16 million 2014: $18 million
Why it works for the Padres:
1. keep Gonzalez long term
2. Gonzalez's salary should not account for more than 20-25% of the team's total payroll at any point (as long as Moorad is willing to increase payroll to $70-$80 million in the coming years)
Why it works for Gonzalez:
1. He'd earn almost $11 million dollars in 2010 and 2011, just by agreeing to a new contract (scheduled to earn $10.25 million over the next two years, but he would earn $21 million in 2010 and 2011 with this extension)
2. Demonstrates how strongly the Padres value his abilities
3. Gonzalez would become a free agent when he is just 32 years old. He could be in line for another massive contract
4. He would be one of the highest paid first baseman in 2012-2014
Again, Gonzalez could probably do much better on the free agent market in 2011 simply by maximizing his value and allowing the big market clubs to big up his services, but this offer meets the needs of both sides.
Is this contract realistic? Should the Padres approach Gonzalez about an extension?
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