Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can the Padres Sign Adrian Gonzalez Long Term?

In 2009, the Padres' payroll ranked 29th in all of baseball with only the frugal Marlins behind them. However, there seemed to be hope on the horizon for a increased payroll when Jeff Moorad became the principal owner of the ballclub:
"Next season will now have to be re-evaluated given the Peavy deal," Moorad said. "I'm ultimately comfortable with a payroll in the $70-80 million [range], but it's likely that it will take us a couple years to get back to that level.

"The good news is we now have an opportunity to reconstruct the payroll in a careful, strategic way that allows for a continued focus and emphasis on scouting and player development."
A $70-$80 million dollar payroll seemed realistic enough. Right now, it's virtually impossible to compete with a payroll of less than $60-$65 million and even then the odds are not in your favor. But adding $30 million or so to the payroll over time seemed to be a logical way for the Padres to potentially keep some of their young talent long term. Namely, Adrian Gonzalez. The slugging first baseman will be a free agent after the 2011 season and has put up remarkable offensive numbers despite playing half his games in PETCO Park and having limited offensive talent surrounding him.

If the Padres want to keep Gonzalez around, they would likely have to commit at least $15 million annually over the course of six or seven years. And even that total might not get it done, but it would at least put the Padres in the ballpark. The Padres would still be committing around 20% of their payroll to Adrian Gonzalez, which is a large amount, but certainly not impossible for the team to work around.

However, if this statement by former GM Kevin Towers is true, then the chances of Adrian Gonzalez playing in San Diego long term are zero:
In addition, nobody knows how much it's costing new owner Jeff Moorad to complete his buyout of John Moores. "They're going to have a $40 million payroll for the foreseeable future," said recently fired Padres GM Kevin Towers, "and there's just no way they can devote half of that to one player. It's just a matter of when they decide to trade (Gonzalez)."
I don't care how much the Padres love Gonzalez because there is no way they could commit at least $15 million to Gonzalez with a $40 million dollar payroll (38%).

So does anyone actually think the Padres can keep Adrian Gonzalez? Would they be better off trading him now?


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LB/Mr.WorkHarder said...

I see no other way to stay competitive AT LEAST than keeping Gonzalez. Nobody else is coming 2 San Diego. Either you are old looking for a resurrection or your are young and are in need of a real shot. No other way will the Pads sign anybody realistically. Adrian is a cornerstone and a monster for putting up those kind of numbers in baseballs own 'Yellowstone Park" of Stadiums. It is imperative they get a deal done with this guy.

Mike Dark said...

I agree, no way they can sign a replacement, and it is highly unlikely they they would receive a 6+ win player in any bounty of prospects they receive back. And with Blanks playing fairly well in the outfield, they are not wasting his bat, lessening the presure to keep one or the other.

If KT (and Moores) was still in charge, here is what I imagine would happen as part of the normal Padre MO: Since he makes only $5.7M with next year's option, you would see a three year extension that ramps up as follows:

2012 - $11M
2013 - $13M
2014 - $15M
2015 - Option year at $17M or something

Maybe even rip up next year's number and bump him up to $9M as goodwill. AG gets to stay at home, clearly gives the home team discount and still signs for $39M guaranteed. And it gives the team a few years to deal with the problem.

I could see that getting done on both sides this offseason, but this offseason only. The longer it drags out, the more likely I see a trade as clearly there would be a discrepancy between the front office and AG's camp.

But with Mr Hoyer (and Moorad) now calling the shots, who knows? Depends on if he believes the hype of the 37-25 finish or not. To me, a trade would say he doesn't believe the hype, despite what he said in the press conference yesterday about the solid foundation in place.

Jorge Says No! said...


I think your contract layout is exactly what the Padres need to do, but I think the numbers will be slightly increased and if this extension is going to happen, it has to happen now...the length of the extension would be from 2010-2014 with a huge option for 2015...

There is incentive for GOnzalez to get a deal done if he can make more money in 2010 and 2011 and then perhaps give the team a discount moving forward...

More on the Adrian Gonzalez contract coming today...

CEB II said...

I'm thinking there is a good chance he will be wearing a different uni next year. There is no way the Pads re-sign Gonzalez with the divorce fiasco in ownership and all. The big obstacle is what Hoyer wants in prospects, especially from the Red Sox.