Well, this isn’t at all surprising:
The agent for Adrian Gonzalez says it's "pretty much a fait accompli" that the Padres slugger will test the free-agent market after the 2011 season.
Hoyer says the type of contract Gonzalez will seek in free agency is something that only a handful of markets can support, "and San Diego is not one of them."
This was only a matter of time. Adrian Gonzalez’s incredibly team friendly contract is up at the end of the 2011 season. Understandably, he wants to test the free agent market, and explore his options. This is, of course, great for him because he’s going to get a huge Mark Teixeira sized contract out of it. It’s bad for San Diego because there’s a slightly greater than a non-zero percent chance that he’ll re-sign with the Padres. The question is, what do Padres do? Well, as I see it, they have three options:
- Trade him during the offseason.
- Trade him at or around the July 31st trading deadline.
- Don’t trade him at all, and recoup two compensation draft picks.
None of these options are as good as keeping him and re-signing him. As I said, that’s not going to happen, so we can’t include that as an option. I would throw option number three out right now. The draft picks are nice, but fans don’t really understand the value of future draft picks. Plus, I’m not sure Padres owner Jeff Moorad would be comfortable not getting more immediate compensation for his best player.
That leaves options one and two. San Diego GM, Jed Hoyer, needs to determine when it’s most beneficial for him to trade Gonzalez. If the best time to trade Gonzalez is during the offseason (when another team could be granted a 48 hour window with which to negotiate a long term deal with him), then the Padres need to make a deal in the near future. On the flip side, if he can extract the most value by trading him to some desperate team at the trading deadline, then he should wait for that moment.
Everyone knows what needs to be done. Now, it’s all about timing, and finding the right trading partner. Whatever happens (whenever it happens), Hoyer needs to hit the nail on the head with this trade. His success in San Diego depends on it.