In one of the least shocking moves of the upcoming offseason, the San Diego Padres have exercised their $6.2 million option on All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Next season will be the final year of Gonzalez’s insanely cheap four-year, $9.5 million contract.
Gonzalez hit .298 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI in 2010 as the Padres fell just short of the postseason.
Now that Gonzalez’s option has been exercised, be prepared for the ridiculous amount of rumors circulating about where he will end up. I’m telling you right now, there is very little incentive for the Padres to trade Gonzalez until midway through the 2011 season. Unless he gets absolutely blown away by an offer, general manager Jed Hoyer won’t move Gonzalez.
So at the upcoming winter meetings when Buster Olney is creaming his pants about how Gonzalez is definitely going to the Red Sox for several average prospects, take it with a grain of salt. The Padres have a great asset, and if Gonzalez won’t take a discount to remain with the Padres, they will only move him for a hefty price. Just because San Diego is a low-budget team does not mean other franchises will be able to steal him away.
Also on Tuesday, starting pitcher Jon Garland declined his mutual option and decided to become a free agent. Garland and Yorvit Torrealba have both declined their options now, though both have expressed interest in returning to San Diego.