It’s long seemed obvious that Adrian Gonzalez won’t be signing a mutli-year extension with the Padres. The real question is how long into his current, very reasonable deal the Padres will keep him before putting him on the market. But in the unlikely event that the Padres do look to keep him around long term, they shouldn’t expect any bargains.
“This next contract is going to be the contract I think I deserve,” Gonzalez said today, while also confirming that there were no
current discussions between his agent and the team. He added that he “wants to win as a Padre more than anything else” but that he has no sense of what his future holds.
While he may not be on quite the same level as Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols, he’s the unquestionable face of the Padres and the most important player on that team since Tony Gwynn retired. In light of this I wish people would offer the same “I think it be best for the team if he stayed put . . .” disclaimers when discussing Gonzalez’s future that they do for Mauer and Pujols.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.