Padres chief executive officer Jeff Moorad told Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union Tribune that next season’s payroll will likely be in the $40 million range again.
And when asked about Adrian Gonzalez’s short-term status he replied: “At this point, I expect him to be on our roster next season.”
However, the CEO wasn’t nearly as optimistic about keeping Gonzalez in San Diego beyond next year, saying:
I think [general manager] Jed [Hoyer]’s committed to sit down with [agent] John Boggs at some point and I’m sure we’ll get a feel about Adrian’s view of the future. Beyond that, our position hasn’t changed. While we’d still love to have Adrian here long term, it doesn’t appear to be practical from a financial standpoint. So I’m certainly not counting on that. But we’ll engage and see if there’s a deal that can be made.
Gonzalez’s contract is inexpensive enough that the Padres were in no way motivated to trade him prior to this season and obviously being in contention kept them from pursuing a midseason deal. However, with just one year remaining on his deal and Moorad repeatedly saying that they don’t have the resources to sign him long term it sure seems like trading Gonzalez is suddenly much more likely.
If they truly don’t think keeping him is at all realistic, then the Padres are choosing between one more season of Gonzalez and a pair of compensatory draft picks when he leaves as a free agent or whatever haul they can get for one of baseball’s elite hitters in a trade. It’s tough to deal the best player on a team that just finished one game out of the playoffs, but tough doesn’t always equal wrong.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.