Is Tony Gwynn looking to become part of a Padres ownership group?

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Some tea leaves are being read regarding Tony Gwynn’s movements in San Diego:

Gwynn met for two hours on Tuesday morning with Thomas Tull, movie mogul and prospective Padres purchaser, at a downtown hotel. That tidbit was first leaked via Twitter by a person claiming to be a hotel employee and then confirmed by U-T San Diego’s Tim Sullivan … Gwynn met for two hours on Tuesday morning with Thomas Tull, movie mogul and prospective Padres purchaser, at a downtown hotel. That tidbit was first leaked via Twitter by a person claiming to be a hotel employee and then confirmed by U-T San Diego’s Tim Sullivan.

There isn’t a more popular or well-loved figure in San Diego baseball than Tony Gwynn. So, to the extent that face-of-the-franchise considerations matter — and based on Nolan Ryan in Texas and Magic Johnson in L.A., it does to some degree — if you want to buy the Padres, it can’t hurt aligning yourself with Tony Gwynn.

 

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.