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.