Monday, April 26, 2010

Final Nail in the Coffin?

Monday April 26, 2010

The Twins signing of Joe Mauer earlier this year to an 8 year, $23 million per season extension was one major nail in the coffin of the Padres chances of retaining Adrian Gonzalez beyond 2010.

The final nail may have been struck today with the Philadelphia Phillies signing of Ryan Howard to a 5 year, $125 million extension.

The low budget Padres (even the team record $73 million payroll in 2008 would still rank the Padres 19th or 20th in baseball in 2010) simply cannot afford to sign Gonzalez to an extension that according to media and GM's around baseball would fall somewhere between Mark Teixeira's $21 million per season and Howard's $25 million per season.

From a scouts perspective Gonzalez is the most intriguing player that may come available in the NL. He hits for what amounts to a high average and exceptional power in any other park while playing TRUE Gold Glove caliber defense at 1B.

Gonzalez plays his home games in Petco, so you really only need to look at his road numbers, .301/.370/.572/.943 for his career, when making comparisons to other players around the league.  Overall, only Pujols and Fielders number compare favorably to Gonzalez at 1B, which puts him in very elite company.

So unless Gonzalez is willing to take an enormous San Diego discount, think something like $4-8 million per season discount on a deal like Holiday's 7yr/$120 million contract to stay a Padre, chances are the signing of Mauer, a catcher, to $23 million per year and now Howard to $25 million per year has ended any chances the Padres have of signing him to an extension.

Enjoy him while you can Padres fans. Regardless of how well the Padres play in 2010, and so far they have played pretty well, Gonzalez will not be a Padre in 2011.

 - Vic Power

The next discussion? Which of 8 or 9 teams can afford to sign Adrian Gonzalez long term?


  1. Considering there's near-unanimity that the Phillies overpaid, I'm seriously looking at ulterior motives in some of the comments I've seen. I can see John Boggs touting the big number for his client, he has an obvious motivation, especially knowing he'll have to deal with a former player's agent.

    What I can't see are the other comments on the impact for guys like Fielder and Pujols. After the Teixeira contract, it was suggested that Fielder might be good for $25M/yr and Pujols for $30M/yr. After this contract, the argument is for Fielder to need $30M/yr, and even Bobby Cox thought Pujols' price is up to $50M/yr.

    Is anybody asking who would pay that in a long term contract, and more importantly, where the money will come from, in a serious unemployment-driven recession? Outside of the Yankees, any team paying such money to one player would be unable to afford the rest of the team, or have to curtail minor league operations, or both.

    I half agree with Vic, but it's not Just Adrian. Who among the 8 or 9 big payroll clubs can afford any of the first baseman contracts being suggested? They can't ALL play first base/DH for the Yankees!

    Larry Faria
    Ocean Beach

  2. There may be a clear majority in the media who think the Phillies overpaid, the reality of the situation is that Howard is one of the top 10 power hitters in the game and would be looking at a healthy raise over the $20 million he will be making next year if the Phillies had allowed him to reach free agency.

    The other thing to take into account is that players like Fielder, who you mentioned would likely asking for $25 million per year and Pujols, who you mentioned would likely be asking for AROD type of money, would have set the range for what Howard would have been asking for when his current contract was done after the 2011 season.

    $25 million is about 17% of the Phillies $142 million payroll this season. So that is not a problem in terms of them continuing to compete.

    As to what teams, I will be addressing that in a post tomorrow. Those that have been mentioned prominently in the press so far have been the Red Sox and the Mariners. I will be discussing a number of teams that are pretty much common sense and a couple that may surprise you.