With talk of the Twins and Joe Mauer close to coming together on an extension, it would seem that Adrian has jumped to the top of the waiting list. Whether he’s waiting to be extended or traded is yet to be seen.
At last week’s Town Hall meeting, the Padres told the crowd that they were committed to the name on the front of the jersey and not the ones on the back, and Jeff Moorad was later quoted in the Union-Tribune saying “I think the fairest description of our point of view is that we continue to be committed to doing what’s best for the long-term interest of the organization. As a result, no player is untouchable. And while we’re mindful of players’ individual popularity, we won’t put one player ahead of the long-term interests of the club.” Jed Hoyer gives a more diplomatic response, saying that it is still early in the process, but it would appear that the writing is on the wall.
The details have yet to come out on the Mauer extension, but let’s assume he’ll exceed $25 million a year (and that’s being generous to the Twins). With their new stadium, the team should see a boost in payroll, but Mauer will still eat up a large portion of their moneys. For their sake, I hope the payroll gets bumped to the $150 million range, just in case Peter Gammons was on to something when he pointed out that no team has won the World Series in 25 years with one player making 16% of the payroll*.
*Hilariously, A-Rod made 15.88% of the 09 Yankees payroll
I quoted Gammons two years ago, just before Peavy signed his extension with our San Diego Padres. At the time, I referred to it as an “Eric Owens extension,” meaning it was more populist than strategic. For you younger readers, replace Owens’ name with David Eckstein and you’ll get the idea. A well-rounded team with dreams of a World Series ring cannot afford to sink so much into one player. But then, who’s to say we want a well-rounded team?
This is not a Twins blog, and I don’t presume to know anything about their team or the way it operates, but a quick glance across the baseball landscape shows me that a Mauer extension will be a tremendous success for everyone: the Twins will have won a victory for small-market teams everywhere, Mauer is a hero for ignoring the bright lights of the big markets, and baseball writers get a new Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn, Sr. (combined!) to gush about. At this point, a World Series win would be the icing on the cake.
As a fellow Padres fan, I don’t have to tell you that we don’t even have a cake. Our enjoyment of our star player has been hijacked by seemingly non-stop trade rumors and our young core doesn’t really add up to much more than a Hostess snack cake. The 2010 PECOTA Projections put us at 74 wins and last place in the NL West. Las Vegas, for its part, gives us 80/1 odds of winning in October, putting us ahead of only the real train wrecks of the league. What we do have, despite everything I just said, is hope. With Blanks and Latos and Cabrera, the future looks brighter, and we still have a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove-winning first baseman, even if just for now.
With all that said, I pose this question to you, the loyal readers:
What would you rather the Padres do?
Would you rather see the team trade Adrian Gonzalez and maximize their resources in hope of building a small market contender like Colorado or Tampa Bay? Or would you rather see the team commit to Adrian and take their chances with one superstar making up to a third of the team’s payroll, crowning a new Mr. Padres in the process, even if it lowers our already low odds? Let us know in the comments.