Padres GM Jed Hoyer had a meeting with John Boggs, the agent for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Wednesday.
Earlier today Hoyer acknowledged that Gonzalez is headed for free agency after the 2011 season — unless he is traded first.
"With a year away from free agency, Adrian's desire is to go out and go after a franchise-player contract," Hoyer told a San Diego radio station. XX 1090 AM. "At this point, I think it's a near certainty that he at least explores free agency."
The idea of a long-term deal in San Diego seems remote.
"What we can do and what they're looking for don't match up," Hoyer said. "If things change somewhere at some point in the future, it's a possibility."
Hoyer said he believes Gonzalez will be on the Opening Day roster, although he would listen to offers.
"I anticipate him being our first baseman next year,'' Hoyer said. "I certainly hope he finishes the season with us. That means we'd have a good season.''
Two things to keep in mind:
• It will take prime-time, cost-controlled talent to land Gonzalez. In terms of the Red Sox think Casey Kelly, Jose Iglesias, Anthony Rizzo, guys like that.
• Gonzalez is going to want a deal commensurate with what Mark Teixeira (eight years, $180 million) or Ryan Howard (five years, $125 million). It would make little sense to trade for him unless he comes signed.
Hoyer is the former Red Sox assistant GM. His top assistant, Jason McLeod, is the former Red Sox amateur scouting director. They have vast knowledge of Red Sox prospects and won't be tricked into taking future backups.
Gonzalez makes plenty of sense for the Sox. The question becomes whether you invest the talent and $22 million a year in salary?
UPDATE, 12:11 a.m.: Here is what Boggs said:
"It's a situation where Jed and the Padres obviously know his value. The question is, what are we going to seek. We're going to seek market value for Adrian Gonzalez. Obviously I don't think the Padres will dedicate that much of their salary structure to one player."
Hoyer also said the situation was such there was no point in his making an offer.