How long can the Padres keep Gonzalez?

The Padres, as expected, exercised their $6.2 million option on Adrian Gonzalez yesterday. Even for a low-budget team like San Diego, that is a huge bargain.

The Padres are now planning to meet with agent John Boggs later this week to discuss the idea of a long-term contract. The odds are against finding common ground.

The question soon will become when — not if — Gonzalez gets traded.

But consider: The Padres finished two games behind the Giants in the NL West. Given their excellent pitching, it’s not unreasonable for the Padres to think they’re close to having the same kind of special season the Giants are celebrating now.


Does GM Jed Hoyer greatly lessen those odds by trading Gonzalez now or wait to see what transpires during the season?

It’s easy to say a GM should build for the future. Former Arizona GM Josh Byrnes thought that way right up until he got fired with six years left on his contract. At some point, a GM has to decide when his team has a chance to win and in the NL West, that opportunity is never too far away.

Finally, I’m not convinced that Gonzalez is necessarily the best fit for the Sox. In Kevin Youkilis, they have one of the best first baseman in the league offensively and defensively. Would he be as good at third base?

Gonzalez also will cost a boatload of money to sign to an extension, which would have to be part of any deal. Wouldn’t that money be better spent finding a catcher, an outfielder, and bullpen help? It’s also no sure thing San Diego would trade him to Boston. There are other teams out there.

Ah, the hot stove. So many possibilities.

What do you think will happen with Gonzalez?

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