Monday, December 21, 2009

By waiting, Padres would get better value

Yes, the Padres should trade Adrian Gonzalez.

But not right now.

Barring an injury or unforeseen production decline, Gonzalez's value will be very high at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He will be as far from free agency then as Mark Teixeira was at the time of the Rangers-Braves blockbuster in 2007. And you may recall the Rangers' return in that deal included Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz.

In order to trade Gonzalez now, Jed Hoyer would need to negotiate with general managers who can counter his (understandably) high demands by saying, "Why should I give you my three best prospects when I can keep them and sign Adam LaRoche, Hank Blalock or Russell Branyan to play first base?"

Of course, Gonzalez is better than LaRoche, Blalock or Branyan on both sides of the ball. But as long as other teams have free-agent alternatives, it will be hard for Hoyer, a first-year general manager, to have much leverage.

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