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Friday, April 30, 2010
Jody Gerut on Adrian Gonzalez

Jody Gerut and the Brewers are in San Diego for a four-game set, and Tom Krasovic asked the ex-Padre the $25 million question: What should the Padres do with Adrian Gonzalez?
Gerut's got a point about ownership leading the revenue ... but there's a limit, right?

I don't know if Gonzalez is better than Ryan Howard -- he's a better defender (by a lot), a worse baserunner (by a lot) -- but he's just as good as Howard and he's two years younger. I've been counseling against the notion that Howard's new contract sets the market for power-hitting first baseman, because it's so out of bounds that essentially it can't set the market ... But still, if Howard's getting $25 million per season, doesn't Gonzalez have to expect at least $20 million?

The Padres this season have a $38 million payroll. Even if they push that to $60 million in 2012 -- a massive jump in these frightening times -- would it really make sense for them to spend fully one-third of their payroll on one player?

Maybe. It depends on where the other $40 million went. But it's hard to make that math work for long. I don't know. Maybe the Padres have been hoarding cash these last few years, just waiting for the right time to compete financially with the Dodgers and the rest of them. I just don't get the impression that that's actually happening. The Padres' market is bigger than the Cardinals' market, and the Rockies' market. But for whatever reasons they seem resigned to spend half the money those other clubs do.