“Waiting for a Phone Call”
You never like to see it wind up like this, especially to a good guy.
But then again, it is the nature of the business. You play until a club says it no longer needs you. You don’t play when no one wants to offer you a contract.
Injuries are part of the game, and what has befallen the beloved Adrian Gonzalez is stunning.
The power hitting popular opposite field home run hitting power alley guy, is without a team as of this morning.
The Dodgers shed his salary, the (23.5M) final year of his contract, dealt to the Atlanta Braves over the weekend in a 5-player deal that brought them Matt Kemp back to LA.
The LA to Atlanta deal came days after the Dodgers asked him to waive the no trade clause in his contract and accept a deal to the woeful Miami Marlins, an absolute insult, to include him in a fire sale transaction.
But Atlanta might not be much better than Miami, except his agent John Boggs pulled off a creative deal.
Adrian was going to get his money no matter where he went, but ‘Team Gonzalez’ had a better idea.
Waive the no trade clause and receive a promise of an outright release. The Braves elected to do that, so Gonzalez gets his salary via Atlanta, became a free agent on Monday, and can now try to rally his career, in a possible better situation with a pennant contender.
He is rehabbing the back that bothered him all last year. No surgery was necessary. A full 5-months of rest may well do the trick for the fanatical fitness freak and grinder of a player.
He had never been on the DL in his life till last years neck issue and back issues flared. If you subtract his (.242-3 HR) season from all of his other career stats, this is a quality player.
A lifetime (.288) average, with 311-home runs and superb glove at first base. And now teams can get him at a reduced price.
A proud player wants to continue playing, maybe going back to the American League, as a first baseman-DH.
Maybe Cleveland, Seattle, Colorado, Arizona. All have a need at the position, and at a reduced price, remember he gets his full salary from Atlanta on the 1st and 15th of every month, maybe he finishes his career on an upswing, if healthy.
His great years with the Padres turned him into a (.300) hitter. 5-summers in his home town. 6-seasons swinging in Dodgers Blue. 2-years in Boston. 2-in Texas.
You never like to think it is over for good players and good guys.
Maybe its not for him yet.
And think about this.
How would a Padres lineup this spring look to you?
Adrian…Asuaje…Galvis…Headley…Solarte…Myers…Margot….Renfroe. A cross section of youth, sprinkle of veterans, and a summer of base hits and maybe some home runs.
Some professional hitters. Some kids. Some leadership. Some proven quality. Some power. Some hits.
San Diego rents a couple of players and makes itself a possible wildcard team in the offing.
A homecoming of sorts. He becomes a bridge player going towards the future, hitting at Petco-where he always felt good hitting, and waiting for all the young kids to arrive.
He’s waiting for a phone call. Maybe the Padres should make that call.