Gonzalez gets one-year renewal
GM confirms $380,500 pact for Friars' 2006 MVP
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Adrian Gonzalez will be back playing first base again for San Diego this season, though it won't be for as much money as the Padres' 2006 Most Valuable Player had hoped for.San Diego general manager Kevin Towers confirmed on Thursday that Gonzalez will receive a one-year, $380,500 contract from the team for the upcoming season, which is substantially less than the first baseman had asked for. "He's a guy we think will be wearing a Padre uniform for a lot of years ... and I hope he makes a lot of money playing professional baseball in a Padre uniform," Towers said of Gonzalez. "Not only because he's a quality player but a quality guy." Because Gonzalez didn't sign for the $391,500 that the club offered, his salary reverted back to $380,500 as part of the renewal process. Gonzalez's one-year renewal -- only the third such renewal that Towers has had during his 11 seasons -- was for $500 above the Major League minimum of $380,000, though that includes a $53,000 raise in the minimum salary this season as mandated by the last Collective Bargaining Agreement. Gonzalez, 24, hit .304 with 24 home runs and 82 RBIs last season, and had requested a salary of $418,000 while Towers and the Padres countered with $391,500. Gonzalez has to take what the team offered when he was renewed because he's not eligible for salary arbitration. "Our approach has been pretty consistent over the years how we approach these guys," Towers said. "The dispute was we're never a club that's really recognized the boost of the minimum. We look at that as a raise. In his case, he felt there should be a significant raise on top of that. Certainly, there's no hard feelings." In fact, Towers didn't rule out the possibility of sitting down in the future with Gonzalez and his agent, John Boggs, and talking about a long-term deal. "He is certainly a guy that at some point in time we'll sit down and discuss, if there's some common ground, a multiyear deal to buy him out of his two-plus years and maybe a couple arbitration years," Towers said. "If not, we'll go back through this process again next year." Gonzalez was not available for comment on Thursday after Towers announced his renewal, though Boggs expressed his disappointment. "We were definitely hoping for a better resolution to this situation," Boggs said. "I've been around long enough where I am not fazed by it, but I'm disappointed by it. We felt Adrian deserved more than a 3 percent raise." Boggs said he looked at the raises that Jake Peavy, Khalil Greene and Sean Burroughs received after one-plus years of Major League service and proposed a 10 percent raise for his client. With similar service time, Peavy received a 16 percent bump after the 2003 season and Burroughs received a 12 percent raise that same year. Following the 2004 season, Greene received a 13 percent salary boost. Boggs said that, despite Thursday's events, Gonzalez is committed to helping the Padres get back to the postseason and that he will carry no ill will into the regular season. "Adrian is very fair and dedicated to making the Padres organization better and making the team better," Boggs said. "Adrian is professional and his concern is to get ready for the season. On the business side of things, he's not exactly jumping for joy, but at this point, we can't do a whole lot about it." Elsewhere, pitcher Clay Hensley agreed to a one-year deal worth $392,000. Three other players -- catcher Rob Bowen, Scott Cassidy and Mike Adams -- were reportedly close to deals, though official word will likely come on Friday. The team has until March 7 to get all of the players on its 40-man roster under contract, though Towers has a self-imposed deadline of Friday to get things done, for peace of mind more than anything else. "We don't want it to be a distraction for the players or us," he said. "They need to be getting ready for the season and not worrying what their contracts are going to be." The Padres play their first official Cactus League game on Friday against the Seattle Mariners at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.