Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune came out with an article today about Adrian Gonzalez’ desire to finish his career with the Padres. The piece detailed how much the former Padres All-Star first baseman wanted to stay with the club before being traded to the Red Sox and how he wanted to retire as a Padre.
Gonzalez said he was willing to take a hometown discount but an offer never even came before being traded in 2010 and hitting free agency after the 2011 season. John Boggs, Gonzalez’s agent, met with the Padres in 2010 and said he wanted his client to get an eight-year deal worth around $180 million (similiar to what Mark Teixeira got) but Jed Hoyer, the general manager at the time, said what Gonzalez’s camp wanted “just wasn’t realistic” and “there was no way to make it work.”
Then fast forward to 2018, which ended up being A-Gon’s last season in the big leagues, the Padres didn’t even offer him a one-year veteran’s minimum deal to come back and retire as a Padre. An offer never came despite Boggs making the Friars his first phone call and Gonzalez wanting to finish his career as a Padre. Considering that the Padres were willing to bring in Chase Headley in 2018, who was just two years younger than Gonzalez and ended up playing 27 total games that season, not even offering Gonzalez a chance to come back doesn’t seem like it was a good decision.
The team wasn’t going anywhere that season so it wouldn’t have hurt to see Gonzalez in a Padres uniform one last time (even in a bench role which seems like he was willing to take). Instead, they had a combination of players on the bench that included Jose Pirela, A.J. Ellis, Matt Szczur, Travis Jankowski, Cory Spangenberg, and Carlos Asuaje.
Gonzalez ended up going to the New York Mets in 2018 and played 54 games for them that season.
It’s also worthy to note that Boggs also tried to see if the Padres wanted to give Gonzalez a a Spring Training invite in 2019 but they weren’t interested in that either.