Sunday, April 01, 2007

Padres Tie Up Their First Baseman of the Future

From "Gonzalez agrees to 4-year deal with Padres" (AP/

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres raised some eyebrows early in spring training when they gave first baseman Adrian Gonzalez a raise of just $500 for this season.

Gonzalez was coming off a breakout performance in his first full big league season, when he led the NL West champion Padres with a .304 average and 24 homers, and was second with 82 RBIs.

He was a local kid, and he'd been selected the team's MVP.

That "bump in the road," as general manager Kevin Towers called it, disappeared on Sunday, when Gonzalez agreed to a $9.5 million, four-year deal. The contract would be worth $15 million if the Padres exercise an option for $5.5 million in 2011.