Exactly one year ago, we noted how the Padres' winning ways were interfering with their inevitable trade of Jake Peavy. More than two months later, the Padres turned Peavy into pitchers Clayton Richard (currently a starter for the Padres), Aaron Poreda (who started the year in AA ball), Dexter Carter (started in low-A) and Adam Russell (Padres reliever).
Now, San Diego is in a similar situation with slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres weren't expected to compete this year, yet they've remained in first place for most of it so far. As the Dodgers' cold April and hot May have proved, it's a long trudge of a season. So how long will the Padres hold on to Gonzalez?
With his San Diego roots and 40-homer ability, Gonzalez is arguably a more popular Padre than Peavy was. But he's indicated he won't give the Padres a hometown discount. So again, San Diego management has to tread carefully, maximizing the return from trading a star player while not angering fans who believe he can help them compete this year.
Who would have thought having such an accomplished player on your roster would be so unenviable? Will the Dodgers (gasp) find themselves in San Diego's shoes with their young talent in a few years? Enjoy the Padres' dilemma now, because the roles may well be reversed before too long.
photo by Alex Gallardo/AP