Despite a heartbreaking end, the 2010 season should be considering nothing but a smashing success for the Padres. They sat atop the NL West for the majority of the season and were in contention for a playoff spot until Game 162 even though almost everyone considered them to be one of the worst teams in the league coming out of Spring Training. They did all that with a payroll approaching just $38MM (according to Cot's), less than the Yankees pay the left side of their infield.
That said, the team can not afford to spend $8.5MM on an injury prone Chris Young next season, and Dan Hayes of The North County Times reports that the team will decline his 2011 option (Twitter links). The Padres are open to bringing him back, but it would have to be at a lesser price. Young has thrown just 198.1 innings (4.13 ERA) over the last three seasons due to back and shoulder issues, not to mention facial fractures suffered when he was hit by a line drive.
With that out of the way, the focus will inevitably turn to homegrown megastar Adrian Gonzalez, who will become a free agent 12 months from now once the team picks up his $6.2MM no-brainer option for 2011. It's been assumed for two years now that Gonzalez would be traded at some point, simply because the team is unlikely to be able to afford him in the future and they could certainly fetch more value than two draft picks on the trade market.
GM Jed Hoyer told MLB.com's Corey Brock that he obviously wants to keep Gonzalez on the team going into next season, but he would not guarantee that it will happen (Twitter link). Hoyer also said that he will meet with Gonzalez's agent John Boggs at some point in the coming weeks, and indicated that payroll will increase an undisclosed amount next season (Hayes Twitter link). Unless they're expanding the payroll considerably, it's tough to imagine a new contract with Gonzalez being hammered out.
Amazingly, the Padres only have $1.1MM in salary obligation for next season, and that's broken down into a $600K buyout of Jon Garland's $6.75MM option and a $500K buyout of Yorvit Torrealba's $3.5MM option. Everyone else on the roster is either due to become a free agent in a few weeks or is still in their pre-arbitration or arbitration-eligible seasons when contracts are not guaranteed. There's certainly no albatross contracts hanging over their heads that are preventing them from signing Gonzalez.
During the summer we heard rumors that Adrian could seek an eight-year deal when he hits free agency, likely meaning that he's looking for Mark Teixeira money. The 28-year-old has hit .288/.374/.514 with an average of just over 32 homers per season in his five years as a Padre, but outside of Petco Park those numbers jump to .303/.376/.568. He's also considered to be one of the game's best defenders, so the Teixeira comparisons are appropriate. About the only thing Gonzalez doesn't do is switch hit.