Are you ready for an Obsessive Adrian Gonzalez Trade Watch? It could be on the horizon. The San Diego Padres have confirmed that they will listen to offers for their 29-year-old first baseman, and the Chicago Cubs are expected to make a run at him.

Like many teams, the North Siders have had their eye on San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who can become a free agent after the 2011 season.

The small-market Padres know they will not be able to afford the $15 million-$20 million per season that Gonzalez will demand as a free agent next November. That being the case, deciding when to trade their best player will be the key to the Padres’ structure in the near future.

San Diego picked up Gonzalez’s $6.2 million option for 2011.

Gonzalez had surgery on his right shoulder in late October to repair his labrum. He’s expected to be 100 percent by spring training.

The Cubs would love to add Gonzalez. The fact the 29-year-old slugger hit 30 home runs or more in four consecutive seasons in cavernous Petco Park makes teams like the Cubs and Red Sox believe he’d be a 40-HR hitter in their parks. Historically, Wrigley Field has been a black hole for left-handed pull hitters due to wind conditions. Gonzalez is a perfect hitter for Wrigley, because he hits with power to all fields….

In order to trade for Gonzalez, if and when the Padres are ready to do so, teams will have to be ready to part with 3-4 of their top young players. In the meantime, the Cubs will be talking to the agents for the top left-handed hitting first baseman in the free agent market in order to find out what the market will be. ESPN Chicago.

Gonzalez’s situation lines up almost perfectly for the Cubs from a payroll perspective: he’ll make just $6.2 million in 2011 before becoming a free agent in 2012. The Cubs, who have little to spend in 2011, will have several large contracts coming off the books after 2011, so they’ll have the money available to sign a guy like Gonzalez.

  • Tanner

    The only thing that I want is this: MAKE SURE YOU SIGN HIM ON AN EXTENSION! If they do that, I don’t mind the Cubs throwing the entire package to him!

  • CubsFanatic

    Maybe I’m alone here, but I want to wait for Free Agency. I wouldn’t trade for him for a year so he can go elsewhere and We’re screwed. Though if we could avoid trading Castro, Brett Jackson, Archer, or Ju Lee then go for it. But I wouldn’t trade away the “farm” for just one year. And with no guarantee of an extension, that would worry me.

  • BT

    I’m not sure what the “right” answer is, but I have a hard time reconciling the idea that in a market where young cheap talent rules, the Cubs would have to give up 4 top prospects for the pleasure of giving AGon 100-140 million dollars. It has disaster written all over it.

    That being said, the Pads can ask for the moon, but I just find it unlikely (not impossible) that someone will give up that much to get him either for a year or for a mint.

  • Willis

    You have to take a run at him. The money is there for him this year, and next year the team would be the front runner in signing him long term. It’s a no brainer as far as I’m concerned. Other than Castro I care little who the team parts with. Castro has proven himself, others that people speak of really haven’t. Cashner maybe some, but this dude is a top 5 1B and would immediately make this a good lineup. Get it done.

    • BT

      The problem with that Willis, is that last year, many would have gladly parted with Castro to get Peavy. He hadn’t proved himself. I’m not saying (either) Jackson, Cashner or Archer will be as good as Castro, but if you are giving up 4 of them, the chances increase you are giving up someone who will come back to haunt you.

  • art

    pitching and defense win. we’re not going anywhere in 2011, to many holes and learning process for the kids. only trade for him if he’d sign an extension. otherwise wait for 2012 when he’s a FA. that’s when you sign him and keep your prospects. plus i’m not sure Ricky will spend big unless he thinks it’s the missing piece. I wouldn’t give them our 4 top prospects. look at the whole picture, make a plan, don’t give Hank the check book, 2012 is the year. if done right, I believe 2012 is going to be a big year.

    • Jeff

      The problem with waiting for him is that Boston will not wait for him and will do everything in their power to resign him if they acquire him in trade, and money won’t be an issue with them. Worst case scenario is what happened to Atlanta when they traded for Teixiera and gave up Elvis Andrus and company. If Atl had resigned Tex, then the trade would have worked long term for both teams. I would hope the Cubs would pay Gonzalez whatever he wanted if they do give up a couple of their best prospects and a majors ready guy or two for him, any guy you are willing to give up the farm for should be worth a 20 million dollar a year contract, otherwise you don’t make the deal.

  • Willis

    BT I agree with someone maybe coming back to haunt the team for giving them up when they were young. But I think that this is about as sure-fire of a good trade as there is. And I am of the opinion that if he gets to FA, there will be a bidding war for his services, which the cubs will not win.

    I would say this guy gives you at least 5 years of excellent play at 1B. I am willing to sacrifice young prospects for that. But I completely understand the other side of the argument.

  • Bric

    The issue here isn’t really whether the Cubs will resign him in 2012 or not, it’s whether Hendry stops drinking his own cool-aide and starts listening to everybody else. The headline of “Obsessive trade” watch is dead on. We’ve been down this road before, first with Brian Roberts, then with Jake Peavy. Hendry wussed out on both deals because he was afraid to trade top prospects like Rich Hill and Felix Pie. What a farce. Instead he’s gone the free agent, safe route, (as in safe for his job security). In my mind I’d offer any three of our top prospects just show the team that’s he’s committed to winning. And it would show the fans that he can keep up with the Jones’s. For the last five years winning teams teams like the Phillies, Cards, Yankees, Red Sox (even the White Sox and Rangers) show they’re not afraid to pull the trigger on a trade. Hendry got us Blake Dewitt, Rich Harden, and Chris Archer. Utility infielder, gone, and unproven. Not much else.

    • BT

      Yes Bric, he refused to give up Rich Hill and Felix Pie. But he also refused to give up Starlin Castro, Randy Wells, and Sean Marshall. For a guy who might never pitch again. I don’t see how that would have helped the Cubs.

      • Bric

        That’s true, he refused to give up Sean Marshall, who was a big name thrown about in trade circles. But Castro and Wells? Before two years ago neither of these names were known to anybody outside the organization and never came up in any trade talks to my knowledge. But I get your point… hindsight isn’t 20-20, it’s 50-50. So my point is this- would you rather wait for Archer, Vitters, and both Jacksons to develop (only Brett will) or trade them for an established all-star in a position you need to fill? Hendry’s track record recently says he’d rather go round and round the board waiting to land on the Short Line so his railroads are worth something while all the other players make practical trades to stay competitive. (sorry about the monopoly reference). If he doesn’t clean up this mess in the next five months he’ll be sitting next to J.P. Riccardi (“the deal’s gotta wow me”) on sports center.

    • rylan

      Don’t forget about Ryan Freel…great pickup at the time…now try saying that with a straight face.