Do either Bell and/or Gonzalez have to go?

When I spoke with Padres general manager Kevin Towers last week, he essentially indicated that the team would be reluctant to move Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

If you’re a Padres fan, do you agree with this? Do you think holding onto Bell and Gonzalez is the best way for the team to make that hard climb back toward being a .500 team or better in 2010?

Or would you rather see the Padres deal away one of these two players for a haul of players who could impact the roster in 2010, position players and/or pitchers? Players who are young and under team control and will be in San Diego for a while. Players who can help now and in the future.

Is that something you, as a Padres fan, are willing to consider?

Understand that in Bell, you have a 31-year-old reliever who is having a monster season. He’s arbitration-eligible, meaning he’s in for a fairly big payday (unless the team signs him to a multi-year deal).

The haul of talent you would receive for Bell wouldn’t be nearly that if, say, you traded away Gonzalez, but it could fetch you possibly two players who could help you in the future. Is that worth trading away your All-Star closer?

How about Gonzalez? Yes, I know he’s a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner. He’s from San Diego, fans love him, even for his summer slump, he’s a very good hitter and a very good players. There’s no disputing that.

But imagine if you sold high on Gonzalez right now what that could net you in return. Three or four players, some Major League ready, some close, maybe some top-level prospect to help fill a system that is currently devoid of such players.

Here’s the deal: The Padres will never be a team that makes a big splash in free agency due to the contracts these players command AND get. Promoting from within is a great way to go but as evidenced by this season, those players ARE already here. If there’s hope coming from the farm system, it’s not going to be here this year or possibly even next.

Then isn’t the best way to immediately improve your team through a trade? Do you trade one of these guys, both or circle the wagons, say that these are your building blocks and go into 2010 with essentially the same group (albeit it healthier)?

This is all food for thought. There is no advocating a deal here, just presenting all sides. What do you think?

Cheers, Corey
MLB.com, Padres.com, Twitter (@FollowThePadres)

9 Comments

I think it would be foolish for San Diego to trade Gonzalez. They could land a ton in return but right now he is the face of the franchise. If they are wowed then he should be traded but other than that he needs to stay put.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

First of all, after listening to Josh and Brian on AM 1360, I feel that if Headley can really start to hit as they say (the next CHIPPER JONES), then I say the Padres are already set and can very much compete. Here’s the things to look for: Headley to learn how to be a good 3-hole hitter giving Adrian some protection and on-base machine (cut down strike-outs), Kyle Blanks (yea, the six foot-six inch guy) to keep doing what he has been doing for the past two or three series (flat out bombs!!!!), I like Kouz’s defence alot, but he is so unclutch and has a terrible on-base %. He is a free-swinger and it is not helping the team. This does not help a team that is in dire need of getting guys on base. They are the worst in hitting and on-base % (or very close to it). I say keep Adrian definitely. The team need A-Gone’s offense. Now for Heath Bell: I think that we should try to get a couple of good prospects and one needs to be a potential stand-out, 5-tool, or power pitcher. Otherwise keep him! Don’t send him away for a guy who has a lifetime of 6 era but has good stuff! Come on Padres, you can’t fool us any longer! WHEN YOU SAID THAT YOU WOULD SPEND MONEY AND GET SOME ACTION GOING AFTER PETCO WAS BUILT, WE BELIEVED YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And now were still waiting and watching a horrible team. Fire Bud Black! Now!!! He used to be a pitcher- pitchers are way too low-key and passive. Fire Him! See what the Rockies did? When Bruce Bochy went so did the Padres. That’s the facts. The Giants have a horrible offense. But he has made it work. Bud Black can’t get this offense started. Period

I think they should trade Heath Bell because there is no point in having a closer when your team doesn’t win games. I’m sure that in two years when they have a chance to be competitive again someone else can step up as a closer. It seems that some team could use some serious bullpen depth as he could be a closer or go back to his great 8th inning stopper skills. Adrian though has to stay. There is no way the Padres can take the hit of trading the only decent, non-DL player on their team. Plus they need him for Mexico marketing.

Trade Heath Bell, Keep Adrian. That’s what I think.
http://adriangonzalez23.mlblogs.com

This team has so many needs and is far from being competitive, even in our division. The payroll will not expand next year and our farm system is a few years away from producing prospects. Furthermore, our farm system has failed to develop any impact players, with the exception of maybe Latos. We need to sell high on both Bell and Gonzales, trade them both and give us a chance to be better in 2011 or beyond. If anything at least trading them would save us money to use on signing our current draftees (Tate, Williams, etc.) and the team could give the Nats a run at 1st pick in 2010. While you’re at it, please trade Kooz and return Headley to his natural position.

The problem here is, as in the past, the Padre leadership may end up with the wrong players in return for Bell and Gonzalez. They have shown a tendency in past years of trading away guys for someone else’s “prospects” only to see them blow up in their face. (Remember Fred McGriff, among others?) Gonzalez is not going to see another decent pitch the rest of the season, and Bell isn’t going to have much opportunity to save games. Not many managers could pull off what it would take to get this team into any sort of contention, so Black isn’t the issue. Time to bite the bullet and trade Bell and Gonzalez,take the boatload of players from those deals,get rid of the front office gang and start over. Listening to local talk show hacks on the radio is useless. They are all unabashed homers with little real knowledge or information to pass on. IF Headley hits,IF this guy does this, and so on, who cares? this team is lousy, and will remain lousy for a while. Ownership will not spend any money on players, Tate is never going to sign because the Padres will low-ball him, but they can say “we tried-He just didn’t want our money”, and even if they had next years first pick, they would probably find the next Matt Bush to blow the pick on. This isn’t a rebuilding project, it’s Urban Renewal……

You have to wonder at what the upside of waiting, or even not trading Bell or A. Gonzalez would be. The face of the franchise? A “veteran in the bullpen” ? A team that loses 100 games needs neither. They need to look to how to make the team better in the years to come.

Trading off anything of value right now is the only way to go in order to build a competitive team in 2-3 years. The Dodgers are not slowing down, and the Giants have a great farm system coming up.

By trading Bell, Gonzalez, Peavy, Kouz, Eckstein, Correia and anything else with any value you are building a young ballclub that will be exciting, and hopefully competitive in the future. By trading your “big three” of Bell, Gonzalez and Peavy you should reap maybe 3-5 top flight blue chip ballplayers, you would also bring in maybe 4-6 2nd tier players and a handfull of lower level suspects. Infusing this farm system with youth and talent (hopefully 2-3 can play at the big league level in 2010) and more for the future.

Without making these moves this team is going nowhere, and honestly I won’t support a team that cannot see the writing on the wall in order to create a competitive team of the future.

I’m with 23 Gonzalez. As I’m sure you’ve seen from my tweets Corey. I’m pro trading Bell and anti trading Adrian.
We need to win in order to close out games. We also need to hit in order to win. Since the move to Petco the issue has been and still is hitting not pitching. Bell won’t be cheap in the next couple years and he is at peak value right now. Many relievers drop off from one year to the next (see Brad Lidge) especially at 31.

We need offense and it doesn’t get any better for the team than Adrian. Blanks has looks much better than a 1B turned RF/LF in such a short time. In Blanks we actually have a RH power bat to hit behind Adrian and force teams to pitch to him. So we can see more of the Adrian from April/May and not the Adrian of June.

The harsh economics of baseball hurts the team and in order for the Padres to keep star players we need to have guys willing to play here for less. I believe Adrian is willing to do that and he allows the organization to have a cornerstone, power hitting, gold glove winning, Spanish speaking playing to promote for the next decade.

Let’s just hope KT deal Bell now while he can really got a solid prospect or two. Strike while the iron is hot KT!!

I think a Heath Bell trade would be a great idea. Like others have said, we don’t need an ace closer right now. I with we did, but we don’t. If we could get a few top prospects for him it would be good. I’m on the fence about trading Adrian. I love the guy, and with Peavy out for the season he has become the face of this club. He is also our only top-level player not on the DL. However, if a team like Boston was willing to pay through the nose for him, it’s possible that trading him would be a good idea. I’m just sick of not knowing half the players any given trip to the ballpark

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