Gonzalez, who spent years growing up in Tijuana, turned in another banner season for the Padres this year, batting .298 with 31 homers and 101 RBIs while playing in his third All-Star Game. Over the past five seasons with San Diego, A-Gon has hit .288 while averaging 32 homers and 100 RBIs and establishing himself as the premier first sacker in the National League. But will the Padres keep him?
Entering the third and final year of a contact that will pay him $5.5 million, Gonzalez will command far more money in 2012, a cost the Padres are likely not willing to meet. Speculation was rampant last season that he would be peddled to Boston, where he is coveted by the Red Sox, but that deal never went down. However, the Padres have a little more flexibility this winter with a glut of free agent first baseman available. If the team can sign a Carlos Pena or a Lyle Overbay at a manageable price, the likelihood increases that Gonzalez will be dealt.