Padres moving on, planning for 2011

Padres moving on, planning for 2011

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It was pretty easy to compartmentalize Jed Hoyer's day Monday at the Winter Meetings: talking about the Adrian Gonzalez trade and working ahead on trying to build a 25-man roster for Opening Day.

Pretty even split, looking back and looking ahead.

To be sure, it was a unique day for Hoyer, the Padres' second-year general manager, a day unlike any others he's had in his relatively short tenure in San Diego.

Hoyer spent the morning talking to the press about the Gonzalez deal that has been in the works for days and then looked like it fell apart Sunday when Gonzalez's agent, John Boggs, couldn't reach an agreement on a contract extension with the Red Sox.

The deal eventually was consummated Sunday night and announced Monday, with Hoyer left to explain that the team had no chance to retain Gonzalez after 2011 and that the Red Sox package of three prospects plus a player to be named was too good to pass on.

"We were able to secure three prospects we like a lot for the future," Hoyer said. "... We think we're in position where we need to do that. We need to always be looking towards gaining young, controllable players for the Padres.

"One season of Adrian Gonzalez, it would be difficult to lose that, but we gained a lot. We felt like in our financial position that was something we had to do."

Hoyer spent the rest of the day with agents and other teams, talking about players who might be available to fill some of the Padres' significant holes.

The team is now looking for a first baseman to take Gonzalez's place -- even if it's for a year -- a shortstop, a second baseman, a backup catcher and possibly another pitcher for the starting rotation, even after the team agreed to a one-year deal with Aaron Harang for $3.5 million with a mutual option for 2012.

The holes are many; the asking price is still high for free agents and also players who might be available through trades, especially for a team that will have an Opening Day payroll in the vicinity of $40 million.

The rest of this offseason could, in a sense, look a lot like last winter when the Padres were able to score a few bargain deals in January, like they did with Jon Garland, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Yorvit Torrealba.

The Padres do have Gonzalez's $6.3 million for 2011 coming off the books, so there's a little more wiggle room in regards to dealing for free agents. Pulling off a trade will still be difficult for the Padres, given they don't have a lot of Minor League talent ready to contribute as the Major League level.

The Padres still have interest in St. Louis shortstop Brendan Ryan, who lost his starting job when the team recently traded for infielder Ryan Theriot. Hoyer said there's interest in bring back Hairston, who is a free agent.

There are a slew of first basemen that could fit in San Diego, at least until Anthony Rizzo, one of the three players obtained from the Red Sox, is ready. Lyle Overbay, Russell Branyan and Adam LaRoche might be names the Padres look into at some point.

Hoyer indicated the Padres won't likely trade closer Heath Bell before the start of the season. It was speculated that after Gonzalez, the Padres would look to deal their two-time All-Star closer. But Hoyer, who traded two relief pitchers last month for Marlins outfielder Cameron Maybin, would like to keep the rest of their bullpen intact.

"I think we will be able to sign some free agents and make some moves," Hoyer said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.