"I don't take it personally or anything," Gonzalez said prior to San Diego's 4-3 victory over the Mariners in the Cactus League opener for both teams.
"If that's what they want to do, that's what they want to do. I wanted a little more, and my agent educated me that I should ask for a little bit more. They didn't want to give it to me, so that's fine."
The 24-year-old Gonzalez, who hit .304 with 24 home runs and 82 RBIs last season, was seeking a 10 percent raise from last season after his breakout season. Instead, Gonzalez received a 3 percent raise.
The Padres offered Gonzalez a contract worth $391,500 with the understanding that if he didn't accept their offer that offer would revert back to what essentially amounted to the Major League minimum.
Gonzalez's agent, John Boggs, argued that his client should have received a rise in line with the ones Jake Peavy, Khalil Greene and Sean Burroughs received after one-plus years of service time. Peavy received a 16 percent raise, Greene a 13 percent raise and Burroughs a 12 percent bump.
San Diego general manager Kevin Towers said Thursday that he considers the $53,000 rise in the Major League minimum part of Gonzalez's raise.
"It's understandable where they are coming from," Gonzalez said. "They don't want to give me that money because then the guy behind me will ask for the same amount I ask for and maybe by then, the minimum salary is $400,000 and the money is more than they want to pay. I understand their point of view and I'm pretty sure they understand my point of view."
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Gonzalez said he would still be amendable to working out a long-term deal in the future, something that Towers broached on Thursday.
"It's all talk until something is presented to us," Gonzalez said. "It's definitely good to hear, but you can't get too excited until you see it on paper."
Gonzalez was one of 22 players who agreed to contracts for the 2007 season. The others are pitchers Clay Hensley, Cla Meredith, Heath Bell, Scott Cassidy, Mike Adams, Mike Thompson, Tim Stauffer, Kevin Cameron, Leo Rosales, Jared Wells, Royce Ring, Ryan Ketchner, Justin Hampson and Sean Thompson. Position players included catcher Rob Bowen, infielders Kevin Kouzmanoff, Paul McAnulty, Luis Cruz, Craig Stansberry and outfielders Terrmel Sledge and Jack Cust.
Big day for Big Mac:
Paul McAnulty is in camp trying to win a job on the 25-man Opening Day roster, which means the first baseman/outfielder is willing to do just about anything to make it.
That's essentially what occurred in the Padres' victory over the Mariners on Friday.
McAnulty had two hits, including a home run off Seattle phenom Felix Hernandez, and later saved a run when he threw out Wladimir Balentien at the plate on a fly ball to left field in the sixth inning.
"I was just trying to hit the cutoff man right there," said McAnulty, who is learning to play the outfield. "Right now, I'm just trying to get the mechanics down. It happened to be a good throw. I just threw the damn thing."
McAnulty also made a nice play in the first inning when he ran down a line drive off the bat of Ichiro Suzuki, though it was his bat that impressed Padres manager Bud Black the most.
"He had some great at-bats yesterday and great at-bats today," Black said. "A great home run off a guy with great stuff. He looks very good at the plate right now. ... A good day for Mac."
The Padres clubhouse in Peoria is pretty crowded these days, with 58 players occupying just about every locker. That could change soon enough, though.
Black said the first round of cuts could come as soon as Sunday, when the team's Minor League camp opens.
"Usually when Minor League camp opens, in and around the starting date of that, there's usually some action," Black said. "The innings shrink just because the starters are going a little bit longer. Guys who don't project to make the team, they need to get their at-bats or innings because their season is approaching. They need to get on the field, too, and play."
Most of the cuts could come on the pitching side, as the Padres have 30 pitchers in camp, including seven non-roster invitees.
Single-game tickets to Padres home games at PECTO Park will go on sale on Saturday at 9 a.m. PT. The Padres play host to Colorado in the home opener on April 6 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available at the PETCO Park ticket office beginning at 9 a.m. and through padres.com and padresbeisbol.com. ... Utility infielder Geoff Blum, who has missed a week of time with a tweaked back, was able to hit and take ground balls without limitations on Thursday and could be in the lineup as soon as Saturday. "He'll be playing here shortly," Black said. ... There was an hour and a half meeting on Friday between all of the Padres on the 40-man roster and Donald Fehr, the union head of the Players' Association. "It's an opportunity to get the players together to brief them on what's happened in the last year, discuss current issues and, most importantly, answer questions.