The Padres brought back their main run producer on Tuesday, when they formally exercised a club option worth $6.2 million to keep Adrian Gonzalez in the fold for the 2011 season. Gonzalez, the first overall pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, has already set a franchise record with four 30-homer seasons, and his three 100-RBI campaigns is tied for the most in team history.
Gonzalez, who was originally drafted by the Marlins, has been traded twice in his brief career. He was acquired by San Diego prior to the 2006 season, and he's just two home runs shy of the franchise record (163) set by Nate Colbert. Gonzalez is a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner.
Gonzalez has had at least 30 home runs and 99 RBIs in each of the last four seasons, and he led the Padres in doubles (33), RBIs (101), runs (87) and walks (93) last season. Gonzalez batted third nearly all season and also paced San Diego hitters in on-base (.393) and slugging percentage (.511).
Gonzalez, in fact, has been named his team's Most Valuable Player by the San Diego chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in three of the last four seasons, and he'll be a prime candidate again in 2010. The next question, of course, is whether Gonzalez will still be around to make another run at that title in 2011 and beyond.
Twice already in his career, Gonzalez has been part of a division-shaping trade.
When he was still a prospect, he was traded with fellow youngsters Will Smith and Ryan Snare to Texas in exchange for Ugueth Urbina, who later played a key role in helping the Marlins to the 2003 World Series title. Two seasons later, Gonzalez was sent to San Diego with Terrmel Sledge and Chris Young in exchange for Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka and prospect Billy Killian.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.