Ryan Howard's Extension Good for Adrian Gonzalez
"I'm very happy for Ryan Howard," Gonzalez's agent, John Boggs, told FanHouse on Monday afternoon. "Obviously this bodes well for Adrian Gonzalez, because it validates the fact that he's worth that kind of money or more."
Howard was a controlled player not eligible for free agency until November 2011 when the Phillies on Monday announced a five-year extension that guarantees the first-baseman $125 million, and could reach $138 million over six years.
Gonzalez can become a free agent in November 2011. He's guaranteed $4.75 million this year per a four-year, $9.5-million deal he signed in April 2007. The Padres hold a $5.7 million option on him for 2011.
Asked to characterize talks on an extension for Gonzalez, Boggs said: "At this point, none."
Howard's deal removes a star first baseman from the 2011-12 free-agent class. First basemen potentially eligible for free agency after the 2011 season other than Gonzalez include Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
Howard will be 32 when the new terms take effect in 2012.
Gonzalez is 30 months younger than Howard and will turn 28 next month.
Howard is the more accomplished slugger. Gonzalez is rated the better defender. Gonzalez's home ballpark is among the worst for hitters in the major leagues.
Helping the Padres (11-7) move atop the National League West, Gonzalez has batted .317 with six home runs, 14 RBI and 13 runs scored entering Monday's game against the Marlins in Miami. Boggs said he doubts that Howard's contract will distract Gonzalez, who could be the subject of trade talks this season.
"One of Adrian's abilities is he concentrates," Boggs said. "He talks less about contractual and business situations as the season is in session than any other player I've represented. He's thinking about baseball. When he hears about Ryan Howard's deal, he'll probably say, 'Wow, pretty good.'
"And then he understands he needs to go out there and do what he's capable of doing. With him, it's about winning. What can I do to make the San Diego Padres a better ball club today? He has that ability to compartmentalize."