San Diego is already getting a little testy about Adrian Gonzalez's impending free agency.
Gonzalez isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season, but he was asked by the Chicago Sun-Times ' Gordon Wittenmeyer if he would be interested in comng to Chicago if the Cubs made an offer.
"There's definitely a lot of positives about Chicago that if they made an offer, I would be interested in it," Gonzalez said. "Chicago's a great town, and they have great fans, and I like the fact that it's a small ballpark. I know the wind can play against you, but it can play for you, too. There's definitely some positives. And my wife loves Chicago for the shopping."
With the Padres falling out of the playoff race in the final two weeks of the season, many questioned Gonzalez's comments. On Wednesday, Gonzalez said it was the timing that got people upset, more than the actual comments.
"The fans' reaction was totally off," Gonzalez told the San Diego Union-Tribune 's Don Norcross . "I think they took this and because we're losing, wanted to turn it into something else. If we would have won those two games [against the Cubs], I don't think they would have made anything out of it."
Padres general manager Jed Hoyer and manager Bud Black backed their player.
"I don't see this as a story," Hoyer said in an e-mail to Norcross.
Gonzalez grew up on both sides of the border in the San Diego area and is due $5.5 million next season before hitting free agency. Many expected the Padres to look to deal Gonzalez this season, but their surprising run -- which included a long stint in first place -- kept him in San Diego.
Gonzalez said he'd like to stay in San Diego -- but did qualify that statement.
"If everyone offers me the same contract, I'll definitely stay here," Gonzalez said.
It's unlikely that will happen. Gonzalez will be one of the premier free agents on the market and the Padres are hardly one of the big spenders in the game.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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