SI.com: 20 best MLB decisions of the past year

SI.com’s Jon Heyman put together a list of the 20 best decisions made by MLB teams over the past year.

His No. 1 was the Nationals’ signing of Stephen Strasburg, while his No. 2 was the Cubs’ decision to trade Milton Bradley to the Mariners in exchange for pitcher Carlos Silva (who is leading the club in wins, ERA and WHIP).

Heyman’s No. 4 best decision involves a team that has been one of the bigger surprises so far this season:

4. The Padres’ decision not to trade Adrian Gonzalez and/or Heath Bell

Everyone assumed new Padres GM Jed Hoyer would want to make a big splash and set the team up for the future by trading All-Star 1B Adrian Gonzalez, who could bring a haul with his reasonable contract ($10 mil over two years) and big-time talent. Word supposedly was that Hoyer had an obvious landing spot in his old haunt in Boston, where Hoyer had been an assistant GM and knew the system. That assumption was supposedly bolstered by Padres marketing materials that allegedly omitted Gonzalez.

However, Hoyer and Padres decision-makers held both Gonzalez and top reliever Heath Bell, fortified the rotation by adding stable veteran Jon Garland and kept their fingers crossed. To everyone’s surprise — except maybe San Diego’s brass — the Padres have been at or near the top of the NL West all year. Hoyer didn’t disrupt what former Padres GM Kevin Towers built in San Diego to satisfy his ego. Instead, he did the prudent thing. Just because Towers was fired by new owner Jeff Moorad doesn’t mean he did a bad job. It turns out there were some very good pieces in place, including what appears to be the majors’ best bullpen.

There is still some concern in San Diego that the Padres will be sellers at the trade deadline, but if they stay in contention in the NL West it’s hard to envision that happening. This is just speculation on my part, but I have to believe that if Hoyer does make a big move (i.e. trading Gonzo and/or Bell), it won’t come until after the season.

Until then, the Padres’ current roster will have every opportunity to make a run at the postseason this year.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Red Sox, Padres discussing deal for Gonzalez

According to a report by the Boston Globe, the Red Sox and Padres are in discussions about a deal that would send slugger Adrian Gonzalez to Beantown.

Padres GM Kevin Towers was said to be asking for “a ton” for Gonzalez according to one major league source familiar with the Padres’ thinking. Some of the names being discussed included Clay Buchholz, Lars Anderson, Jed Lowrie, Ryan Westmoreland, Justin Masterson and others, but no word on whether the Red Sox had offered a package for Gonzalez.

Less was known about the status of talks between Cleveland and Boston for Victor Martinez. The teams have been discussing Martinez for quite some time, but the Red Sox have been reluctant to deliver Buchholz for the catcher/first baseman.

Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi remained pessimistic about trading Roy Halladay, but as one team’s top advisor said last night, “where there’s a huge pitcher available some teams don’t show their best hand until the final moments of the deadline. You might see that with Boston at the end.”

I don’t know how Boston fans feel, but as an outsider, it seems like the Red Sox are lacking something offensively. They’re going to be in contention for either the AL East crown or the AL Wild Card no matter what. But adding a slugger like Gonzo would certainly add more pop to their lineup and give them some extra firepower against the Yankees and Rays in the division.

But is he worth the price? After a hot start, he’s only hitting .252 with 28 home runs. This is after racing out to 15 home runs and a .311 average in mid May. One would think that his numbers would rise in Boston’s lineup, but his average is death right now.

MLB Trade Rumors: Atkins, Escobar, Haren

– According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, the Red Sox might have interest in Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins after Boston recently placed Mike Lowell on the DL. Colorado is searching for a reliever to help improve their bullpen.

Rumor has it that the Braves’ increasing frustration with the talented, but immature Yunel Escobar could land him on the trade block. Considering he’s only 26 and is batting .293 with seven dingers and 40 RBI, there would certainly be a market for him if Atlanta does eventually make him available.

– Even though some believe that the Mets are still actively searching for offensive help, manger Jerry Manuel told reporters that the club “has enough.”

The Arizona Republic suggests that if the Diamondbacks get a package similar to the one they got when they acquired Dan Haren from Oakland a few years ago, the club could still be willing to move the starting pitcher. A trade seems awfully unlikely though.

– The Mariners have reportedly started discussions with the Padres regarding a trade for third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff according to FOX Sports.com.

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