Hoyer, Padres set sights on 2011 roster

Hoyer, Padres set sights on 2011 roster

SAN DIEGO -- Padres general manager Jed Hoyer met with reporters on Monday, a day after the team was eliminated from postseason consideration with a 3-0 loss to the Giants in the final game of the regular season.

Hoyer touched on a number of topics pertaining to 2010 and the future, as he and the front office prepare to make decisions that will shape the 2011 team.

• In regards to three-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez, the team will pick up his $5.5 million option for 2011, which might rank as the best bargain in the Major Leagues.

But the Padres, mindful of Gonzalez's impending free agency after the season, will listen to offers this winter but would prefer to take him into next season.

The same applies to closer Heath Bell, who made $4 million last season and will again be eligible for arbitration and what will likely be a significant raise after saving 47 games.

"I haven't made any definitive decisions, but we are a better team with those guys than without them," Hoyer said. "I'm sort of in the never-say-never category. In this business, the job is to make the team and the organization as good as it can be."

• Hoyer indicated that the team won't pick up the $8.5 million club option on right-handed pitcher Chris Young for 2011, though there could be a chance he returns in 2011 on a less expensive deal.

Young was 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three September starts after a strained right shoulder in April caused him to miss 5 1/2 months.

"I was really impressed with the way he came back," Hoyer said. "He came back, pushed through and made big starts for us."

• As for regrets for 2010, Hoyer said not sliding right-hander Tim Stauffer into the starting rotation earlier was one of them.

"Giving him the opportunity a little earlier is something I'll think a lot about this winter," Hoyer said. "I think he did a great job in the rotation at the end of the year. ... I felt as good with him on the mound as I did anyone on the team.

Stauffer was 6-5 with a 1.85 ERA in 32 games and was 3-2 with a 2.10 ERA in six starts after going into the starting rotation on Sept. 6.

With Clayton Richard, Mat Latos, Stauffer and Cory Luebke, the team has four starters who are under team control. Hoyer said he would like to add "one or two starters this winter. Pitching depth is key."

• Hoyer said the Padres' payroll will increase in 2011, though a figure has yet to be determined as the budget is still being formulated.

This season, the Padres had the second-lowest payroll in the Major Leagues (just under $38 million), trailing only the Pirates. The Padres, who won 90 games, accomplished as much with a roster of young, controllable players low on service time.

• As expected, bench coach Ted Simmons won't return in 2011. Simmons wants to be a Major League manager. Simmons and Padres first-base coach Rick Renteria as well as hitting coach Randy Ready are expected to get interviews of managerial openings in the coming weeks.

Renteria could be a candidate to replace Simmons as bench coach. Manager Bud Black is expected to announce his 2011 coaching staff in the coming days.

• Hoyer would be amenable to having veteran shortstop Miguel Tejada, who will be a free agent, return in 2011, though not for the $6 million he made last season, in a deal he signed before the season with the Orioles.

Tejada hit .268 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs in 59 games after the Padres acquired him in a deal from the Orioles. Hoyer said that if Tejada returns, it wouldn't necessarily have to be at shortstop.

"If we can work out a deal that makes sense, we would love to have him back," Hoyer said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.