Heading into the 2017 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers expected Adrian Gonzalez to continue doing much of what he had. Gonzalez had long provided a steady presence at first base and been a stalwart in the heart of the lineup.
If there was going to be a change, it was with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts looking to provide the veteran with ample rest so as to keep him healthy for an expected playoff run. But nagging elbow/forearm soreness in Spring Training served as a precursor of what was to come.
A chronic bulging disc injury forced Gonzalez to the disabled list for the first time in his career. Circumstances dictated a return that was earlier than initially expected, but Gonzalez landed back on the DL for a second time.
That created an opportunity for Cody Bellinger, who capitalized and usurped Gonzalez at first base. It also made for some uncertainty in terms of future with the organization.
If the Dodgers to deal Gonzalez, who is entering the final year of his contract, it will need to come with approval as he holds a full no-trade clause, per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
Complicating things is Gonzalez has a full no-trade clause, according to his agent, John Boggs.
When Gonzalez agreed to a seven-year, $154 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in April 2011, it was reported he also secured a partial no-trade clause.
Despite being limited to 71 games, his lowest since becoming an everyday player, Gonzalez not only said he will continue playing in 2018, but expressed a desire to reclaim a starting role. That doesn’t figure to mesh well with the Dodgers’ outlook.
Though, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman did indicate there’s an expectation Gonzalez will remain with the organization next season. While Gonzalez does have the power to veto any trade, he presumably would grant approval if meant joining situation where he could start on a regular basis.
As for concerns about his health, Gonzalez outlined an offseason workout plan that would focus on back stretches, among other exercises to strengthen the area. He also is scheduled to play winter ball in the Mexican Pacific League.