The news cycle is slow as baseball remains in a lockout, but one nugget about a former SF Giants division rival was confirmed on Saturday. Longtime first baseman Adrián González announced his retirement after 15 seasons.
Longtime SF Giants nemesis officially hangs up his cleats
The 39-year-old first baseman has not appeared in a major league game since 2018 after an unsuccessful run with the New York Mets, but he held out hope that he could continue his career. Opportunities dried up, but González did slash .340/.,412/.531 with six home runs, 41 RBI, and 28 runs scored in 187 plate appearances with the Mariachis de Guadalajara of the Mexican League in 2021.
Despite being in his age-39 season, González proved that his bat still had some thump against professional pitching. With that being said, major league teams would have struggled with finding a role for a veteran first base-only player.
The left-handed slugger's career began all the way back in 2000 when he was selected with the first overall pick by the Miami Marlins in that year's draft out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California.
González never appeared in a game with the Marlins and he was traded twice before landing with the San Diego Padres in 2006. By that time, his stock had dipped as it looked unlikely that he would ever live up to the expectations of a top pick.
He quickly turned that narrative around. Over the next five seasons in a Padres uniform, the veteran first baseman slashed .288/.374./.514 (141 OPS+) with 161 home runs and 501 RBI while being the catalyst for several Padres teams that were tough to beat.
He made the NL All-Star in three of his five seasons with San Diego. In 2010, González posted a .957 OPS while nearly leading the Padres to a playoff spot to the Giants. Of course, this was the beginning of the championship run for the Giants.
San Francisco received a bit of good luck as the veteran slugger was traded to the Boston Red Sox in a blockbuster deal after 2010 and he immediately signed a seven-year, $154 million pact. The hope was that he would remain in Boston for the duration of that contract but he was shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the midst of the 2012 season.
Prior to that trade, the Dodgers were purchased by a lucrative ownership group that was headlined by Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. This trade represented the spending power of that group as both González and Carl Crawford were traded, both of whom were under lucrative deals at the time.
González wore a Dodgers uniform until the 2017 season, but he was shipped to the Atlanta Braves in a salary dump move. His final major league stop was with the Mets where he produced a .672 OPS in 187 plate appearances before being released.
In total, he registered a .262/.328/.414 line with 21 home runs and 85 RBI in his career against the Giants. The 15-year veteran was a part of a lot of Padres and Dodgers teams that proved to be a difficult challenge for San Francisco. His announcement officially puts an end to a very successful career, but he had plenty of gritty moments against Giants pitching while becoming a division nemesis.