SAN DIEGO (AP) — Something changed for the San Diego Padres during the last two months of 2009.
Suddenly, they looked less like a collection of prospects and more like major leaguers.
The Padres finished on a 37-25 run, leapfrogging the Arizona Diamondbacks to take fourth place in the NL West at 75-87. It was a notable turnaround, considering they had lost 99 games the season before.
Closer Heath Bell believes the Padres can finish above .500. A lot will have to do with whether two-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez stays or goes.
Gonzalez was the subject of numerous trade rumors in the offseason. He has this season plus a club option for 2011 remaining on his deal. With the Padres projected to have a $37 million payroll, ahead of only Pittsburgh, they might be tempted to trade Gonzalez for prospects.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.