Last year, local boy made good, Adrian Gonzalez was the Most Valuable Player for the Padres (Gonzalez is from Chula Vista). He it for over .300 with 24 homers for the Friars.
Adrian's agent wanted him to get a little respect and offered the Padres his MVP-like services for $418,000 (an amount less than the median-priced home in San Diego County). The Padres countered at $391,500 and cautioned him that if he didn't accept their offer, the next would be at $380,500. The trick is that the Padres control Adrian Gonzales (he doesn't have enough time in the bigs for free agency).
Is this starting to sound like a classic foreclosure sale negotiation? The seller wants $418,000 and the buyer knows that they could swoop in at the last minute for $380,500 (assume that is what is owed on the home). The home may have intrinsic value that could fetch as much as $600,000 after some cosmetic repairs and a firming market. In the foreclosure sale negotiation, the buyer just wants the home, not the seller's goodwill.
This is where the difference lies; the Padres should want Adrian's goodwill.
The Padres need to be developing talent for the future should they wish to remain competitive. Keeping Adrian Gonzales happy should be a priority for the Padres. The correct gesture, now, would be for the Padres to retain their original offer at $391,500 and submit that they were always willing to pay that. It's not perfect but it could make a difference. The point is (as seen in Michael Cook's aforementioned piece), you can exercise your power in a negotiation today to have it bite you on the ass later.
Adrian says he's not upset; he's glad to be playing baseball. Mr. Towers sends a message to Padres fans that a prosperous future is not necessarily a priority.