What are Padres hinting at with Tony Gwynn-Luis Arráez Instagram post?

Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres
Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

From the day that the San Diego Padres swung a surprise trade to nab Luiz Arraez in early May, the comparisons of the pesky slugger to Tony Gwynn have been pretty much nonstop.

While taking a guy like Arraez, who has been fairly unassuming beyond his pretty high batting average, and comparing him to a Hall of Famer that had arguably one of the best hit tools of all-time is bold, that hasn't stopped people from doing it since Arraez walked through the clubhouse doors.

To be fair, the start of Arraez's Padres tenure sure hasn't done anything to quell those comparisons. Since joining the Padres, Arraez is slashing .379/.404/.453 and has been one of the biggest reasons why the Padres have been able to hang around along with Jurickson Profar's Immortal Season.

However, that still didn't keep fans' eyebrows from being raised when the Padres team Instagram account posted a series of pictures of Arraez visiting Tony Gwynn's statue and leaning into the comparison. Could there be more to the message than just a reflection on Gwynn's impact on the franchise?

Could the Padres be hinting at an Arraez extension with Tony Gwynn Instagram post?

Obviously whenever you have two guys with exceptional hit tools that play or have played for the same franchise, fans are going to make that comparison. However, Gwynn occupies such rarified air in Padres history that for the team to so bluntly and fervently lean into the comparison between Arraez and a Hall of Famer that played for 20 years in San Diego could be pretty telling.

However, an extension for Arraez isn't as farfetched as one would think, even for a team with the financial challenges that the San Diego has been dealing with. Arraez is a free agent after the 2025 season, and while he has been a key cog in the Padres' offense, his lack of power and defensive value should make him a relatively affordable guy to sign long-term assuming that he is amenable to forgoing free agency. Given that he was willing to have extension talks with the horrid Marlins, it seems likely that he would at least listen.

Arraez willingly took part in this Instagram PR campaign, so he doesn't seem to mind being compared to the greatest Padres player ever and one of the greatest hitters of his generation. Perhaps he could now be interested in joining the list of players that called San Diego their home for a long time based on the reception he has received from the team and fans alike.

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