PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -Khalil Greene would like to spend the rest of his career with the San Diego Padres.
The shortstop, who had career-highs in home runs (27), RBIs (97) and games played (153), reported to camp a day early Monday after signing an $11 million, two-year deal earlier this month. The contract covers Greene's arbitration years but makes him eligible for free agency after the 2009 season.
``I don't want to go anywhere,'' Greene said. ``Ideally, I can stay here for the rest of my career as a baseball player. There's nowhere else I would really rather play than San Diego.''
The Padres weren't as sure about Greene's willingness to stay in San Diego after he turned down deals for three and four years.
General manager Kevin Towers even wondered if Greene was looking to play closer to his offseason home in South Carolina.
But Greene, the team's No. 1 pick in the June 2002 draft, made it clear he likes where he is.
``There is nowhere else that I can say it's the place I want to play,'' Greene said. ``It's not like there's a team close to where I live. Once I leave my own home, that's (San Diego) where you live and stay. I've enjoyed my time there.''
Towers said the Padres won't resume long-term talks with Greene until after the season but was happy to hear the news.
``We have a lengthy history with this guy,'' Towers said. ``We've been able to avoid the arbitration process this year and next year which is big and it gives us another two years to think about a contract beyond '09. That's good news to hear he wants to stay here.''
Towers also said the team is interested in speaking with Padres manager Bud Black about picking up his option year. Towers said he and CEO Sandy Alderson would likely sit down with the second-year manager during the spring to discuss Black's contract and possibly an extension.
Black went 89-74 in his first season as manager after Bruce Bochy left for the division rival San Francisco Giants. Black signed a two-year deal prior to the 2007 season with an option for 2009.
``He took charge and I think the players embraced him right away,'' Towers said. ``Through the interview process we were looking for someone we could grow with. One of the reasons we hired him was we felt he was going to be here a long time.''
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