So he understands the transition that Adrian Gonzalez is currently experiencing after the Red Sox shipped him away last week. After experiencing the Dodgers culture for two-plus years, Padilla thinks Gonzalez will love the change in scenery.
"I think it's going to be just like home for him" Padilla told NESN.com in a Spanish-language interview. "I mean, the distance between San Diego and Los Angeles isn't too far away, but I'm wishing him the best.
"Teams in the hunt are always looking for the best players. I think it's great for him because everyone is hungry for a ring and he's stepping into a pretty good opportunity over there."
A San Diego native who also played for the Padres for five seasons, Gonzalez is returning to his roots. As a bilingual ballplayer who lived in Mexico, the first baseman should be a huge attraction for the large Mexican community in Los Angeles.
From afar, Padilla is amazed with the way the Dodgers have transformed from a thrifty team under owner Frank McCourt's watch to a big-spending club during Magic Johnson's tenure.
"I think it's great for the organization," Padilla said. "They have a lot of great players there, as do we. They have a lot of tradition like the Yankees, but it's a great change in philosophy and they always treat their players well there."
That should be music to Gonzalez's ears.