On Monday the San Diego Padres and second baseman Jedd Gyorko announced they had agreed to a big contract extension. The 25-year-old slugger will now be under contract through 2019, and the club also holds an option for 2020.
The deal was announced as a five-year, $35 million pact, with a $13 million option for 2020 and a $1 million buyout. The contract will begin in 2015, and Gyorko will make $2 million, then $4 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017, $9 million in 2018 and $13 million in 2019.
The contract buys out all three of Gyorko’s arbitration years and at least one year of free agency. The Padres obviously saw enough of the West Virginia product as a rookie to fall in love with him. He hit .249, with 23 home runs and 63 RBIs in 125 games as a rookie in 2013.
The Padres’ new ownership group has shown a willingness to lock up its talent, particularly its young talent. Along with Jason Kipnis, Gyorko represents a new breed of young, versatile second basemen and both have now signed long-term deals.
Gyorko’s guaranteed $35 million deal is the third-largest for a player with only one year of major league service time. Only Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons (seven years, $58 million) and Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (eight years, $45 million) got more.
So far this season in 12 games, Gyorko is hitting .163 with one home run and seven RBIs. He started slow last season as well, so we shouldn’t judge his early season performance too harshly.
Gyorko has also been much better defensively than advertised in his short career in the big leagues. He played third base throughout his minor league career and could move back there if the Padres and Chase Headley can’t come to a long-term agreement.
Bottom line: this is a great deal for both sides and was going to get done eventually.