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The big news of the week in San Diego? The Padres spent money on a player!
Five years and $35 million have been added to Jedd Gyorko’s contract, and the team holds the right to add a sixth year to the deal. All told, the team can keep Gyorko in San Diego through the 2020 season on a deal that will be incredibly affordable if he turns into a superstar, and still good if he becomes an above-average player. Without this deal, the Padres would only have owned his rights through 2018, with yearly arbitration threatening to pay him significantly more than the new contract. Now they get him for longer and potentially for less money.
All offseason, we have been talking about why the team needs to do exactly this, because small market teams need to keep taking chances on young talent even when if doesn’t always work out. Now fans will patiently wait to see whether Josh Byrnes can sign similar deals for franchise players Andrew Cashner and Everth Cabrera.
Dave Cameron, a smart baseball mind, actually doesn’t love the Gyorko deal for the Padres. He understands signing young players to long-term deals in an attempt to find an affordable superstar, but says that the main reason that big contracts for Cory Luebke, Cameron Maybin and Nick Hundley haven’t worked out is because those players were never superstars-in-the-making, and he feels the same about Gyorko. I wonder how he feels about the under-market contract the team reportedly offered Chase Headley.
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The Padres’ Not-So-Fast Start
While in Arizona, Padres manager Bud Black urged the team to get off to a fast start. He doesn’t want another season in which a great second half isn’t enough to get his team to the playoffs because of the hole they dug early on.
Two-plus weeks into the season, the Padres are 7-9 and fourth in the NL West. In what can only be described as an ongoing nightmare, the team is once again unable to score or stay healthy.
This team’s potential, on paper, looked good. Heck, it still is good. Twin aces in Josh Johnson and Cashner, bounce-back seasons for big hitters Carlos Quentin and Headley, and a bunch of potential being reached for the likes of Gyorko, Yonder Alonso, Cabrera and Cameron Maybin. Add in a solid bullpen and a handful of major-league-ready starting pitchers waiting in the minors, and it looked like a recipe for greatness.
Then, the inevitable happened …
• Josh Johnson, who hasn’t yet pitched a regular season game for the Padres, is heading to see a doctor to see if he needs Tommy John surgery that would keep him out the entire season.
• Headley, who missed a chunk of Spring Training with a calf injury, has already started missing regular season games with a bicep injury.
• Quentin has yet to appear in a regular season game because of a bone bruise on his knee, which seems like a misrepresentation of the situation since his knees are made of sawdust.
• Maybin, injured diving for a ball in Spring Training, is hitting a cool .063 in his rehab assignment with the El Paso Chihuahuas and doesn’t look like he’ll be helping the Padres any time soon.
Black, who’s already proven he can’t get the most out of his team, has almost nothing left to work with. At this point, a 2014 playoff run for San Diego would border on miraculous.
Chargers News & Notes
• The Chargers front office stayed awake during this quiet NFL week and remembered to pick up the fifth year on defensive end Corey Liuget’s contract. It was a no-brainer, but important nonetheless.
• Looking back at the 2007 Chargers, was that the greatest backfield in NFL history? There were are least two future Hall of Famers (LaDainianTomlinson, Lorenzo Neal), one who could still potentially make a case for the Hall (Darren Sproles) and a future MVP candidate (Michael Turner). Tough to match that.
Stories You May Have Missed
• Former MLB outfielder and current baseball analyst Doug Glanville was almost arrested for shoveling his own driveway because he was guilty of being black in a wealthy area of Connecticut.
• The NHL Playoffs have started! In case you weren’t properly prepared, watch the wonderful (as always) CBC montage that kicked off the playoffs and then run to your nearest TV Guide to try and find whatever channel the games are on (Hint: NBC’s family of networks).
• Relief Pitcher of the Week: Chris Resop, currently in the minor leagues, has an interesting reaction to giving up hits.
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