It’s far too early into the season to know which teams will make the playoffs, but on Monday the Padres did their part in securing a valuable part of their future. The team and second baseman Jedd Gyorko agreed to a six-year, $35 million dollar extension with a club option for the 2020 season.
The 25-year old sophomore batted .249 last season with 26 doubles, 23 home runs, and 63 RBI in 125 games. The contract is the third-largest contract for a player with only one season of major league experience, behind Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons (seven years, $58 million) the Brewer’s Ryan Braun (eight years, $45 million).
“We are happy to sign Jedd and secure the rights to two free agent years,” general manager Josh Byrnes said in a statement. “Jedd is a homegrown player in his fifth season with the Padres organization and has been a consistent performer every step of the way. He has shown us a real commitment to this organization and to the city of San Diego.”
Gyorko is off to a slow start this season by hitting .163 with one home run in 12 games. But the Padres should not be concerned about the lack of production this early. Gyorko possess the rare talent of being a power-hitting second baseman, something that is only comparable with a player such as Robinson Cano. However, this second year player still has a long way to go and a whole lot of home runs to hit before being in the same conversation as the former Yankee second baseman.
The Padres are also getting a club-developed player, who is now just entering his prime and brings versatility to the roster. Gyorko played third base in the minor leagues and could be moved back to his original position if the team loses Chase Headley to free agency.
“I wanted to be a Padre,” Gyorko said. “When they came to me and kind of showed the vision of what they have looking forward, it’s something I want to be a part of. Be a part of a championship team. I think that’s what we’re going to be.”
The idea of the Padres bringing home a World Series in the next few years might be a bit of a long shot, but San Diego fans should embrace the enthusiasm their long-term second baseman brings to the team.