Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gerut for Gwynn Jr

I'm back! Ok, so it's a day later than expected, but I ended up taking my kids to Legoland yesterday. All the time on the road can be rough on the family.

Anyway, according to the comments, the Gerut for Gwynn swap seems to have been on many minds over the past week or so. In addition to Tony being an outstanding defensive CF with above average speed, there are a handful of elements in a deal like this:
  • Age - Tony Jr is just 26 years while Jody is playing this year at 31. Jody certainly isn't old, but we are committed to getting younger where we can. We've had 32 players currently in our organization who have competed for us at the ML level this season, and 25 of them are in their 20's (Chris Young just turned 30 on Monday, so we just missed out on 26). Only four of those in their 30's are full-time starters: Brian Giles, Chris Young, Heath Bell, and David Eckstein. Furthermore, 13 of the players are 26 years old or younger, and Tony Jr fits into that group.
  • Service Time - Building on the age element, Tony Jr has just over one year of Major League service (players become free agents after six full years), whereas Jody will be over the five year mark at the end of this season, thereby making him eligible for free agency at the end of 2010. As we try to rebuild the foundation for long-term success, we have to take this into account.
  • Money - Nobody likes to talk about it, but the fact is that dollars must factor in our decision making. It doesn't mean that we're just looking to move payroll, but every team has to evaluate the cost of each of player on their roster. In this case, Jody was making $1,775,000 this year compared with Tony Jr's $405,000. That spread will likely increase next year as Jody will once again will eligible for arbitration.
  • Other - It would be silly to ignore the fact that Tony Gwynn Jr's father is Tony Gwynn. Such an affiliation, however, is never the impetus for a move. When weighing options that are similar, it can probably tip the scales but no more.
  • Other Players - I saved this for last, because it may be the most important piece of this transaction. Most deals are not just simply about the player you're trading away for the player you're acquiring. In addition to the standalone deal, there is often a ripple effect on the roster, and in this case that ripple effect may have precipitated the move. Ok, in English... Jody Gerut is a productive offensive outfielder who can play all three outfield positions and is cost effective in relative terms. Well, that also describes Scott Hairston and possibly Drew Macias (who are both younger and have less service time than Jody). This move was about creating at-bats for others like Hairston, Macias, and even Headley as much as it was about the straight-up deal.
So, in summary, though we gave up a good player in Jody Gerut, we got younger, created more cost flexibility, and have provided more opportunity for other players who have a chance to be with us for a longer period of time. It's not without risks, but that's the rationale.

33 comments:

parvulesco said...

Hi Paul,

I've wondered why Gerut was traded for Gwynn when Gwynn could have been claimed on waivers at the beginning of April. Is it fair to conclude that moving Gerut's $1.7m salary was the motivation, or am I missing something?

Thanks!

John said...

Hmmm, if I'm reading this post and my name is Cliff Floyd, I'm suddenly worried about my chances of making it onto the 25-man roster.

WebSoulSurfer said...

Paul,

The Padres could have had Gwynn Jr. for a waiver claim earlier in the year.

If you were looking to go younger, why wait and give up a valuable player like Gerut if it isn't just a salary dump?

Should this be interpreted to mean that Cliff Floyd will immediately be traded once he finally comes off the DL since he is much older than Gerut?

field39 said...

Hello Paul,

Aside from his name, how has Anthony Gwynn earned a slot ahead of Drew Macis and Will Venable?

Callum said...

Hi Paul. I apologize for this question being off topic, but do you have any update on the status of Mark Prior? Last I heard was that he suffered a setback in Arizona and was shutdown. What was the setback and how long is he supposed to be shut down for?

hector said...

Paul,

I really liked this post, can we assume that the salary savings will go straight into the checking account or will they be reinvested into the draft/latin free agents?

Irwin Handleman said...

as the previous poster stated, tgjr could've been had for nothing earlier this year. it was a cost cutting move, plain and simple. and it's interesting how it happened just as we tried to give peavy away.

i've heard the pads still think their payroll is too high, which is absolutely insane. that's the shame of this, paul, we're in the worst division - it wouldn't take much for us to sneak in the playoffs. and yet for the last 3 or 4 years we've done nothing. it would be one thing if we were in with the red sox and the yankees, but these other teams aren't much. .500 might do it! it's so sad we're letting this huge opportunity go by once again.

pretty soon, the rockies, dbacks, dodgers, and giants are going to get their stuff together and we're gonna be in last place for good.

Cary said...

Hi Paul,

Could you talk about the draft a little bit? What was the SEC tourney like? and pleeeease dont draft a soft tossing lefty with the third pick :)

Schlom said...

I understand the rationale somewhat but you still didn't explain why you traded your 2nd best player last season for essentially nothing. Also, I assume that this means that Gwynn is going to be the 5th outfielder for the foreseeable future. What impact does that have on Venable and Blanks then? I assume that when they eventually come up they will play everyday so you need to get rid of Giles and Headley or Kouzmanoff, right?

David said...

Hi Paul,

Thank you for the response. I understand some of the rationale in why we are trading Jody, but I still don't get why we acquire TG Jr.

Why not just deal for a low-level minor league arm or bat instead of stocking a position you admitted was basically at a surplus with players similar to Gerut? Gwynn is not that young at 26 and he's maxing out his potential which, let's be honest, is not even good enough to really warrant more than a handful of starts.

Are there no teams really willing to take on Gerut's contract? Was Gerut not worth a minor leaguer with some upside?

thepadfather said...

Paul,
I have a question about the drafting process. Do you think it is fair that kids playing baseball are able to hire agents during the draft process but kids playing in football and basketball are stripped of their eligibility? Are we suppose to assume that every time a player in either football or basketball talks to an agent it is illegal yet in baseball it is fine? More so, do you think that kids playing baseball are given money or other goods by agents when in college or are we suppose to assume that its only a bigger deal in the other sports?

thanks

field39 said...

Off Topic,

I have read numerous articles regarding the upcoming draft, and some of the writers claim to know who is on the short list, for your first round pick.

1: Are you handing out a short list?
2: Do you talk to any writers regarding the draft?
3: Where do they get this stuf?

JD said...

Paul,

This is a bit off topic but I'm curious so I'll ask. This might violate the "can't talk about players on other teams" rule now, but I'll try to word the question in a way that makes it ok.

Today I saw the A's gave Justin Hampson a minor league deal, and the note I saw said the Padres released him in spring training. I'm curious as to what prompted this release. Hampson has good numbers. He doesn't strike out many, but he keeps the walks and homers down. So what kind of player are the A's getting, and do you think he can make an impact with the big club?

Cpt Top Off said...

Paul, regarding the upcoming draft I just want to express a couple thoughts.

#1- I keep seeing the name Mike Minor. Why???? If you guys take Mike Minor that would be the last straw for this Padres fan. This would represent the same nonsense we've been seeing with recent picks like Schmidt. A guy with high probability to reach the major leagues but without the talent necessary to pitch at the front of a big league rotation. Minor tops out as a number 4/5 type pitcher, just like Schmidt, LeBlanc, Ramos, Geer and every other pitcher we've drafted over the last several years. We will never win if we don't try to draft high-impact players (esp pitchers) in the first round, especially at the top portion of the 1st. I follow this stuff religiously, and NOBODY has Minor anywhere near the top half of round 1. Sorry, but I trust other pundits much more than the Pads brass considering our draft record over the last handful of years. The teams recent philosophy (read: Grady Fuson) on drafting pitchers is very flawed, proven by looking at our staff.

#2-Why aren't we seeing Tyler Matzek as a possibility? He is considered safe for a HS pitcher (though we all know how much ol Grady hates high schoolers), recently touched 98, and is widely regarded as a future ace. I'm calling it now, we're all going to be cringing when he becomes a stud for somebody else. Just watch.

As always, thanks for the blog and the opportunity to voice my opinion.

David Harris said...

parvulesco,
I think the other aspect is that had we claimed Gwynn off of waivers, we would have had to free up a spot on the 40-man roster anyway. Given the timing with the season just starting and the Padres still not really knowing what they had in all of their players, it just wasn't the right move.

So, rather than potentially eat a contract to pick up Gwynn off of waivers, we were able to unload Gerut's salary (and accomplish everything else Paul said) while still adding Gwynn to the mix. I think it's a great deal for both clubs.

Mike said...

Paul,

This is a thread-hijacking, and I apologize for that in advance. The Cardinals just put Khalil Greene on the Dl with 'social anxiety disorder'. With the confidentiality of an individual's medical records in mind, did the Padres have any indications Khalil was suffering from this last season? Or earlier in his career?

I'm not trying to put the organization on the spot, or imply anything at all; but I am curious.

Thanks!

Spunky said...

Paul,

Anything noteworthy on Adys Portillo? I'm excited to hear about his progress, as well as the other guys from the International Draft.

Thanks,
David

jdforce said...

Paul,

Unrelated to this post, but I am very interested in the Ft. Wayne outfield. You have 4 prospects fighting for three spots. Decker, Carroll, Robertson and Tekotte all need playing time. Are you considering calling up Decker to allow for the development of the others? That is an exciting team and it would be interesting to see what Decker could do in the Cal League. It seems a waste to have to sit one of those guys every game.

A move like this would undoubtedly have a domino effect on the system. Off topic, but interesting I thought ...

Chris said...

This was a good move. It cleared payroll and added a good defensive 5th outfielder (if needed).

Off the subject...is Tim Stauffer going to stay in relief, or just being eased back into pitching again?

bevormo said...

Paul,

As July 2 approaches, can you give us an update about the great international signings the Padres made last year: Portillo, Domoromo, Adamson, Tavarez and Aristy? Where they are, how they're doing, what level they're playing at this summer?

Also, any players the Padres are looking at for this July?

Thanks.

Paul R. said...

Paul-
I'm really disappointed and concerned about speculation that the Padres are going to use the #3 pick in the upcoming draft on a player who is not in the top-15 of most draft boards. Please tell me that we learned from the Matt Bush fiasco and that we're going to take the best player available.

You Know Me! said...

Can you give us an update on some of the international players from the last 2 years and where they are at in their development and if and when they will be playing in games?

Gavin said...

Paul,
Thanks once again for the blog and the opportunity to voice an opinion. I'll preface my comments by stating that I am a lifelong, die-hard fan who attends 20-30 games per year.

I am very concerned about our "braintrust" and their ability to make a wise decision on our first pick next week. Please excuse my pessimism, but if this organization has proved anything, its that it has an uncanny ability to waste a first-round pick.

Peter Gammons has noted that the Padres "seem honed in on Vanderbilt LH Mike Minor." In addition I have seen Minor attached to the Pads numerous times, whether it be from the UT, Keith Law, Baseball America or others. He is yet another "pitchability" guy who probably has Fuson salivating. To me (and surely others) this screams "potential #4/5 starter." BA has him ranked as their #10 Left-handed pitcher....not ranked 10th overall, but 10th among left-handed pitchers. A second-round type. And the team is considering him for the 3rd pick?!?!? I thought it was a joke until I started hearing it from various sources.

This potential pick would tell the fans that the organization has no aspirations of being great. It would represent the failed pitching philosophy of drafting back-end rotation guys with high picks. Guys who have very limited upside with little to no chance of having a real impact at the major league level. (Read: Schmidt, Ramos, Geer, LeBlanc, etc). Winning ballclubs shoot higher with 1st-rounders. You need impact arms to win championships. We've all seen that.

On a personal note, I've reached the end of my rope in regards to my patience for the current "regime," and we don't even know who's in charge. By drafting Minor the club will be proving, once again, that it does not strive for excellence, but mediocrity. If this happens I've decided that I will refuse to attend another Padres game until the scouting department is overhauled. On principle I won't be able to support it anymore. I don't intend this to be a threat, or that I'm SO important, just voicing an individual stance. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Padres: Please, please do the right thing and draft a player who has a chance to be great. Matzek, Crow, Miller, Wheeler all seem to fit the bill. Heck, even Tate and Green have a chance. According to all analysts, Minor falls short. I've come to trust their opinion more than that of the Pads. The proof is in the pudding.

Despite my rants, I do appreciate your work. Thanks Paul.

jason said...

Hello,

Can you give us a quick scouting report on Mike Minor at some point? "Experts" project him at #3, but I think a lot of fans heard that he's a typical Padres "Lefty-check, control-check, 86-88 fastball-check" pitcher, and I think a lot of people are just tired of first round "control/crafty/SLOW" guys blowing their arms out in A ball, or languishing in the minors until a spot start.

Amy Cima said...

Paul,

Off subject, but what is Mark Prior doing these days? I follow the Padres closely and haven't heard anything. Did I miss something?

hector said...

hi Paul,

The more I see this team, the more I feel it can contend. I think that the best for Chase Headley's career is to be sent down so he can find his swing again and get some positive results.

I liked what I saw from Macias, specially that he plays all the positions defensively.

Can you give us injury updates on Prior, Adams, Baek, and Hill please.

Mr. Maestro said...

Paul, Can you give some insight into some draft thoughts with the big day approaching? The UT seems obsessed with Tate, Ackley, and Crow but what about shortstops (I guess none grade with much power but what about Mychal Givens, Grant Green or the Miami shortstop?)

Mr. Maestro said...

Cliff Floyd looked awful watching him Friday night in Elsinore. He struck out and had a swinging bunt. With Macias fielding and hitting well and adding much more with his footspeed, why bring him up? Does his "leadership" mean that much?

sailor90278 said...

Great post.

Schlom said...

Paul,

Are you going to do some kind of draft review from last year? Like who has exceeded expectations, who has been worse, etc. If not, can you address why Allan Dykstra has been such horrendous numbers this season? I'm hoping he's hurt because the alternatives aren't good.

David said...

I know you guys are busy with the draft but I hope someone has taken the time to notice it's no longer a small sample size with Giles. I realize 9 million is a pretty big sunk cost but at least Macias can throw, and he might occasionally get a hit.

hector said...

Paul,

I have come to the realization that Giles is costing the young Padres valuable playing time. The team is going nowhere, why not just release the guy and eat the contract?

It is really sickening to see him swing at the first pitch. I want to throw my cel to the ground when he does that.

I liked Josh Wilson as a pitcher, what are the chances he gets converted into a pitcher? I bet he goes unclaimed and he accepts his assignment to AAA.

Does it factor into the decision to draft Tate to take advantage of him being a 2 sport star and give him an installment bonus? or does that not fly with Boras?

I love to see Gwynn Jr. play. We saw him grow up here and he has quality at bats.

Paul DePodesta said...

My bad to everyone!

Lots of good questions and suggestions here. Sometime after the draft I'll do a review of our picks last year as well as our international signings.

We've been holed up for more than a week, so this draft has been our total focus.