Quick reaction to Gyorko trade
It is harder when homegrown Padres leave.
Jedd Gyorko was drafted by the organization in 2010. He quickly moved up the ranks and found himself on the opening day roster in 2013. He set a team rookie record for home runs and everyone was giddy.
But, I wrote at the time:
As is often the case with first-year players he needs to cut down on his strikeout/walk rate (2.75/1) but he is coming along quite nicely.
He never has.
In 2015, Gyorko struck out approximately 1 out of every 4 times he came to the plate (458/107). He has also walked less each year in the majors, has never posted an OPS over 750 and is an average MLB second baseman at best. The Padres will likely not receive the full value of his remaining $33 million-dollar contract, given his level of production.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked watching Jedd play as much as you and I love the fact he was drafted and developed by the club. But, let’s be honest here, trading him was probably a win.
First, this opens up a place for Cory Spangenberg to play every day. He was drafted a year after Gyorko and he was the better (and far cheaper) player last year. Spangenberg posted a WAR of 2.1 to Gyorko’s 0.5 in 2015. Not to mention the fact that Spangenberg did not have to be demoted to AAA to get his swing back. Inserting Spangenberg into the lineup improves the team.
Secondly, the Padres are taking a chance on Jon Jay, who has quietly been a productive player for the Cardinals for years. Jay has posted a WAR of at least 1.4 or higher each year since 2011, until last year. Jay had wrist surgery before 2015 and never really got right before struggling through a forgettable season. The Padres are taking a chance everything is healed now.
Jay is the kind of player the Padres were lacking last year and the kind of player they need if they want to fix this roster.
Just, don’t expect home runs. Jay is a contact and on base player who will hit a few to the gaps but will never drive in 90. He steals a few bases here and there but you wouldn’t mistake him for the fastest player on the team (which is Spangenberg, by the way).
When healthy, Jay will play solid (but unspectacular) defense, make contact and play like a former Cardinals player would. Which is to say, he will be a smart, steadfast outfielder to add to the mix.
This is likely not the last deal of the offseason, but I like it and you should, also.