Jedd Gyorko and the Contract Extension of Doom

Or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Private Hotel Suite on Road Trips”

Yesterday, Dustin of The Sacrifice Bunt gave you a little insight into the perceived value of Gyorko’s extension. He looked at recent contracts given to players with similar service time, Starling Marte and Andrelton Simmons. Of the three players, Jedd Gyorko fell in the middle of both projected production and dollar values. Sounds good so far, doesn’t it?

But what about the perceived value of the contract compared to other contract extensions the Padres have handed out in recent years? How does that look for the Padres?

I was curious about that as well. So, I started to do a little research on all of the recent extensions given to Gyorko, Carlos Quentin, Huston Street, Cameron Maybin, and Cory Luebke.

I’m not going discuss riders benefits like private hotel suites on the road, getting entire an row on the bus for themselves, or bowls of 500 brown M&Ms in their locker before every Tuesday day game. Because most of the details regarding said benefits don’t even make it into the public eye. I’m not sure why the media decided to report that Gyorko’s management team had a private hotel suite put into the contract. Who cares? Are you traveling with the team and staying in their hotel?

All of the following player salary tables are pulled directly from Baseball Reference.

Jedd Gyorko

Year Age Team Salary Sources Notes/Other Sources
2013 24 San Diego Padres $490,000 contracts
2014 25 San Diego Padres $510,900
2014 Status Pre-Arb Eligible, Earliest Arb Eligible: 2016, Earliest Free Agent: 2019
Career to date (may be incomplete) $490,000 Does not include future salaries

When the Padres announced the extension, Corey Brock had a breakdown of the money involved:

Gyorko’s salary for 2014 ($510,000) remains the same. He’ll make $2 million in 2015, $4 million in ’16, $6 million in ’17 and $9 million in ’18 and $13 million in ’19. The club holds a $13 million option for ’20 that includes a $1 million buyout. The deal buys out his first year of free agency (2019) and possibly a second (2020).

Gyorko’s contract, which technically begins in 2014 though his “new” money won’t begin until next year, is the most money the franchise has paid a player with as little service time as he has — one-plus year. Pitcher Cory Luebke (2012) and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (2009) had one-plus year of service time, but had more days when their deals were consummated.

The option and buyout can escalate based on Most Valuable Player and All-Star Game appearances, but not more than $2 million on the option and $750,000 on the buyout.

That’s essentially $35 million over 6 years. Sounds like a lot of money, right? Well, let’s see…

Carlos Quentin

Year Age Team Salary Sources Notes/Other Sources
2007 24 Arizona Diamondbacks $381,000
2008 25 Chicago White Sox $400,000
2009 26 Chicago White Sox $550,000
2010 27 Chicago White Sox $3,200,000
2011 28 Chicago White Sox $5,050,000
2012 29 San Diego Padres $7,025,000 contracts
2013 30 San Diego Padres $9,500,000 contracts
2014 31 San Diego Padres $9,500,000
2015 32 San Diego Padres $8,000,000
2016 33 San Diego Padres *$10,000,000 $10M Mutual Option, $3M Buyout $3M buyout with 320 games played in 2013-15
Earliest Free Agent: 2016
Career to date (may be incomplete) $35,606,000 Does not include future salaries

In 2012, the Padres gave Quentin $30-37 million over up to 4 years, with the total dollars dependent on options/buyouts.

$37 million over just 4 years? For a guy who played in just 168 games in 2012-13 combined?

He’s more than halfway to getting that $3 million buyout for 2016. Only 152 games to go by the end of next season. You can do it, Carlos!

[He’ll probably end up playing in 321 games and Josh Byrnes will pick up his $10 million dollar option. Because iced coffee.]

Huston Street

Year Age Team Salary Sources Notes/Other Sources
2005 21 Oakland Athletics $316,000
2006 22 Oakland Athletics $339,625
2007 23 Oakland Athletics $380,000
2008 24 Oakland Athletics $3,300,000
2009 25 Colorado Rockies $4,500,000
2010 26 Colorado Rockies $7,200,000
2011 27 Colorado Rockies $7,300,000
2012 28 San Diego Padres $7,500,000 contracts $1M paid by Colorado Rockies
2013 29 San Diego Padres $7,000,000 contracts
2014 30 San Diego Padres $7,000,000
2015 31 San Diego Padres *$7,000,000 $7M Team Option
Earliest Free Agent: 2015
Career to date (may be incomplete) $44,835,625 Does not include future salaries

I remember there being a lot of blowback from the fan base  in 2012 when the Padres gave Street this extension, up to $21 million over 3 years.

“He sucks!”

“He’s always hurt!”

“He’s not Trevor Hoffman!”*

That, it turns out, was a pretty good deal. I’d be comfortable with the Padres giving him another extension if he wants it. Provided the terms are similar.

*May or may not have been said by me. 

Cameron Maybin

Year Age Team Salary Sources Notes/Other Sources
2009 22 Florida Marlins $400,000
2010 23 Florida Marlins $405,000
2011 24 San Diego Padres $429,100
2012 25 San Diego Padres $500,000 contracts
2013 26 San Diego Padres $3,000,000 contracts
2014 27 San Diego Padres $5,000,000
2015 28 San Diego Padres $7,000,000
2016 29 San Diego Padres $8,000,000
2017 30 San Diego Padres *$9,000,000 $9M Team Option, $1M Buyout
Earliest Free Agent: 2017
Career to date (may be incomplete) $9,734,100 Does not include future salaries

$24-32 million over up to 5 years.

$32 million over 5 years! For a guy who plays so hard he hurts himself! What a selfish bastard! Why don’t you just take the money and run, jerk?!**

I still say this deal made perfect sense at the time. The Padres couldn’t have known Maybin would end up getting hurt 2 years in a row. Besides, he’s supposed to be coming back by the time the current road trip ends, so they may just get their money’s worth yet.

**Sarcasm font

Cory Luebke

Year Age Team Salary Sources Notes/Other Sources
2011 26 San Diego Padres $415,600
2012 27 San Diego Padres $497,800 contracts
2014 29 San Diego Padres $3,000,000
2015 30 San Diego Padres $5,250,000
2016 31 San Diego Padres *$7,500,000 $7.5M Team Option, $1.75M Buyout
2017 32 San Diego Padres *$10,000,000 $10M Team Option, $250k Buyout
Earliest Arb Eligible: 2016, Earliest Free Agent: 2017
Career to date (may be incomplete) $3,913,400 Does not include future salaries

$10.5-25 million over up to 4 years.

This one is the least objectionable in terms of dollars. Provided you ignore the fact that he apparently screwed up his elbow signing the contract, that is.

Again, the Padres made a good business decision. And, if Luebke comes back and pitches anywhere near how he was before all the elbow surgeries, the Padres will get their money’s worth again.

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So, what have we learned? Well, Gyorko’s extension sounds like it’s a lot of money, until you actually look at it compared to some other Padres contracts. Provided his knees don’t need to be replaced and/or his arm doesn’t fall off, locking up Gyorko for 6 years is good business in terms of both baseball and payroll. You don’t have to worry about going to arbitration and his first eligible year of free agency is now a year later than it was before last Monday.

In order of Good Deal to Horrible Deal. Someone needs to fire Byrnes…from a cannon into the Sun, here’s how I rank them:

  • Gyorko
  • Street
  • Maybin
  • Luebke
  • Quentin

What do you think? Do you think it was the right deal? Do you think the Padres should have locked up someone else?

Photo courtesy of WVIllustrated.com

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