The San Diego Padres and second baseman Jedd Gyorko have agreed to terms on a six-year, $35 million contract extension, ESPN's Buster Olney reported on Monday. The deal contains a club option for the 2020 season, keeping Gyorko under team control though his age-30 season.
Gyorko's extension is not the Padres infielder who's extension status has been hitting headlines in baseball over the past few weeks. That would belong to Chase Headley, whom the Padres are unsure about his status following the 2015 season. He has been involved in trade rumors because the Padres have been unable to reach an agreement with him. However, Gyorko is four years younger, and was arguably the best player on the team last season. He will be getting an extension.
The 25 year old was a rookie with the Padres last season. Gyorko finished sixth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, hitting a .249/.301/.444 triple slash line with 23 home runs and 63 RBI. He spent the majority of his games at second base. To begin this season, Gyorko has not been too hot. He is 7-for-43 (.163), and hit his first home run yesterday against the Tigers. Gyorko has driven in seven.
Gyorko's six-year extension is in name only. Although it begins this season, his 2014 salary remains the same, while he receives more insurance and benefits before. He will make $510,900 this season, $2 million in 2015, $4 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017, $9 million in 2018, and $13 million in 2019. The Padres' club option for 2020 is for $13 million with a $1 million buyout.
""We are happy to sign Jedd and secure the rights to two free agent years [Gyorko's current deal has arbitration years through 2018]," said general manager Josh Byrnes. "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."
The Padres have been one breakout candidate for many this season. Gyorko's performance weighs heavily on that; if he plays well, they'll score runs; if he does not, the Padres could add more losses and could be pushed down further in the standings. Maybe by signing this deal, the weight will be lifted off of Gyorko personally, and he can hit at his highest level.