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Saturday, April 01, 2023

Source: Padres agree with Jake Cronenworth on 7-year extension

Jake Cronenworth and the San Diego Padres are in agreement on a seven-year, $80 million extension, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday night.

The deal, which will become official once it receives approval from Major League Baseball, would begin next year and keep Cronenworth with the Padres through the 2030 season, at which point he’ll be 36.

Cronenworth, 29, was set to become a free agent after the 2025 season. He will make $4.23 million this year, his first as an arbitration-eligible player.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2023 at 10:06 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jake cronenworth, padres

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   1. salvomania Posted: April 01, 2023 at 10:22 AM (#6122127)
Seems like a strange deal for someone who's probably already had his best seasons.
   2. Froot Loops Posted: April 01, 2023 at 11:19 AM (#6122133)
There's also the fact that the Padres' recent acquisitions have pushed Cronenworth from second base to first. His bat was an asset at second but is not impressive at first base.
   3. The Duke Posted: April 01, 2023 at 11:44 AM (#6122135)
It's the new market inefficiency - sign players who have already had their best seasons to really long and expensive contracts......wait.....the Yankees pioneered this strategy years ago.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 01, 2023 at 12:17 PM (#6122136)
I sure hope the next few years are worth it for the Padres and their fans.
   5. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 01, 2023 at 12:48 PM (#6122142)
seems like a great bargain if we assume Croneworth is a 4 WAR player and he can hang on at this level at least for the next 3 or 4 years.
   6. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 01, 2023 at 12:49 PM (#6122143)
duplicate sorry
   7. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 01, 2023 at 01:24 PM (#6122149)
Obviously I don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but if I was the Padres I'd be saving all my pennies to try to get a Juan Soto deal done. Between this, and Bogaerts, and Machado, it sure seems like they've either decided that it's not going to happen, or to not even try.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2023 at 03:48 PM (#6122163)
Kinda agree with everybody which makes this a really weird deal. Why sign a guy shoved from 2B to 1B to a long-term contract through 36? But hey it's only $80 M so even if he's a 1B/2B/DH/bench bat in the last 4 years of the contract, they'll only be paying him like a 1.5-WAR player anyway. But is 7/$80 really the new 3/$40? And why add this commitment on top of all the others? But #5 is right, could well put up 10 WAR over the next 3 years and then the rest is gravy. All good questions, weird deal.

Agreed this doesn't help land Soto but then it's not really going to hurt that cause (the X and Machado deals are another matter). But to date it's been pretty clear that Soto is going to wait it out and it makes some sense to sit out the huge bidding war a couple of years from now. Alternatively these moves also make lots of sense if the plan is to trade Tatis and make a real run at Soto.
   9. John Reynard Posted: April 02, 2023 at 03:47 AM (#6122252)
if the plan is to trade Tatis and make a real run at Soto

They're hoping a team sees surplus value in Cronenworth's deal and so accepts taking Tatis along with him?

I'm not 100% sure the Padres couldn't pass Tatis through waivers and remove him from the 40-man today if they wanted to. I mean, who takes that risk? Yankees do so they can fill LF and make their fans stop whining about having Hicks waiting in the wings? Dodgers just so the Padres don't have him? Red Sox do but then leave him in Pawtucket cause it'd cost to much to put him on the ML roster in luxury tax? (ok, the Sox one is a joke....but, they have left players who would have improved the ML team in AAA after dumping them there before for lux tax purposes).

I think the Padres are assembling the best team around Tatis/Machado they can, right now, and assuming that once Soto leaves they'll have already either failed or succeeded. Given that, this deal isn't so terrible. But, it does suggest they're not thinking of resigning Soto right now. If they were looking to do the "trade Tatis" thing, they'd probably have tried to send him FOR Soto, especially since Washington said they were willing to pay about Tatis' contract to Soto. I still think the Rays should have considered trading Wander for Soto last year. I imagine Washington takes that straight up....maybe even sends a little money since Franco is signed pretty cheap long-term.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2023 at 04:18 PM (#6122292)
They're hoping a team sees surplus value in Cronenworth's deal and so accepts taking Tatis along with him?

Poor sentence construction on my part. I meant the Padres whole flurry of signings makes sense if the plan is to trade Tatis then make a run at Soto. The Cronenworth signing wouldn't be a key piece of that plan.

I believe the "get him off the 40-man and off the CBT" loophole was closed after the Red Sox did it. There'd be no advantage to DFA'ing Tatis other than opening a 40-man slot. As to trading Tatis, obviously they have to bring him back, have him play well and stay out of trouble and off the IL for at least the rest of this season to get other teams interested (short of eating a LOT of money).

Part of my reasoning is the contract was always structured to trade him -- he doesn't make more than $25.7 until 2029 when it jumps all the way to $36.7 for the remaining 6 years (ages 30-35). I think it's pretty clear the Padres will try to trade him within the first 0-2 years of that portion of the contract, even if it's in a Cano or Price type of deal, unless he remains a superstar. Given his fragility and knuckleheadedness, I'd expect them to at least consider moving up that trade schedule significantly, especially if it freed up enough money to land Soto.
   11. John Reynard Posted: April 02, 2023 at 09:27 PM (#6122334)
I feel like Tatis' contract was the Padres' coming out party as genuinely being serious about "spending whatever". I don't disagree with you that they'd probably prefer to have Soto for the next 10+ years than Tatis for the same. I mean, the only silver lining with Tatis is he might get himself a lifetime ban or something ala Jenrry Mejia and get you out of the rest of the contract. I always felt like he had a high chance to meltdown even without the performance enhancer and injury stuff because his dad looked like a great player before melting down pretty early. I mean, that was well-timed for MLB I suppose, because it accelerated Pujols getting to MLB. But, it wasn't good for Tatis the elder.

I guess we'll see in a bit if Tatis can even perform well enough to make his contract be out of the "underwater" zone its in now.

I'm still not sure Soto signs with SD, minus a ridiculous contract in the range of $550M.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: April 03, 2023 at 04:07 PM (#6122453)
#11 ... Agree that the original intent was for Tatis to be the superstar face of the franchise. But the contract was always structured similar to the Stanton deal and although the Padres weren't intending to send him anywhere this early in the deal, they may have changed his mind. I also don't think the Padres will be able to extend Soto, he'll declare FA ... then he'll probably go to whoever pays the most. I don't expect that to be the Padres either but I think the only way it could be is if they figure out how to get Tatis off the books.

Mainly it is just weird that you'd have a young superstar SS you see as your franchise player -- then grab a fine SS from Korea, sign an aging star SS to a big contract then extend your star 3B with a big contract when we all figured that's where the aging SS was headed. It's always possible X moves to 2B and Kim is traded or it's always possible their young superstar SS is gonna try to become their young superstar CF. But I don't think the Padres see Tatis as the future of their franchise anymore.
   13. cookiedabookie Posted: April 04, 2023 at 11:47 AM (#6122571)
ZiPS projects him for 3.8 fWAR his first year of the deal. Losing 0.5 fWAR per season, over the seven years he ends up with 16.1 fWAR for $80 million - that's a steal. At $9 million per fWAR, he'd be worth $144 million.

So then I looked at 2B who had at least 1000 PA across their age-28 seasons, had positive values in baserunning, fielding, and hitting, within 5 points in wRC+, at leasta 0.130 ISO, and at least 0.065 OBP-BA. That gave me six comparable guys: Kinsler, Alfonzo, Frey, Easley, Johnson, and Sandberg. As a group, they averaged 14.9 fWAR in their age 30-36 seasons, with a median of 16 fWAR (with a WWII adjustment for Frey - as an aside, has he ever had any HoM support?). Sandberg, Kinsler, and Frey do the heavy lifting. Easley and Johnson would be mediocre outcomes, but not horrible for the cost. And Alfonzo is the worst case scenario. Of course, this is dependent on Croneworth moving back up the defensive spectrum. This may be a set up for a trade to a team who can use him at 2B.
   14. DCA Posted: April 04, 2023 at 12:44 PM (#6122577)
I still think Bogaerts -> 1B, Cronenworth -> 2B, Kim -> SS is likely to happen. It probably doesn't matter much which guys get which position, but I don't think Bogaerts can stay at SS for the long-term. There's also Merrill as a legit blue chip MI.

FWIW, the Tatis deal originally was set up so that Machado was off the books before he got expensive. Machado's new deal doesn't get expensive until 2027, but obviously runs almost as long as Tatis. As does Bogaerts, but at constant cost.

But the Padres are still fitting the shorter big-money deals so they come off the books around the time that Machado and Tatis become more expensive. Cronenworth is signed through 2030. Darvish gets cheaper over time and is off the books after 2028. Musgrove and Suarez off the books after 2027. Kim's under team control through 2026.

Yeah, somebody probably is going to get traded, but this is also consistent with trying to keep them all for as long as the machine keeps humming.

   15. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 04, 2023 at 04:03 PM (#6122601)
This may be a set up for a trade to a team who can use him at 2B.

yeah this is probably what I should have been saying above. Obviously if he can only play 1b he loses a good bit of that presumed value but why are those who claim this not well spent money assuming he cant play 2b?
   16. Walt Davis Posted: April 04, 2023 at 05:22 PM (#6122613)
Not so much "can't" as "won't." All 5 starts so far this year at 1B and Tatis isn't even back yet. He would seem to be stuck there for the next few years. At that point maybe he could successfully move back to 2B but I'm pretty sure that would be unprecedented. Szym did some work on that ages ago and my memory is that even a half-season down the defensive spectrum led to a significant decline in defense at the older position. Now if somebody gets hurt for most of this season, he'd probably see a lot of time at 2B and all of that wuld be moot. But if he's at 1B for the next 2-3 years, he's likely done as a 2B. He might be a very fine defensive 1B so it's possible his dWAR could hang around 0.

We could also add the speculation that the shift allowed teams to put lower-defensive bats at 2B without taking a defensive hit. If so, Cronenworth could be one of those and the Padres recognize this. When you figure this team was paying Hosmer $18 M a year, Cronenworth is practically prime Puols!

He's also a late-bloomer, didn't make the majors until 26. I thought he'd been around longer, this is really an arb/FA buyout. It's a quite strange one by those standards too, you don't usually get 4 FA years at this sort of AAV. If they exercise both options, Atlanta will get Harris 3 arb and 4 FA (plus 3 pre-arb) for $97 M. Gimenez will cost a lot more but looks much better and is much younger. Gleyber is younger, was a super-2 and his 4 arb years look like they'll cost about $32-35.

So the money is probably still fine but it puts it in much different perspective -- they already had the next 3 years so the fact that might be 9-10 WAR is immaterial. When the FA portion starts, he'll be a 32yo 1B with (they hope) a 110 OPS+ bat. Those guys are not in big demand these days. This is a much more curious deal than I realized -- I'd put him in the "definitely go year-to-year" category or at best the "3 + 1 + 1" arb/FA/option buyout category. The Cubs for example are going to get Hoerner's 3 arb years and 1 FA year for $37.5 and that looks a bit pricey (given his first arb year is $2.5 M which was settled before the deal).
   17. DCA Posted: April 04, 2023 at 08:01 PM (#6122627)
Cronenworth played 2B today. Kim 3B. Machado DH.

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