SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 13: Jedd Gyorko #9 of the San Diego Padres #30 is congratulated after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of an inter-league baseball game at Petco Park against the Detroit Tigers April 13, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
For years, one of the biggest frustrations for Padres fans been watching talented young players start their careers in San Diego, then blossom in to All-Stars (or sometimes legends) in other cities.
Ozzie Smith, Roberto Alomar, Sandy Alomar, John Kruk, etc. So Monday's news that 2nd baseman Jedd Gyorko is locked up for the long term is a nice, and long overdue.
The Padres and Gyorko agreed to a 5-year contract extension worth at least $35 million. It will keep Jedd in San Diego through at least the 2019 season.
Gyorko led the Padres in RBI as a rookie in 2013, and he even missed more than a month of the season with an injury. The West Virginia native also played above-average defense at 2nd, a bonus given the fact it was his first full season playing the position.
"When they approached me, a big part of why I wanted to do it is I wanted to stay in San Diego," said Gyorko on Monday. "My family loves it here. People have treated us like family so it made it an easy decision."
The contract numbers break down like this:
$2 million in 2015.
$4 million in 2016.
$6 million in 2017.
$9 million in 2018.
$13 million in 2019.
Club option for 2020 at $13 million, with a $1 million buyout.
Now, Padres fans, I already know what you're thinking: Sure, the deal looks great, but they will inevitably trade him before it runs its course anyway.
I counter with this: Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler has said since his ownership group took over that the team's payroll would be increasing. So far, he has lived up to his word, another reason Gyorko cited for committing to San Diego.
"I love how the ownership is. Their vision is something I want to be a part of. I think this team is capable of doing big things."
It is squarely within the realm of possibility the Padres are, indeed, on the brink of big things like contending for World Series titles with players the drafted and developed.
I mean, John Elway eventually won a Super Bowl. Phil Mickelson eventually won a major title. Roy Williams eventually won an NCAA Basketball title. Even the Washington Generals eventually beat the Harlem Globetrotters.
In sports, anything can happen.