Padres owner Peter Seidler is channeling his inner Oprah: “You get an extension! Yu gets an extension! EVERYBODY GETS AN EXTENSION!”
The Friars' latest long-term deal goes to 2-time All-Star infielder Jake Cronenworth, who signed a 7-year contract worth a reported $80 million, which at a little more than $14 per season is considered a team-friendly deal in today’s baseball economics. It starts in 2024 and will run through the 2030 season, buying out his last two seasons of arbitration and five free-agent years.
Cronenworth was considered the “extra” guy in a trade that brought Tommy Pham to San Diego before the 2020 season. Jake quickly changed that perception, finishing second on the NL Rookie of the Year balloting and then going to two straight midsummer classics. He is one of the most valuable and versatile pieces in the Padres lineup, able to hit in any spot from 1-through-9 and playing quality defense all around the infield.
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He also has a penchant for big hits in big moments, something he showed off in the NLDS last year when he drove in the game-winning run to beat the Dodgers.
The Padres now have a large chunk of their nucleus under contract for the foreseeable future. Cronenworth joins Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, and Fernando Tatis Jr. as players who have deals that run through at least 2027.
General manager AJ Preller has long said he wants to build a championship contender for now and in the long term. This is yet another brick in that foundation.
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