Non-Tender Candidate: Tony Gwynn Jr.

Even before they acquired Cameron Maybin, the Padres had more outfielders than jobs. Ryan Ludwick, Kyle Blanks, Will Venable, Scott Hairston, Chris DenorfiaAaron Cunningham and Tony Gwynn Jr. are all options in San Diego, but the Padres can't hand big league jobs to all of those players in 2011. Not only do they have limited roster space, they have limited payroll.

With more outfielders than jobs and a number of holes to address on a limited budget, GM Jed Hoyer will likely consider non-tendering some of his arbitration eligible players. Ludwick is one candidate to be non-tendered and Hairston and Denorfia are others, but today we'll examine the case for Gwynn.

A top defender, Gwynn fits in Petco Park for the same reasons the Padres acquired Maybin. Last year Gwynn stole 17 bases (21 attempts) and his career 18.4 UZR/150 is spectacular. However, he doesn't have the same offensive upside as Maybin. He has never posted an OPS above .700. and last year he batted just .204/.304/.287 in 339 plate appearances.

Gwynn, 28, is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason and could be in line for a salary of $1MM or so. That's more than any team wants to pay for a fifth outfielder and the Padres don't have as much room for error as big market teams. That doesn't mean Gwynn will be non-tendered, though. The Padres could keep him and cut others or tender him a contract and flip him to a team looking for a defense-first outfielder. Click here to predict what the Padres will do and here to view the results.


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23 Comments on "Non-Tender Candidate: Tony Gwynn Jr."


Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Hairston and Denorfia most likely non-tendered here. Gwynn has too much defense in CF, and a great name for SD.

BlueSkyLA
4 years 9 months ago

Agreed. If for no more than sentimental reasons, the Padres can’t cut anyone named Tony Gwynn if they have any other reasonable options.

cjmsd
4 years 9 months ago

I would rather have Denorfia off the bench than Gywnn Jr. Although Denofria’s defense is not as good as Gywnn Jr. he can still play center in a pinch and has some pop off the bat as we saw last year.

greengrove
4 years 9 months ago

Whether his name gathers revenue or not, I simply think that Gwynn is the best option to keep as a 4th outfielder, if only for another year. He doesn’t have much of a bat but he’s a lefty and can spell Maybin versus tough righties.

And I’m sure he can give Maybin some defensive advice, as he is a master of center field. Even if he can’t hit a lick, lets be honest, the guy is fun to watch in the outfield.

vtadave
4 years 9 months ago

Do people really go to Petco to see Tony Gwynn Jr.? I just don’t see it.

Go with an OF of Blanks, Maybin, and Venable and call it good.

Guest
4 years 9 months ago

Sadly (or maybe just sentimentally) I think the answer is yes. Did you catch the Chula Vista Little Leaguers last year? No joking, more than half of those kids listed Jr. as their favorite baseball player (in all of MLB). One can only surmise that many of their parents/friends who don’t follow baseball nearly as much might feel the same warm fuzzy feelings towards Jr.

I think Jr is an excellent asset to the Padres as 4th OF defensive sub. He compliments our bullpen nicely to make games 6 inning affairs if we can get a lead (a BIG if). With Maybin, Gwynn, and Venable in the OF, I feel pretty confident anything in the air should be caught. With Scott H and/or Denorfia, not so much. Plus Gwynn has become pretty good with the sac bunts and on the base paths, if he can only stop trying to bunt for base knocks. Luckily I think Aaron Cunningham can handle the bat better than either Scott H or Denorfia if we need a hit off the bench.

Blanks is going to be rehabbing from TJ surgery next season, and will need some time in Tucson to fix his swing. Just my take…

orneryfish
4 years 9 months ago

Blanks had TJ surgery in early summer.
He won’t be anywhere near a diamond until July, earliest.

4 years 9 months ago

Dustin Ackley had TJ surgery in college between his sophomore and junior year and was ready to go the next season. He didn’t miss a beat hitting .417 .517 .763 putting him in line for the 2nd overall pick in the 2009 draft. Ironically, he was a center fielder and moved to 1B the next year because of the surgery. Here’s a Q and A with Ackley: TW: You had Tommy John surgery between your sophomore and junior years. Have you had any problems from that? DA: No. The surgery went well and I was able to start my junior season okay with the college team. I was playing first base then. I had the whole winter to get in shape. I took it slow, but pitchers take it a lot slower. I do believe that giving Blanks plenty of time to recover and more AAA AB’s is the best thing to do. It’s much different for pitchers. It takes from 1-2 years for a pitcher to fully recover and be as affective. Example #2: Xavier Nady He had TJ surgery on 07/08/09 and participated in Spring Training the following year on 03/10/10. That’s 8 months. 1B is the least demanding position to come back from that surgery.

Everything I’ve heard about Blanks points to have having great work ethic. “The recovery time, from what Blanks was told, is between seven and 10 months” Padres.com

He had the sugery on 06/30/10, so he’s due back between 02/30/10 and 05/30/10. He shouldn’t miss too much of the regular season. Blanks shouldn’t be near the outfield and wont, but he will be in AAA and wont miss much significant time.

Example #3: Jose Canseco Canseco had TJ surgery in July of 93 and was ready to go on opening day the following year.

Example 4: Matt Holliday Same story between the 01 and 02 season.

Example #5: Shin Soo Choo Choo had TJ in September of 07 and was ready to go the next season in May. 8 months.

Example #6: Carlos Quentin He had TJ surgery after he was drafted in 03 and was ready to go the following year.

Example 7: Kelly Johnson TJ surgery June 06, ready for spring training the following year.

Point being, I think to say that Blanks wont be “anywhere near a diamond until July, earliest”, might more applicable to pitchers (overall) rather than pos. players at the least demanding throwing position, first base. Blanks could have set backs, but every indication is that he should again, not miss significant time.

4 years 9 months ago

Dustin Ackley had TJ surgery in college between his sophomore and junior year and was ready to go the next season. He didn’t miss a beat hitting .417 .517 .763 putting him in line for the 2nd overall pick in the 2009 draft. Ironically, he was a center fielder and moved to 1B the next year because of the surgery. Here’s a Q and A with Ackley: TW: You had Tommy John surgery between your sophomore and junior years. Have you had any problems from that? DA: No. The surgery went well and I was able to start my junior season okay with the college team. I was playing first base then. I had the whole winter to get in shape. I took it slow, but pitchers take it a lot slower. I do believe that giving Blanks plenty of time to recover and more AAA AB’s is the best thing to do. It’s much different for pitchers. It takes from 1-2 years for a pitcher to fully recover and be as affective. Example #2: Xavier Nady He had TJ surgery on 07/08/09 and participated in Spring Training the following year on 03/10/10. That’s 8 months. 1B is the least demanding position to come back from that surgery.

Everything I’ve heard about Blanks points to have having great work ethic. “The recovery time, from what Blanks was told, is between seven and 10 months” Padres.com

He had the sugery on 06/30/10, so he’s due back between 02/30/10 and 05/30/10. He shouldn’t miss too much of the regular season. Blanks shouldn’t be near the outfield and wont, but he will be in AAA and wont miss much significant time.

Example #3: Jose Canseco Canseco had TJ surgery in July of 93 and was ready to go on opening day the following year.

Example 4: Matt Holliday Same story between the 01 and 02 season.

Example #5: Shin Soo Choo Choo had TJ in September of 07 and was ready to go the next season in May. 8 months.

Example #6: Carlos Quentin He had TJ surgery after he was drafted in 03 and was ready to go the following year.

Example 7: Kelly Johnson TJ surgery June 06, ready for spring training the following year.

Point being, I think to say that Blanks wont be “anywhere near a diamond until July, earliest”, might more applicable to pitchers (overall) rather than pos. players at the least demanding throwing position, first base. Blanks could have set backs, but every indication is that he should again, not miss significant time.

bbxxj
4 years 9 months ago

Gwynn had very unlucky BABIP last year considering his speed and decent line drive rate. Going forward I would project him as a .250/.350/.350/.700 talent level hitter with top tier defense in CF and good speed on the basepaths. I would certainly take him as an option in CF in Atlanta.

4 years 9 months ago

Only if we were to acquire a middle of the order slugger for LF, and even then I’d feel more comfortable with him as a defense-oriented 4th OF.

GasLampGuru
4 years 9 months ago

Gwynn will either be non-tendered or brought back as the 4th or 5th OF. He’s really better suited to being a pinch runner and defensive sub than playing every day, and the Padres really need to give Maybin every opportunity to succeed. This team needs offense, and that’s one thing Gwynn will never provide.

People put too much stock in Junior’s name. At some point you need to make your own name in the game, and he lacks the skills to do that. He was brought in to generate some talk and hope about a team that was otherwise dead in the water a couple seasons ago.

4 years 9 months ago

As much as I love AJ, and he’s the type of player whose numbers align perfectly with what your eyes tell you, I don’t think he has much of a role left in San Diego. Ludwick, Maybin, and Venable are all capable athletes and won’t leave much room for a defensive sub.

If he can’t find a team willing to give him an everyday job, he might be a valuable pickup for the Dodgers or whatever team ends up signing Pat Burrell.

4 years 9 months ago

Maybin will leave alot of room for an offensive replacement. Padres are still in the running for Burrell.

Beersy
4 years 9 months ago

Gwynn has stated that he tried to hit for more power last year, which didn’t happen, and that his approach was off. If he goes back to hitting liners and using his speed, with his gold glove caliber defense, how can’t he be an asset to the Padres. Even if he hits .260 next year and steals 20 some bases, which he would have if not for the broken wrist, he will bring more to the table than the other options. People act as though he would be taking the spot of an all star, but he wouldn’t.

Ludwick stunk it up once he got to San Diego because he put too much pressure on himself. Well that isn’t going to change when he is plugged right back into the clean up spot behind Gonzalez. Maybe when Gonzalez is traded and he is the only guy on the team who has any power there will be less pressure. Ludwick is the one who needs to go.

This team is going to win with good pitching, by playing small ball and creating offense on the base paths. They need to bring in players who can play that way. Ludwick can’t. When he and Tejada arrived last year the whole dynamic changed and the Padres went in the tank. As for the fans, they don’t show up even when they are winning, so don’t listen to them Jed. Hoyer has said that Petco plays to athletes, Maybin was a start, I hope he’s not finished.

4 years 9 months ago

Too many oufielders for a only 3 outfielding positions? Jed Hoyer has some interesting decisions but if the organization committed to Maybin, I don’t see Tony Gwynn Jr being with the team in 2011.

Will32
4 years 9 months ago

Giants should pick him up

4 years 9 months ago

XDWA

johnnycomelately9
4 years 9 months ago

Every padre fan knows the opening day OF: Venable, Maybin, Ludwick.

The mystery position is 2nd. I think the teams needs to non-tender Gwynn, Hairston, and maybe Denorfia. Problem is Durango (awesome) and Cunningham (probably a regular) are both better than all three of the guys I suggested for non-tender, but with the addition of Maybin and options for both, it is likely they play for AAA or are trade bait. Personally I think Blanks is better than all of the pads listed including Ludwick; but if the pads decide to trade Agon at the deadline they won’t ask for a top 1st prospect but instead go with Blanks or Clark whom they are high on.

Beersy
4 years 9 months ago

I would rather them get rid of Ludwick. He played so poorly down the stretch and didn’t seem to show any emotion while doing it. It didn’t seem to bother him that he was killing the team. Gwynn will contribute more to the team with his defense and speed than Ludwick will.

YouDontKnowDude
4 years 9 months ago

It was very publicized that his emotions were affecting his performance so I don’t know where you came up with that.

Beersy
4 years 9 months ago

I came up with that by watching the games. I don’t think I once saw him get mad after any of his weak grounders to short. Now I don’t mean he had to throw a hissy fit, but a little emotion shown for his poor play would’ve been nice. It just seemed like he was going through the motions. What was he so worked up about that his emotions affected his play? If it was being traded to San Diego, I don’t see how he’ll be any better next year.

4 years 9 months ago

Ludwick stunk with the bat and the glove as a Padre. He will make $7 million in arbitration. He is a career .266 hitter and most of the time was in hitters park in St Louis. I would not be sad to see him be non tendered.

Durango can’t hit the ball out of the infield. He is a 5th outfielder at best.

Cunningham has earned a shot and I would rather see him in LF than Ludwick.

Blanks spent most of last year on the DL so he will probably start the season in AAA so he can get every day at bats.

The Padres will ask for the best possible prospect for Gonzalez regardless of position. Prospects are prospects, not ML players.