Padres, Jason Bartlett Agree To Two-Year Deal

The Padres avoided arbitration with Jason Bartlett and agreed to sign him to a two-year deal, the team announced. The sides agreed to an $11MM deal, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock and Bernie Wilson of the AP has the details on the LSW Baseball client (Twitter links). Bartlett earns $4MM in 2011, $5.5MM in 2012 and either $5.5MM or a $1.5MM buyout in 2013.

The agreement buys out Bartlett's final season as an arbitration eligible player and one free agent year. The shortstop, who arrived in San Diego in a December trade, earned $4MM last year and was due for a raise in 2011. Orlando Hudson signed in San Diego as a free agent for comparable money; he and Bartlett will man the middle of the Padres infield for the next two seasons.

After a 2009 season in which he made the All-Star team and batted .320/.389/.490, Bartlett slumped to .254/.324/.350 last year. The 31-year-old has stolen ten bases or more for five consecutive seasons and has a .281/.345/.385 line in parts of seven campaigns with the Twins and Rays. Bartlett was originally selected by the Padres in the 13th round of the 2001 Draft and signed by current Padres amateur scout Lane Decker.

Ryan Ludwick, Heath Bell, Tim Stauffer, Mike Adams and Chase Headley are the Padres' remaining arbitration eligible players, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.


60 Responses to Padres, Jason Bartlett Agree To Two-Year Deal Leave a Reply

  1. coachofall 4 years ago

    It’s funny how many people have forgotten that Jason Bartlett can’t field his position and other than a one year outlier can’t hit. Weird deal

    • Eh, he put up a middle-of-the-road 2010. Not that he can’t hit, just that he’s an average MLBer. Shouldn’t be getting more than 2-3 million a year.

      • truthlemonade 4 years ago

        Isn’t the average MLB salary over $3mm? I think that a starting shortstop should expect to be paid more than the average salary.

  2. dc21892 4 years ago

    Nice deal by the Padres. Sure up the middle infield to help the young pitchers develop.

  3. dc21892 4 years ago

    Nice deal by the Padres. Sure up the middle infield to help the young pitchers develop.

  4. $11M for a player that can be easily replaced by a minor leaguer? Yikes.

    • In five of his six seasons, Bartlett has been worth 1.8 WAR or more. I wouldn’t consider that replacement level. He had a bad year in 2010, but he had an amazing year in ’09. To these eyes, they essentially cancel each other out.

      I think a 1.8 WAR is a very reasonable expectation. And at these dollars, that is value–something like $9 mil a year of value.

      I think folks are forgetting two things: 1) however our expectations have been skewed by the A-Rod/Jeter/Tejada/Nomar era, a guy like Bartlett is still safely average and worth having around; and 2) for non-star players like Bartlett, looking at their career averages is more useful than getting worked up over fluke up-years or down years.

      • SrMeowMeow 4 years ago

        I would consider 1.8 WAR to be the very definition of not replacement level. 😛

        • YourBase 4 years ago

          Replacement level ranges from 0 – 2 WAR.

          • While “average players” do indeed start around the 2.0 WAR range and thus you can arguably group guys below that as “replacement level,” it should be noted that as the “R” in “WAR” implies, replacement level is truly around the 0.0 mark. At least in terms of what you could hope to scoop up as, well, a replacement player.

            To wit, if you know about a mess of readily available shortstops at the 1.8-1.9 range, you should probably contact your favorite GM, post-haste.

          • SrMeowMeow 4 years ago

            I’m late to the party, but I couldn’t resist saying that you are, in fact, 100% wrong.

        • cubsfanraysaddict 4 years ago

          2 is average, and 16 short stops have averaged >2war in the last 3 years. So expecting around 1.8 WAR from your SS is fine, and is better than most teams situations(only 12 SS were >2 WAR last year).

        • cubsfanraysaddict 4 years ago

          2 is average, and 16 short stops have averaged >2war in the last 3 years. So expecting around 1.8 WAR from your SS is fine, and is better than most teams situations(only 12 SS were >2 WAR last year).

      • SrMeowMeow 4 years ago

        I would consider 1.8 WAR to be the very definition of not replacement level. 😛

  5. Decent deal. 3yr/15M for an above average SS is a good deal for the Padres.

    • $1529282 4 years ago

      What about Bartlett, other than possibly his speed, qualifies him as “above average.” His defense has gotten worse each season of his career, and aside from a short rookie season (.335) he’s never posted a wOBA higher than .319 or an OPS above .699…

      I realize that the deal is basically only projecting Bartlett to be a 1.0-1.5 WAR player, which isn’t a terrible bet, but it’s hardly a good deal, especially not when a superior player (Hudson) signed for the same amount as a free agent.

      • disgruntledreader 4 years ago

        THANK YOU! While I agree that the price for what you can reasonably expect out of him isn’t too horrible, the problem is that the Padres can’t afford to be spending the going rate on 1-2 WAR players on the open market. Is there anyone who seriously thinks it’s markedly more likely that Bartlett will be capable of 1.5 WAR in 2012 than Everth Cabrera?

        • ZIPs/ODDIBE has Bartlett at 80% odds of being average or better, with a 52% chance of being very good or better. It has Cabrera at a 59% chance of being average or better, with a 27% chance of being very good or better.

          So yeah, I’d say people say Bartlett is probably a substantially better bet.

        • ZIPs/ODDIBE has Bartlett at 80% odds of being average or better, with a 52% chance of being very good or better. It has Cabrera at a 59% chance of being average or better, with a 27% chance of being very good or better.

          So yeah, I’d say people say Bartlett is probably a substantially better bet.

        • Amish_willy 4 years ago

          “the problem is that the Padres can’t afford to be spending the going rate on 1-2 WAR players on the open market” – Sure they can. When your roster, as well as good majority of your core is constructed with players with fewer then two years of service time (i.e. they’re cheap!), the Padres can easily afford to fill their holes with guys like Hudson & Bartlett at the salaries they commanded.

          For any Padre fan that is filling “bla” about this signing, it’s worthy to take a trip down memory lane at the SS’s the team has fielded the past 15 or so years. Chris Gomez was their starter for the better part of four years (on some good teams) and he was like a weaker hitting Bartlett with less range and zero speed.

          We welcome a middle of the pack shortstop with open arms.

        • padresfuture 4 years ago

          There is no doubt that Bartlett is more likely to post a 1.5 war than Evereth.

    • $1529282 4 years ago

      What about Bartlett, other than possibly his speed, qualifies him as “above average.” His defense has gotten worse each season of his career, and aside from a short rookie season (.335) he’s never posted a wOBA higher than .319 or an OPS above .699…

      I realize that the deal is basically only projecting Bartlett to be a 1.0-1.5 WAR player, which isn’t a terrible bet, but it’s hardly a good deal, especially not when a superior player (Hudson) signed for the same amount as a free agent.

    • coachofall 4 years ago

      above avg? You realize he was essentially the same player as Yuniesky Bettencourt last year?

      • Their 2010 WAR are similar, it’s true. But Bartlett’s 0.7 represented his lowest total since becoming a regular. Betancourt had to improve by 2.3 WAR to get to his 0.6 total, his highest since 2007. I think most folks would pencil them in at closer to their career averages going forward. That would be less than a half WAR for Yuniesky and somewhere north of two wins for Bartlett, even after omitting his fluke year from calculations.

        • coachofall 4 years ago

          That is still not “above avg”

          • True he had a down year last year. But, he was a 5.0 WAR player the year before. Its not a fluke since he had reached 2.5 and 3 WAR in previous seasons. Even if he is a 2 WAR player then he is going to give value for money and if he remotely resembles his 2009 performance then its a steal. The point I was trying to make is that the Padres didn’t break the bank and have a veteran SS who’s still only 30 years old.

          • He’s 31, and I *would* call the 2009 season a fluke. But I still pretty much agree. He only has to be worth around 1.0 WAR to justify the deal and he seems likely to double that, on average.

          • dc21892 4 years ago

            Good seasons don’t happen on accident. Whether or not he can find what made him succeed again is yet to be seen.

          • Even if you feel the “above average” part is an oversell, it’s no more misleading than the Betancourt comparison. Still, as I pointed out below, Bartlett has a 1.8 WAR or higher in 5 of his 6 seasons as a regular. That would make him fairly league average and worth much more than his contract will pay him.

            When you can fill a hole with a league average player for 60% of his probable value, I’m calling that a decent move. It isn’t sexy, but it works.

          • Even if you feel the “above average” part is an oversell, it’s no more misleading than the Betancourt comparison. Still, as I pointed out below, Bartlett has a 1.8 WAR or higher in 5 of his 6 seasons as a regular. That would make him fairly league average and worth much more than his contract will pay him.

            When you can fill a hole with a league average player for 60% of his probable value, I’m calling that a decent move. It isn’t sexy, but it works.

        • coachofall 4 years ago

          That is still not “above avg”

      • Their 2010 WAR are similar, it’s true. But Bartlett’s 0.7 represented his lowest total since becoming a regular. Betancourt had to improve by 2.3 WAR to get to his 0.6 total, his highest since 2007. I think most folks would pencil them in at closer to their career averages going forward. That would be less than a half WAR for Yuniesky and somewhere north of two wins for Bartlett, even after omitting his fluke year from calculations.

    • coachofall 4 years ago

      above avg? You realize he was essentially the same player as Yuniesky Bettencourt last year?

  6. Decent deal. 3yr/15M for an above average SS is a good deal for the Padres.

  7. twins33 4 years ago

    More proof that Hardy is worth 6-7 million. Better offense and defense than Bartlett.

  8. twins33 4 years ago

    More proof that Hardy is worth 6-7 million. Better offense and defense than Bartlett.

  9. Motor_City_Bombshell 4 years ago

    I feel like this is quite an overpay. I’m a skeptic of this one.

  10. Motor_City_Bombshell 4 years ago

    I feel like this is quite an overpay. I’m a skeptic of this one.

  11. What I have been saying all along, he is not a one year rental. Hopefully Bartlett can have a nice bounce back year and put his nagging injuries behind him that may have hindered his production, both offensively and defensively the last couple years. He will provide the Padres stability at SS, for the first time since Khalil Green. No pun intended

  12. What I have been saying all along, he is not a one year rental. Hopefully Bartlett can have a nice bounce back year and put his nagging injuries behind him that may have hindered his production, both offensively and defensively the last couple years. He will provide the Padres stability at SS, for the first time since Khalil Green. No pun intended

  13. $1742854 4 years ago

    Twins got out at the right time with these two

  14. $1742854 4 years ago

    Twins got out at the right time with these two

  15. Sd_brain 4 years ago

    This deal isn’t that bad. Sure his defense isn’t what it used to be but then again what other choices do the padres have. I would expect and hope his numbers this season to be better than last years. The padres are just adding stability to the position so they can build up Cabrera while at the same time draft and develop an everyday short.

  16. I probably have a soft spot for Bartlett, because I frequently compare his 2007 defensive performance to Edgar Renteria’s 2007 as a perfect illustration of why errors are crap. (For the record, Bartlett had 26 errors that year, but had such superior range that he was worth 8.5 fielding runs above average; Renteria looked solid with 11 errors, but a closer look had him at -4.4 fielding runs.)

    • twins33 4 years ago

      To be fair to Bartlett, I believe he was dealing with a neck/arm injury during at least part of his 2007 season. Unless I’m not remembering correctly, but I’m pretty sure it was that year because I remember it being his last year as a Twin.

      He played through it, but his throws sucked because of it.

  17. Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

    I imagine Jed Hoyer is trying to establish value among his players. He could use this deal a a marker for extentions for younger players heading into there arbitration years. Headley with 3.7 WAR and Latos 3.3 in 2010, could be canidates for team freindly extentions given their impending arbitrations in 2012 and 2013.

  18. Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

    I imagine Jed Hoyer is trying to establish value among his players. He could use this deal a a marker for extentions for younger players heading into there arbitration years. Headley with 3.7 WAR and Latos 3.3 in 2010, could be canidates for team freindly extentions given their impending arbitrations in 2012 and 2013.

  19. Man, what a “fire-sale”.

  20. DK57 4 years ago

    what happened to everth cabrera?

    • Beersy 4 years ago

      He will be at AAA, hopefully getting his game back on track.

    • Beersy 4 years ago

      He will be at AAA, hopefully getting his game back on track.

  21. Beersy 4 years ago

    If Bartlett hits .280 with 15-20 steals and 20 or so doubles, the Padres will be more than happy with this deal. Not to mention, this deal gives Cabrera at least 2 years to grow at AAA. He was rushed to the Majors and can really use the time to get his game back on track. In 2 years, if the Padres middle infield is Cabrera, of 2 years ago, and Cumberland, of last year before the injury, they will have one of, if not the best, young middle infields in all of baseball. Giving Cabrera and Cumberland 2 years to work together in the minors will be benefical for both team and players.

    • If Bartlett hits .280 with 25 doubles, his line would probably look something like .280/.320/.355 which would be really pretty bad.

      For a team with a limited budget like the Padres, they’d be way better off allocating this money elsewhere, not on a light-hitting, questionable fielding shortstop.

      • Beersy 4 years ago

        Where should they allocate it? To a 1st baseman or outfielder who was a good hitter in a hitters ball park and won’t be able to reach the fences at Petco. Or maybe a catcher who is going to be over paid. The Padres needed a SS in the worst way and Bartletts’ game will play at Petco. Bartlett will not be the most overpaid or worst SS in the league next year I can assure you of that. Maybe they should have made an offer to Jeter for 4 years at 20 million per, that would have been money much better spent. Not to mention, Hoyer hit on every move he made last year and maybe he knows a little more than the rest of us.

        I also find it interesting that all the “experts” seem to think that Bartlett is a decent fielder, but everybody on this site seems to think he goes out to short with a brick in his glove. I’ll be honest, I don’t get to see many Rays games, but anytime I’ve seen Bartlett in action he’s made all the plays that have come his way. Is it possible that the new ways of judging ones talent are being looked at as the Gospel and actually watching a guy in action has gone by the way side?

      • YouDontKnowDude 4 years ago

        with 20 stolen bases he might as well have 45 doubles. OBP is a little deceptive when someone can run the bases.

  22. Beersy 4 years ago

    If Bartlett hits .280 with 15-20 steals and 20 or so doubles, the Padres will be more than happy with this deal. Not to mention, this deal gives Cabrera at least 2 years to grow at AAA. He was rushed to the Majors and can really use the time to get his game back on track. In 2 years, if the Padres middle infield is Cabrera, of 2 years ago, and Cumberland, of last year before the injury, they will have one of, if not the best, young middle infields in all of baseball. Giving Cabrera and Cumberland 2 years to work together in the minors will be benefical for both team and players.

  23. Beersy 4 years ago

    Actually a .330 obp would be an upgrade on all 3 players they had at short last year. Hairston .299, Cabrera .279, and Tejada .317. So .330 would be welcome from the 7 or 8 spot. As for his defense, anytime I’ve seen him play he has made all the plays. As well I don’t think Hoyer would bring in a pilon when he has said middle of the field defense is so important. Not everyone is Ozzie or Omar with the glove.

  24. alex bentley 4 years ago

    than you dont know what your talking about, glad your not the GM wed prolly be with everth still

  25. Amish_willy 4 years ago

    You have a 90-win team last year and got the following production that is relevant to Bartlett in 2011:

    2010 ss: .244/.306/.360
    2010 leadoff hitters: .237/.306/.311

    Talk about an easy task for Bartlett to surpass. To do the same thing at 2nd base with Hudson, the teams expected #2 hitter:

    2010 2b: .260/.316/.327
    2010 #2 hitters: .260/.316/.360

    The money spent on Hudson and Bartlett I predict will look like money well spent when all is said and done.

  26. Beersy 4 years ago

    Amen to that Amish! By the way, nice beard. :)

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