Padres Notes: Gyorko, Headley, Cashner

Here are a few notes on the Padres, who opened the day a full three games back of the division-leading Dodgers and Giants in the National League West:

  • The Pads have been one of the few MLB teams to have been burned by early-career extensions in recent years, notes Dave Cameron in a piece for FOX Sports. One issue — putting aside the injury and performance issues that have cropped up — is that San Diego has made several of its bets on players whose expected future market value (through arbitration and free agency) was simply not that high. That, in turn, limited the amount of upside (in terms of cost savings) that the team could realize through those contracts. The team's recent extension of Jedd Gyorko, Cameron argues, is of the same ilk: he is not a high-average hitter or stolen base threat, and his power is less impressive if he plays at third in the future. Cameron opines that, while the deal is not necessarily a bad contract, the team still took on significant risk without getting a real chance at landing a "huge bargain."  
  • Current third baseman Chase Headley, meanwhile, reportedly turned down his chance at a new deal, and looks destined for the open market at the end of the season. MLB.com's Corey Brock noted that Headley had told him late in the spring that he "just [didn't] think it was ever the right time" to strike an extension. "There's enough ground in between us to where it wasn't going to work out right now," Headley said. "We just couldn't find that common ground." As Brock explains, the likely options now for San Diego look to be a trade, qualifying offer after the year, or another run at a contract. Headley addressed the QO himself with Brock: "We weighed that [in discussions with the team] and it's not a great system for the player. You have to play six full seasons just to get to free agency. … When you get to that point in your career, I don't think it's necessarily fair to have this one shot at free agency affected by that. At some point, someone is going to take one of those." Of course, Headley added that accepting the QO is "not a bad way to go" because "that's a pretty big number for one year."
  • Staff ace Andrew Cashner is showing signs that he could be developing into a true ace, writes Scott Miller for FOX Sports San Diego. Acquired from the Cubs in exchange for young slugger Anthony Rizzo, in what was a bold trade for both clubs, the 27-year-old has made clear that he wants and expects to be a dominant force. "I definitely want a no-hitter," said Cashner, calling it "one of my goals." Indeed, he has looked capable of that recently. Cashner has allowed just 10 hits and three earned runs through his first 21 innings (over three starts) in 2014, striking out 9.4 against 3.0 free passes per nine while holding opposing hitters to a .363 OPS. After re-discovering his slider last year, Cashner worked to a 2.14 ERA in the second half. As he plays out his first arb-eligible season, the big righty looks like a prime extension candidate in his own right.


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55 Comments on "Padres Notes: Gyorko, Headley, Cashner"


Member
mstrchef13
1 year 2 months ago

Headley seems to think that he will only ever get one chance at free agency, and by accepting a QO he will lose that chance forever. Sounds like a player who has been told what to say by his agent and/or MLBPA and doesn’t really know what he’s saying.

Member
Manfrenjensen
1 year 2 months ago

The way he’s playing so far this season, it might be his only chance at free agency… and the QO might be a pipe dream at this point too.

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LazerTown
1 year 2 months ago

Yes, because after 50 ab you can accurately judge a player. Billy Butler is hitting .143/.224/.143. Fielder, McCann, and Wright are a few other vets struggling. Unless he is injured I will assume that Headley will end up right around his career norms. So you are looking at .260/.350/400 type hitter.

Member
scotts007
1 year 2 months ago

Yes, but Headley isn’t exactly a rookie.. A seven-year career is hardly a small sample size. If he hits .260 with 15 homers and 75 RBI, which is his career norm, those numbers don’t exactly scream “top five third baseman” or “$100 million contract” at you… To even compare Headley to Fielder, McCann and Wright is beyond ludicrous.

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SmokinGun
1 year 2 months ago

Don’t think Lazer was comparing Headley to those players. He was just giving examples of players struggling early.

Member
sunshipballoons
1 year 2 months ago

Really? They certainly do suggest more than $13MM/year.

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scotts007
1 year 2 months ago

Actually I just checked and his career norm is 13 homers and 61 RBI, so I overshot it quite a bit.

I think the $39 million offer was low, but it wasn’t that low. There are better third baseman in baseball that make far less than $13MM a year…

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sunshipballoons
1 year 2 months ago

Yeah, but are there better ones who have hit full free agency? Those are the only relevant comparisons.

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scotts007
1 year 2 months ago

A few of them have. Without getting into WAR or anything, I think a decent comparison is that Headley is a less powerful, speedier Juan Uribe, and Uribe has never made more than $8 million a year.

Member
TheRealRyan
1 year 2 months ago

Besides the fact that Headley is 5 full years younger than Uribe, he has been above average with the bat in 4 of his 5 full seasons compared to Uribe who has been above average in 4 of his 12 complete seasons. Headly also has a career 114 OPS+ and 114 wRC+ compared to Uribe’s career 86 OPS+ and 84 wRC+. That 30 point difference in career wRC+ is larger than the difference between B.J. Upton and Carlos Gonzalez.

Member
scotts007
1 year 2 months ago

Yes but those numbers are skewed by Headley’s crazy strong 2-month stretch in 2012. Before that stretch, he was just his normal, slightly above average self.

Part of the reason why there is such a wide margin in people’s opinions on Headley is because he is extremely inconsistent. You can’t accurately assess how much money he’s worth because, like others have said on here, he is unreliable when you need him and reliable once the team is out of contention.

And then, after all that, what would you be paying for? Are you paying for his past performance – the great two-month stretch in 2012 – or are you paying for a slightly above average major league third baseman, which is what he is?

Headley will get paid, and he will get overpaid (due to his strong 2012 stretch), and it won’t be by the Padres.

Member
TheRealRyan
1 year 2 months ago

I think you’re undervaluing Headley due to a abnormally hot 2 month stretch. If we only look at his first half numbers from 2012, his OPS+ the last three years are 120, 117 and 116, and his wRC+ is 121, 124 and 113. Any which way you consider it, if you include park factors Headley is an above average hitter.

Member
scotts007
1 year 2 months ago

Yeah, I said twice before that he was slightly above average. I think if you polled most Padres fans, they would give you that exact answer. He’s definitely not a superstar, like a few of his defenders seem to think.

From the Padres’ perspective, the amount of money he’s going to command for just being an above average hitter does not translate to actually giving him that contract. It wouldn’t make economic sense for them. If you don’t pay him $15 million a year and take another big salary off the books like Josh Johnson’s $8 million, but you still want to spend that combined $23 million, it could be used a bit more efficiently.

Member
Pads Fans
1 year 2 months ago

Has Uribe played his home games in Petco? Did Uribe hit .293/.366 on the road from 2009-2013. What was Uribe’s defense like? How many games did he play at 3B?

Uribe hit .252/.307/.415 from 2009-2013 (the time Headley has been a starter) and played in only 545 games.

Headley has hit .269/.352/.415 over that period while playing in 732 games.

SAME power numbers with a higher BA and OBP and much better defense. All while playing 81 games per season in the hardest park in baseball to hit in.

Member
sunshipballoons
1 year 2 months ago

That’s a terrible comparison. Uribe is an inferior hitter, slower (not faster) and one of the worst defensive 3Bs in baseball, vs. Headley who is one of the best. Even if you ignore Headley’s 2012 season entirely, he’s OPS+ is 19 points higher than Uribe’s. Also, if you’re going to ignore Headley’s best hot streaks, why not do the same for Uribe, who is extremely streaky and has only had a couple of good seasons overall?

Member
Pads Fans
1 year 2 months ago

Do you REALIZE where he plays his home games? Do you know what park factors are or how hard it is to hit a home run in Petco compared to other ballparks?

Do you know that Headley hit .293/.366/.829 on the road from 2009-2013?

So please tell me who is better? And who makes less than $13 million.

The 4 who are better over the past 4 season are Cabrera, Longoria, Beltre and Wright. ALL make more than $13 million. Much more.

The contract offer was a joke.

Member
scotts007
1 year 2 months ago

First off, let me just fact check you… Cabrera is a first baseman now that Nick Castellanos is their third baseman. Beltre and Wright DO make more than $13 million but there is a very wide gap between those two and Headley. Lastly, Longoria only makes $7.5 million this year. Yes, his long contract in future years will be much more than $13MM, but currently it is obviously NOT “much more” than $13 million. It’s actually much less.

And, the fences have been moved in at Petco. No one uses the ballpark as an excuse anymore. Headley just isn’t much of a power threat. Never was. Guys on the team like Carlos Quentin hit just as many home runs in half the at-bats. You don’t believe me? Check the stats. Not to mention, Gyorko, with 23 homers as a rookie, offensively, might be more of a fit at third base than Headley.

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sunshipballoons
1 year 2 months ago

The Longoria comparison is meaningless, because he was pre-free agency when he signed. From a salary perspective, you can only compare Headley to free agency 3Bs.

Member
Mets2016
1 year 2 months ago

I agree watching Wright on the road versus home is two different players. Shame Brian Cashman wasn’t smart enough to trade for Chase Headley knowing A Rod was breaking down.

Member
LazerTown
1 year 2 months ago

I don’t peg him at $100MM contract, and of course I don’t think he is at the level of the others. What he is though is an established veteran that is turning 30 this season. Unless there is an injury that I don’t know of he will most likely end up right around his career norms, because that is what established veterans that are 30 yo tend to do. Aside from 2012 he has been pretty consistent, and that was 1 better year.

Member
scotts007
1 year 2 months ago

Yeah. See my comment above in response to TheRealRyan

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Tim Valencia
1 year 2 months ago

Headley always struggles early, then when the Padres are out of contention, he somehow flips the switch and turns it on

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sunshipballoons
1 year 2 months ago

Most teams would prefer a guy who gets better as the season goes along (and his career splits show Headley improves each month of the season), than an equivalent guy who starts hot and cools off.

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Tim Valencia
1 year 2 months ago

the progression of performance is correlated not only with time during the season but also, negatively correlated with teams playoff chances. basically Headley improves= the more the games dont matter for the Padres

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sunshipballoons
1 year 2 months ago

That’s obviously not enough to see a real pattern. And, in fact, it’s not true. Headley has played six seasons. The Padres were in contention one of those (they won the NL West in 2010). And, like his splits throughout his career, he was far better in the second half of the season. So, the correlation isn’t even consistently there, and there is zero evidence that being out of the playoffs has any casual relationship to Headley’s improvement as the season goes along. A far more sensible conclusion is that he’s a slow starter who generally heats up as the season goes along.

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Mets2016
1 year 2 months ago

I agree the law of averages is prominent in baseball more than any sport considering the amount of games played.

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LazerTown
1 year 2 months ago

He turns 30 this year. This is the chance for him to get his big deal, not when he is older.

Member
Manfrenjensen
1 year 2 months ago

Starting off your walk year with a negative WAR (and a blistering OPS+ of 31) might make Headley and his agents at Hendricks wish they’d jumped at that 3/39 offer.

Member
LazerTown
1 year 2 months ago

50 ab is nothing. If he is still hitting this way when we get into June then it’s time to panic. Unless he is injured there is no reason to assume that he will be anywhere else than around his career norms.

Member
sunshipballoons
1 year 2 months ago

If you think $13MM is a lot for Headley’s production, you don’t know the reality of the market.

Member
Pads Fans
1 year 2 months ago

Nor does it indicate an understanding of park factors or just how good Headley has been. A .293/.366 slash line on the road is why he will get the big bucks.

Member
Pads Fans
1 year 2 months ago

Can I ask you a question, why would what you are hitting after 13 games matter unless your season ends after those 13 games?

Gyorko is hitting .160, had a poor season last year (.249/.301 with a 123/33 k to bb rate is not good) and he signed a long term deal.

Last season was a “down year” for Headley and he still had a 3.5 fWAR.

Member
Mario Saavedra
1 year 2 months ago

Gyorko is probably not the best example as he´s having a pretty miserable time right now as well and people are starting to doubt him.

Member
Rally Weimaraner
1 year 2 months ago

Miguel Cabrera is hitting .225, Adam Jones .240, Prince Fielder .185, Pablo Sandoval .164. They all have a negative WAR. Early season stats are pretty meaningless and volatile.

Member
Manfrenjensen
1 year 2 months ago

Agreed, it’s a small sample size… but I’m guessing that the amount of Tums being gobbled at the Hendricks office is a heckuva lot greater than if he had started the year hot.

Member
corey
1 year 2 months ago

Jedd Gyorko isnt a high average hitter…..YET! he’s hit for average at every single level through the minors and while yes he’s struggled with K’s and average through a not even full 162 games yet does NOT mean he can’t be a .280+ hitter because i think he can be. so it’s a little premature to say he’s not an avg hitter after his ROOKIE season.

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sunshipballoons
1 year 2 months ago

Guys who K a lot in the minors tend not to bring their high averages with them to the majors. Gyorko K rate wasn’t crazy, but it was (and remains) high. It’s unlikely he’ll ever be a high average hitter, though he could improve some. George Springer for the ‘Stros is an even bigger concern. He’s probably Rob Deer with speed.

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Pads Fans
1 year 2 months ago

Gyorko had an extreme k rate. 23.4% of his at bats. Combine that with 123/33 k/bb rate and it was abysmal. Only Dan Uggla was worse at 2B.

Its gotten worse this season climbing to 28.4%. And he is hitting .160 so far.

And his K rate was not good in the minors either at 20%. We can hope his batting average improves, but it will likely not go up much if at all playing at Petco.

Member
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 2 months ago

I watched opening day and he was excellent and then I was part of of his second start and he looked just as good. In fact, I was joining in the cheer ‘Beat L.A.’ if for anything it was really catchy. Anyway, I had no idea he was that good, he’s like 6’6″ and quite frankly an imposing figure on the mound. I wish him well and hope he stays healthy the entire season. He could be a Cy Young candidate.

Member
Robert Vernon
1 year 2 months ago

I really feel Headley isn’t happy and won’t play up to his potential till he either gets a contract to what he wants or is traded which @ this point don’t sound too bad to me. We need to get a durable 3rd baseman.

Member
johnsilver
1 year 2 months ago

Have a feeling that same money is thrown towards any of the other viable IF next winter and it would be accepted, even possibly Hardy? Then move Gyorko back to 3b and the team has a 3b, plus steady performance from Either Lowrie, Hardy, Drew at less than 50m at 2b.

I’d count on those bats over headley of late, glove also for Hardy and Drew.

Just a thought.

Member
Pads Fans
1 year 2 months ago

Hardy is hitting .260 over the past 3 seasons in one of the best hitters parks and divisions in baseball.

Headley is hitting 30 points better than that away from Petco, the hardest park in baseball to hit in.

Gyorko stunk at 3B in the minors and never played the position in his life before that. Gyorko hit .249/.301 last season with an extreme strike out rate. Not encouraging.

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Pads Fans
1 year 2 months ago

Headley is the most durable Padres 3B in 30+ years in terms of games played per season. What exactly do you mean “durable”?