The Padres just gave a lot of money to a young player. That’s exactly what should have happened.
Three years ago, the Padres gave out a handful of contract extensions to young, promising players long before they were approaching free agency and the right to get big money from another team.
None worked out very well, but they were a still good idea and the right course for a team of modest means.
Luckily, that experience didn’t keep the Padres from pursuing the strategy again. Monday, they announced a six-year, $35 million contract extension for second baseman Jedd Gyorko, a 25-year-old who last year led all National League rookies in home runs.
Now the Padres need to do the same thing with guys like short stop Everth Cabrera and pitcher Andrew Cashner.
The idea underpinning these deals is simple, and has grown so prevalent that teams of all income levels are pursuing them, leading to what Grantland called “the death of free agency“: Good players are increasingly signing with their own teams before they reach the point where they can sign anywhere (and for much more money).