As noted in the comments yesterday, the Padres have locked up first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to a 4-year deal worth $9.5 million with an option for 2011 that could kick the total value up to $15 million. Among other things, this means we can quit wringing our hands over a perceived lack of respect by the Pads when they renewed Gonzalez’ contract, as teams will do with players under club control.
I find this quote from Gonzalez’ agent, John Boggs, fascinating:
It was after the renewal that Kevin Towers asked if we were interested in a multiyear deal. If we could get something done for fair market value, we were interested.
Neither side got exactly what it wanted, but it’s a good deal for both sides.
First, it sound like Towers came to the player, which is great. Second, I like the acknowledgment that both sides had to give a little to get something mutually beneficial done.
Anyway, this is fantastic news for Gonzalez, the Padres, and fans. Gonzalez blossomed in his first full big-league season and is a guy around whom the Padres can build.
Last April we compared Gonzalez to Arizona’s Chad Tracy. This year, with a little more data to work with, Gonzalez’ list of 10 most similar players at Baseball-Reference contains some intriguing names.
The most obvious of these is Wally Joyner because he was a slick-fielding first baseman. But Joyner didn’t have quite as many at-bats through age 24; he also had more power and better plate discipline.
The guy I like on this list is Milwaukee’s Geoff Jenkins. Here’s how Gonzalez and Jenkins stack up at the same age:
|Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Baseball Musings Day by Day Database.|
With the seemingly obvious disclaimer that no two players are the same, Gonzalez and Jenkins look like a pretty decent match. Jenkins had a little more power, Gonzalez controls the strike zone a little better.
Jenkins, FWIW, enjoyed a pretty nice run throughout his age 25-29 seasons, batting .282/.352/.524 over that stretch. He maintained his batting average while improving his OBP and SLG. If Gonzalez progresses in a similar manner, I imagine most of us will be happy.