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Storylines: Padres lock up Gyorko

Storylines: Padres lock up Gyorko
San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko (9) singles in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 2013. (Joy R. Absalon/USA TODAY Sports)
April 15, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.

Here are the stories from Monday, April 14th.

Top Stories:

  • The Padres locked up one of their infielders for years to come. Buster Olney and Keith Law of ESPN broke the story, later announced by San Diego, that Jedd Gyorko and the Padres agreed upon a six-year extension for the second baseman that will keep him in San Diego through the 2019 season and contains a club option for the 2020 season. Gyorko's deal appears to be a six-year extension in name only, as the reported breakdown of his contract doesn't include a change to his previously agreed upon 2014 salary. He will earn $2 million in 2015, $4 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017, $9 million in 2018 and $13 million in 2019 before the Padres have the option of retaining him for $13 million for 2020 or paying him a $1 million buyout. Gyorko's deal also reportedly contains escalators that pertain to the option year, meaning the value of that option could rise over the course of the deal.
     
  • While Major League Baseball can accurately claim that the total allotment for international bonus pools has risen this season, the overall amount that clubs can spend on international talent has actually decreased, Baseball America's Ben Badler explained in his latest piece. While the bonus pool itself has risen, MLB has eliminated the six exemptions per team that allow a club to sign a player for up to $50K without that money counting against its bonus pool. By doing so, MLB eliminates a possible total of $9MM that can be spent on international talent. That's more than enough to offset the 1.2 percent rise from $78,226,600 in 2013 to $79,194,000 in 2014 that Badler reported in his article.

Tribe News:

  • Paul Hoynes reported that outfielder Michael Bourn is likely to be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday against Detroit.
     
  • Hoynes also reported the Indians will likely have designated hitter Jason Giambi play a few more rehab games before he's activated off the disabled list.

News and Notes:

  • Rays manager Joe Maddon gave his take on the recent rash of Tommy John surgeries throughout baseball, telling the Associated Press, "Sometimes you have to look underneath the surface and I tend to agree it has a lot to do with youth sports and travel teams and multiple travel teams and kids pitching to win when they're really young and throwing too many pitches. I think the more recent epidemic curiously might be tied to what they're doing before they even get here professionally."
     
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote that Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is the early front-runner for "first manager to get fired" due to the team's 4-11 start, but he wondered what more Gibson could do with the pitching talent (or lack thereof) he has been given.
     
  • Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda told Rosenthal (through his interpreter) that he's never considered retirement as heavily as he did this offseason.
     
  • The Rangers designated right-hander Daniel McCutchen for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for fellow righty Colby Lewis, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake announced.
     
  • The White Sox have signed right-hander Frank Francisco and assigned him to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights.
     
  • The Blue Jays announced that infielder Maicer Izturis' MRI revealed a "complete tear" of the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his left knee that will require surgery to repair. Izturis wil seek a second opinion before scheduling the surgery, which typically has a recovery time of four to six months.
     
  • Rockies starter Brett Anderson is expected to be out for a lengthy stretch with a broken index finger, as he will need four to six weeks to recover before rehabbing, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.
     
  • Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia got good news as he learned that his left wrist issues do not appear to be serious, Pete Abraham of the Boston Herald reported. As fellow Herald reporter Scott Lauber reported later, an MRI showed no structural damage that would warrant concern.

User Comments

Pete Bill
April 16, 2014 - 6:57 AM EDT
I threw curveballs when i was young and i also pitched more often than once a week, on average im sure it was more than every 5 days with high school and a few travel teams.

and yes at age 26 my arm is all sorts of screwed up and has been for a long time. i can barely throw a dart at a board anymore without my elbow throbbing
Daingean
April 15, 2014 - 2:12 PM EDT
With regard to the Madden/Tommy John thing. I do think that with youth's throwing the curveball early is a problem. My son just got through HS and was a pitcher/outfielder and played travel ball. We didn't let him throw the curve until he was 14 and only after he was taught to throw it by a professional. I think part of the issue is guys learning an improper technique with the curve (mostly by being taught by other kids). We were also quick to shut him down from pitching if he felt pain.

Now as far as usage by youths. I'm a believer that muscles get stronger by use but only with proper rest between usages. I just think these guys are trained one way for years (pitching once a week) and then have that all changed.
Hermie13
April 15, 2014 - 1:28 PM EDT
I'm sure this data is somewhere...but curious to know what the largest guaranteed amount of money is given to a player with a career OBP under .300...

Gyorko's OBP was under .300 when he inked his deal....$35M for that....even Simmons "at least" had a .304 OBP...

Sure I'm forgetting someone but thought that was interesting...
Hermie13
April 15, 2014 - 1:20 PM EDT
In regards to the Gyorko deal.....just goes to show how much power is being coveted these days. 23 HRs in that park was very nice last year, but OBP of .301 would concern me. His 2013 really wasn't that much better than Chisenhall's 2012. Gyroko is a better defender and his ability to play 2B in addition to 3B helps but a career OBP under .300...taking a risk with this extension.

Hermie13
April 15, 2014 - 1:03 PM EDT
Thing is those kids have always gone from pitching once a week in amateur ball to pitching every 5 days in the pros (hell used to be every 4 days).

I remember when I first started out in organized ball....if you threw a curveball before the age of 12 you were warned...do it a second time and you were thrown out of the game.

Now it seems if you aren't throwing breaking stuff by that age you're in the minority.

Way too many kids are blowing out their elbows before they even make it to pro ball...so don't think you can point to that as the issue, though it probably is a contributing factor.
Daingean
April 15, 2014 - 11:27 AM EDT
With the pitching injuries, I lean more that it has to do with how things change once they start pro ball. Most youth travel teams are weekend tournaments. Kids go deeper into games but pitch once a week. In HS and College pitchers go once a week. Then they get to pro ball and it's every 5 days but lower pitch counts. I think the sudden change from once a week to every 5 days is more of a contributing factor. Muscles have memories.....and i think overuse is that extra 10 - 15 starts a summer.
Hermie13
April 15, 2014 - 9:31 AM EDT
Was announced last night too that Rays starter Matt Moore will in fact undergo Tommy John surgery. Huge blow to the Rays. I know they have a lot of talent but that'll be hard for even them to make up.


And I agree completely with Maddon on his take on the rise of pitching injuries (or the perception that there has been a rise this year).

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