The San Diego Padres aren’t exactly considered a big-market team, but they sure spend like one.
That’s fantastic for the health of baseball: evidently, they are willing to do whatever it takes to win.
However, they also have young, controllable talent still on team-friendly deals that somewhat help mitigate the financial impact of those deals.
Versatile infielder Jake Cronenworth is definitely one of them.
“Jake Cronenworth and the Padres avoided arbitration with a $4.225 million deal for 2023, according to sources,” Padres insider Dennis Lin tweeted.
Jake Cronenworth and the Padres avoided arbitration with a $4.225 million deal for 2023, according to sources.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) January 13, 2023
A $4.225 million deal for a player who is capable of putting together consecutive 4.1 Wins Above Average (WAR) seasons is a bargain.
Cronenworth has been a major leaguer for three seasons, and he was an above-average hitter and plus fielder in each and every one of them.
His .770 career OPS and 114 wRC+ give him a solid floor, and his defensive prowess and versatility make him a star.
Cronenworth is capable of playing the four positions of the infield and has done it in MLB already.
He gives the team a reliable option to plug holes: when Adam Frazier was struggling, he played second.
When Tatis got injured/suspended, he played shortstop.
When the Padres realized Eric Hosmer wasn’t good, he played first base.
Every MLB team would love to have a Cronenworth on their roster.
He is under cheap control for three more seasons, and the Padres’ front office couldn’t be more happy.