|Paul DePodesta on the Gerut-Gwynn Jr. trade|
Written by Bjoern Hartig (Contact & Archive) on May 29, 2009
Former Dodgers GM and current Padres front-office assistent Paul DePodesta shares a little insight into the Padres trade of Jody Gerut for Tony Gwynn Jr. on his personal blog:
... there are a handful of elements in a deal like this:
Age - Tony Jr is just 26 years while Jody is playing this year at 31. Jody certainly isn't old, but we are committed to getting younger where we can. ...
Service Time - Building on the age element, Tony Jr has just over one year of Major League service (players become free agents after six full years), whereas Jody will be over the five year mark at the end of this season, thereby making him eligible for free agency at the end of 2010. ...
Money - Nobody likes to talk about it, but the fact is that dollars must factor in our decision making. It doesn't mean that we're just looking to move payroll, but every team has to evaluate the cost of each of player on their roster. In this case, Jody was making $1,775,000 this year compared with Tony Jr's $405,000. That spread will likely increase next year as Jody will once again will eligible for arbitration.
Other - It would be silly to ignore the fact that Tony Gwynn Jr's father is Tony Gwynn. Such an affiliation, however, is never the impetus for a move. When weighing options that are similar, it can probably tip the scales but no more.
Other Players - I saved this for last, because it may be the most important piece of this transaction. ... Jody Gerut is a productive offensive outfielder who can play all three outfield positions and is cost effective in relative terms. Well, that also describes Scott Hairston and possibly Drew Macias (who are both younger and have less service time than Jody). This move was about creating at-bats for others like Hairston, Macias, and even Headley as much as it was about the straight-up deal.
So, in summary, though we gave up a good player in Jody Gerut, we got younger, created more cost flexibility, and have provided more opportunity for other players who have a chance to be with us for a longer period of time. It's not without risks, but that's the rationale.
Quite interesting if you ask me. There is really nothing too complicated or subtle about it. I would guess that the evaluation on the Brewers side looks very similar - with the addition that Gerut is a better hitter than Gwynn, at least when you look at their career OPS (.773 to .602). My point is that both teams probably have very similar evaluations of both players. But because they put different weights on those factors, the trade could happen.
Hat Tip: Rob Neyer