Today, the Padres actually made a trade. No, not the Peavy deal – that one is still up to the San Diego ace, who is trying to figure out if he wants to get exposed in the American League. While they were waiting to find out what their star pitcher would do, the Padres shipped off Jody Gerut to Milwaukee in exchange for Tony Gwynn Jr.
I guess no one else in baseball thought Gerut could repeat his 2008 season either.
Greut was quite the story last year, posting a .365 wOBA in 356 plate appearances after spending two years out of major league baseball. UZR even loved his defense in center field, giving him a +12.2 UZR/150 for the half season he spent patrolling Petco. The combination of good offense and terrific defense made Gerut a +3.2 win player.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to carry the magic over to 2009. In his first 221 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.248/.381, and while he’s still playing excellent defense in CF, the Padres apparently decided that last year’s offensive levels were a fluke. With Scott Hairston tearing the cover off the ball, Gerut was the odd man out, so they sent him to Milwaukee.
In exchange, they got Tony Gwynn Jr, who is a classic fifth outfielder and has about that much value. Gwynn cleared waivers six weeks ago, so he’s not exactly a hot commodity in baseball. Yea, he was hitting well and getting on base in Triple-A, but his total lack of power gives him limited upside. He could be a decent defensive replacement, but there’s a reason he has a .276 wOBA in the big leagues. There’s not much offense to be found in the younger Gwynn.
So, this essentially plays out like a salary dump. The Padres give up on Gerut after a slow start, saving a little bit of cash and picking up a replacement level league minimum outfielder in return. Gerut’s 2008 probably was a fluke, but I’m not sure why San Diego felt motivated to move on from a guy who was one of their best players last year when they aren’t really getting anything in return.
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