Padres Dump Gerut

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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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

19 Responses to “Padres Dump Gerut”

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  1. Kevin S. says:

    Obviously it makes no baseball sense, and I’m not saying this justifies it in any way, but you don’t see “sentimentality” written all over this?

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  2. vivaelpujols says:

    I guess the Padres don’t know about BABIP.

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  3. JR says:

    Actually, PECOTA thought he could.

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  4. Joe-Joe says:

    Gerut had a 909 OPS on the road last season and has a 919 road OPS this year. He makes the Brewers’ bench quite a bit stronger and even offers then a platoon option with Corey Hart if he continues to slump. Gwynn was likely not going to offer the Brewers anything this season or in the future.

    Maybe the Brewers saw Will Inman’s promotion to Triple-A and said “C’mon, you need to be a little nice to us because of that trade”. ;-)

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  5. fanOFdefenseAGAIN says:

    dubvious, very dubious.

    and the padres have looked very good lately from a front office standpoint

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  6. Kincaid says:

    I’m shocked that they would deal Gerut for so little. They’re taking this payroll cutting to a pretty extreme level.

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  7. Pizza Cutter says:

    Hey, didn’t the Padres have some success with another guy named Tony Gwynn about 10-20 years ago?

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  8. Ron Burgundy says:

    Go fuck yourself, San Diego.

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  9. Brian Cartwright says:

    Oh, I know, Gwynn is hitting .300 in a quarter season in the PCL…so let’s trade a .345 wOBA guy for a .285 wOBA who’s dad was great.

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  10. Fat padre batter from the old logo says:

    It’s a minor salary dump, and the novelty of the name will sell a few tickets and jerseys early on (this will trail off as the SD fans see him play). It’s a business move, which is not unexpected from the Padres.

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    • Teej says:

      Winning baseball games is better for business than selling a few jerseys. I have a hard time believing that losing Gerut and his modest salary is good for business. This move baffles me.

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  11. Tom says:

    It was also a move to free up a spot on the 40 man roster so they won’t have to designate current players when they trade Peavy.

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  12. Alireza says:

    Gwynn has put up excellent OBP numbers in AAA this year and has gotten on base pretty well as a professional. He also has speed, which helps in a place that depresses power like PETCO. Not saying he will be much, but this move makes good business sense and Gwynn has some upside left.

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    • logan says:

      Are you refering to his .303 OBP in th emajors or his .348OBP in the minors? Speed guys develop late I have heard. Not sure how much of a speeed guy Gwynn really is though.

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      • Hal says:

        This season in the minors – the only reason people fold in old stats while someone was in A ball is to support an opinion. Gwynn clearly has the potential to be more than a 5th outfielder but the snarky crowd is down on him so therefore he is bad. Good thing nobody keeps stats on the snarky crowd as they are classic washed up minor leaguers.

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      • wobatus says:

        Hal, you made me laugh.

        No one mentined the kinda glaring increase in Gwynn’s walk rate in AAA this year. Albeit in a small sample, but even in 150 ABs, it looks big. A little higher k rate too. Must be working deeper counts. i can’t really be bothered to check more though.

        Ah, i am just teasing the quant jocks.

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