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TCB Daily Crawfish Boil: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What does Jedd Gyorko's contract mean for the Astros and the rest of baseball?

Denis Poroy

Some non-Astros news broke Monday that has everything to do with all of baseball and the Astros, in particular. The Padres signed second baseman Jedd Gyorko to a long-term extension after promoting the talented prospect last season.

That made the agent of Archie Bradley, a highly-regarded prospect with the Diamondbacks, start barking about how the Snakes should promote his guy already.

Sound familiar?

From MLB Trade Rumors:

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 $2MM in 2015, $4MM in 2016, $6MM in 2017, $9MM in 2018 and $13MM in 2019 before the Padres have the option of retaining him for $13MM for 2020 or paying him a $1MM 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.

Astros ramifications? Well, the George Springer situation looms large. The deal is similar in structure to the one Houston offered Springer, with slightly more money (since Gyorko is a much more proven MLB hitter).

It controls costs for the Padres with a good, young player for the next few years, while financially rewarding a top player on the team. But, the Padres still promoted him when he was ready and worked out the deal later.

Do you know what the most important part of that last paragraph was? "When he was ready." That goes for every top prospect in the Houston system. Gyorko got rewarded because he got promoted at the right time, as he put up 2.5 fWAR last season in his first big league go-round.

Baseball ramifications? Well, it's hard to say. My thought is that this may be part of a larger trend with teams trying to lock up young players long-term. Or, it could just be a team with TV distribution issues (SD) trying to control its long-term costs. That sounds entirely too familiar for my taste.

My thought is that it's generally hard for teams to lock up young players, because there is considerable risk. Most traditional baseball minds won't want to dole out money without a little proof first. That's why so few young players get long-term commitments, with teams preferring to go through arbitration instead.

Now, though, we don't have to talk just about the Salvador Perez or Evan Longoria contracts. We have those, Altuve's deal and Gyorko's deal, in addition to the crazy extensions thrown around by the Braves. Which group do you think Springer's agent will be using?