Yesterday, on December 12th, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they had re-signed Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year deal worth two million dollars.
In 2011, Gwynn hit .256/.308/.353/.660 with the Dodgers, which was actually the second highest OPS of his career. However, his true value was in his defense, where he rates out as a plus defender at all three outfield positions.
As a primary reserve, I projected him at about 300 plate appearances with a slash line around .250/.320/.320/.640 with a .290 wOBA (-8.0 batting/1.0 baserunning/10.0 replacement). He’ll primarily play left field and spell Matt Kemp in center, but it doesn’t matter where he plays in the outfield, because he’s a plus defender everywhere (-3.0 position/6.0 defense). I’d even say there’s upside to be had here, because I don’t think this numbers would fall with increased playing time like most reserves.
Despite my flash reaction on Twitter to the announcement of yet another multi-year deal, Gwynn will be hard pressed to not live up to the contract, and he’s admittedly a solid bench piece.
I just don’t understand why everything has to be a two-year contract, as that’s just asking to limit roster and payroll flexibility for the new owner and new general manager. Hell, even Gwynn himself was surprised.
“The first offer they made me was a two-year deal,” Gwynn said. “I hadn’t even thought of that. When they came with a two-year deal, my ears immediately perked up.”
Aside from Matt Kemp’s extension, this is undoubtedly Ned Colletti‘s best deal of the off-season.
That’s sorta sad.