The Padres picked up Adrian Gonzalez's 2011 option yesterday. As if there was any doubt.
According to Baseball Reference, Gonzalez had the highest NL WAR for position players not named Albert Pujols, and 4th highest overall (fangraphs is not as enamored; they rank Gonzo 13th in the league). Gonzalez's value by Fangraphs came in at $21.1 million; his actual 2011 contract option is for $5.5 million.
Two other options were reported yesterday by XX1090 during the drive home. Jon Garland exercised his player option and declined to return to San Diego in 2011. He receives the $300K buyout. Yorvit Torrealba also declined his $3.5 million option for 2011, and he receives a $500K buyout.
Gonzo gets a $750K raise. The Padres spent $800K and cleared $10.25M off the books for 2011, making $9.45M more available to sign players in 2011.
I'm a little surprised Torrealba declined to return, however, 2010 was his best season in the majors. He had the most PA he's had since 2007, and he put up his best-ever WAR (2.4, again by Fangraphs). He's 32 years old. Perhaps he thinks he proved himself this past season, and believes he can find an everyday catching gig on the free agent market. That's certainly possible. I love an optimist, so best of luck Yorvit.
I'm not all that surprised Garland is leaving. He seemed irritated at how he was used by Black, especially towards the end of the season. There were a couple of games (against the Giants in early September, against the Cubs the last home game of the season) where he either was visibly upset at being lifted, or verbally indicated he was miffed in the post-game interview. Garland professed to really wanting to pitch at Petco when the Padres signed him in the off-season; things must have gone sour indeed for him to leave after only one season.
Garland had the best K/9 rate, and the second-worst BB/9 rate, of his career in 2010. His xFIP was the seocnd-lowest of his career, so he pitched about as well as he could; yet his WAR was the lowest it had ever been when throwing 200+ innings (and his lowest since 2001, his second year in the majors). His 3.47 ERA was the best of his career.
How crowded would the Padres rotation have been in 2011? Latos, Richard, and Stauffer return. Young has an $8.5M club option. Correia is a free agent. LeBlanc is probably done as a starter. There was room for Garland here in 2011, had he opted to stay.
Well Jon it was fun while it lasted. Wish you could have stopped that 10-game losing streak before it reached 10 games.
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