Padres roster review: Jake Cronenworth

Jeff Sanders

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(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Padres roster review: Jake Cronenworth

Sports Newsletter

Jeff Sanders

Jan. 11, 2024

JAKE CRONENWORTH Position(s): First base, second base Bats / Throws: Left / Right 2024 opening day age: 30 Height / Weight: 6-foot / 187 pounds How acquired: Via trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in December 2019. Contract status: Will earn $7.29 million in the first year of the seven-year, $80 million extension signed in April 2023. The salary structure will jump to $11.29 million in 2025 and then $12.29 million annually through 2030. Key 2023 stats: .229 avg., .312 OBP, .378 SLG, 10 HRs, 48 RBIs, 54 runs, 6 steals, 46 walks, 97 strikeouts (137 games, 522 plate appearances)STAT TO NOTE 1.0 Cronenworths WAR (wins above replacement) in 2023, as measured by Fangraphs.com. WAR pulls a players contributions on offense, defense and on the bases into one, all-encompassing metric and Cronenworth, albeit in a down year, ranked 18th out of the 24 qualifying first basemen in 2023. In contrast, Cronenworth was a 1.6-win player as a rookie in 2020 and a 4.2-win player the previous two seasons, which ranked sixth (2021) and fifth (2022) among all second basemen.TRENDING Down Cronenworth will go down in Padres history as their official Dragon Slayer, as he should for providing the dagger that sunk the rival Dodgers in the 2022 NLDS. He was also a two-time All-Star and regarded as one of the best players at his position (see stat to note) when General Manager A.J. Prellers offseason activity forced the Padres to move Cronenworth off second base. Xander Bogaerts giant contract made him the new shortstop, Gold Glove finalist Ha-Seong Kim moved to second (where he went on to win a Gold Glove) and Cronenworth moved to first base, where he first made a name for himself as a fill-in for Eric Hosmer in 2020. As if a position change wasnt enough on his plate, the Padres signed Cronenworth to a seven-year, $80 million extension that would begin in 2024, still a whole two years before he would have become a free agent. Another complicating factor to Cronenworths 2023 season: The Padres star-studded lineup stumbled out of the gate as a group, perhaps raising the pressure on a role player like Cronenworth to earn his payday. Whatever the reason for a poor season, an underwhelming April (.728 OPS) gave way to a worse May (.665 May) and a disastrous June (.557 OPS). Cronenworth normalized in July (.753 OPS) and August (.752 OPS), but his 15.9 percent whiff rate still ranked in the bottom 7 percent of the league when a pitch off his right wrist on Aug. 25 broke a bone and ended his season.2024 OUTLOOK Cronenworths injury did not require surgery. His name has been mentioned in trade rumors as the Padres look to keep payroll at about $200 million, but last years extension ahead of the worst season of his career is prohibitive to say the least. Hes also a logical person to move back to second base if Kim leaves as a free agent after the season or perhaps this year if Kim is moved in a trade.

ROSTER RANKINGS 10 | INF Jake Cronenworth 11 | LHP Yuki Matsui 12 | RHP Jairo Iriarte 13 | LHP Tom Cosgrove 14 | RHP Steven Wilson 15 | RHP Woo-Suk Go 16 | RHP Jhony Brito 17 | RHP Randy Vsquez 18 | C Kyle Higashioka 19 | RHP Enyel De Los Santos 20 | RHP Pedro Avila 21 | INF Matthew Batten 22 | INF Eguy Rosario 23 | OF Jos Azcar 24 | RHP Matt Waldron 25 | LHP Adrin Morejn 26 | RHP Alek Jacob 27 | LHP Jay Groome 28 | RHP Sean Reynolds 29 | RHP Stephen Kolek 30 | RHP Luis Patio 31 | RHP Logan Gillaspie 32 | INF Tucupita Marcano 33 | RHP Jeremiah Estrada 34 | RHP Glenn Otto 35 | C Brett Sullivan

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Removed from 40-man roster this offseason Matt Carpenter (Traded to Braves)

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Jeff Sanders www.sandiegouniontribune.com

SOURCE
2024-01-11 13:00:01 , Padres

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