Twelve games into his second year in the big leagues, the San Diego Padres have decided infielder Jedd Gyorko is one of their cornerstones.
The club Monday announced the signing of the 25-year-old Gyorko to a contract through the 2019 season with a club option for 2020. The deal is reportedly worth $35 million.
“We are happy to sign Jedd and secure the rights to two free agent years,” said General Manager Josh Byrnes. “Jedd is a homegrown player in his fifth season with the Padres organization and has been a consistent performer every step of the way. He has shown us a real commitment to this organization and to the city of San Diego.”
Gyorko enjoyed a breakout rookie season in 2013, leading the Padres with 23 home runs and 63 RBI while hitting .249 in 125 games. He also slugged 26 doubles and made a successful move from third base, his natural position, to second.
Gyorko's 23 home runs led all Major League rookies in 2013 and were the third-most ever by a rookie second baseman. Since RBI became an official statistic in 1920, he became the first rookie second baseman ever to lead his team in RBI and just the second Padres rookie to lead the club along with Nate Colbert (66 RBI in 1969).
Gyorko is off to a slow start this year, batting .167. But he hit a long double in Cleveland last week, and slugged his first 2014 home run over the weekend against Detroit. He has continued to play solid defense at second.
Originally signed by the Padres as a second-round selection in the 2010 draft out of West Virginia University, the West Virginia native hit .319 with 92 doubles, two triples, 62 home runs and 255 RBI in 334 games played over parts of three minor league seasons before making the Opening Day roster last season.