I know, Gyorko is going to have a great year. Well. that’s what we have been hearing around Padreland. Is that because he is fully healthy, or is that because the Padres are invested long term in him? Unfortunately, Gyorko is exactly what the Padres have a surplus of: right-handed power hitters that strike out too much.
This trade would not address the shortstop hole or center field issue, but it would add a quality left-handed hitter to the lineup. This deal just makes sense for both teams. The Padres have too many right-handed hitters (Kemp, Upton, Myers, Norris and Middlebrooks) and the Indians have too many left-handed hitters (Michael Brantley, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brandon Moss, Michael Bourn). Both players are coming off down years, and a change of scenery could rejuvenate both players’ careers.
Kipnis hit .240 last year, with six home runs and 41 runs batted in, in 555 at-bats. He did however hit .284 with 17 homers and 84 runs batted in 2013, while making his first All-Star Game. He also posted a very impressive 5.9 WAR that year. Kipnis has the speed the Padres need, with 31, 30 and 22 stolen bases during his first three seasons with the Indians. He can hit at the top of the order, and even hit in the middle of Kemp and Upton if need be. Theire defense is pretty even, with Kipnis being one year older than Gyorko.
The contracts are slightly different, with Kipnis owed $47 million and Gyorko owed $30 million until the 2020 season. Perhaps we can talk the Tribe into taking on Carlos Quentin to make this deal totally even. This is a total old school baseball trade, value for value.