While Jake Peavy was busy vetoing a trade that would have sent him to the White Sox, the Padres unloaded center fielder Jody Gerut on the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr.
Gwynn is 26 years old and the proud owner of a .275/.348/.345 career line in 607 minor-league games. He’s a poor man’s Freddy Guzman, a younger version of Jason Tyner.
Gerut was among the best at his position in 2008 but got off to a slow start this year. Although the Padres take an enormous talent hit with this deal, they save a few bucks in shedding themselves of Gerut’s salary. Saving money, as evidenced by their off-season jettisoning of Khalil Greene and their repeated attempts to move Peavy, is a top priority for the organization.
They also potentially reignite interest among fans that have stopped caring. In 2007, the Padres averaged better than 34,000 per home game. In 2008, that number slipped to a shade below 29,000. This year it is down to 25,000.
Some in San Diego will enjoy seeing “Gwynn” on the back of a home uniform and wax nostalgic about the “good ol’ days”… like, say, 1993. Well, maybe not ‘93. Bad example, but you get the idea. If the Padres aren’t going to be competitive this year, at least they can bring in a name that might help sell a few more tickets.
As for the Brewers, they pick up a good left-handed hitter who has some power and who is a capable defender at all three outfield positions… for the low price of a kid that didn’t fit into their plans. What’s not to like?