Today, the Padres announced that they were going to release veteran second baseman Todd Walker, paying him just under $1 million in termination pay, rather than keeping him on the roster for the full season and paying him $4 million to be Marcus Giles’ backup. Because his salary was determined through arbitration, it wasn’t fully guaranteed, and the Padres decided they’d rather pay Walker $1 million to not play for them than $4 million to be part of their bench.
Just for fun, let’s play the comparison game. Here are the 2006 numbers for Walker and another bad defensive second baseman who you may have heard of.
Walker: .278/.356/.398, 442 AB, 9 HR, 55 BB, 38 K, 62 Runs Created
Vidro: .289/.348/.395, 463 AB, 7 HR, 41 BB, 48 K, 63 Runs Created
It’d be hard to find two more similar players. Both aging, injury prone former middle infielders who belong at DH defensively, lack power, but control the strike zone well.
The Mariners valued this skillset so highly that… oh, you know what they did. The Padres looked at this skillset and decided that they’d rather pay it to go away.
Well done, fellas. Way to gauge the market.