It seems like the San Diego Padres and catcher Nick Hundley were talking about a possible long-term contract forever. Tuesday, something finally got done, and I guess the delay is excusable given that the Padres changed general managers. When Hundley and the Padres started talking, Jed Hoyer was in charge. When Hundley and the Padres reached an agreement, Josh Byrnes was in charge. (That's now.)
About that agreement: via Corey Brock, we have terms.
Hundley was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. He will make $2 million this season, $3 million in 2013 and $4 million in 2014, with a $5 million club option for 2015 with no buyout.
That's $9 million over three years, or $14 million over four years. The fourth year would be a free-agency year. Interestingly, there's a line of thinking that, in arbitration, players get paid about 40, 60, and 80 percent of their free-agency valuation in their first, second, and third years, respectively. Here, Hundley is given a $5 million free-agency valuation. In his would-be arbitration years, he'll make 40, 60, and 80 percent of that. It's ... I mean, that's a little crazy, right? It's so textbook.
It's also a good deal for the Padres, I think. Hundley isn't a defensive specialist, he has yet to play more than 85 games in a season, and his pitch-framing doesn't score very well, but this is a 28-year-old catcher with a 104 career OPS+. He's hit better at Petco than on the road, which is a rare thing. Hundley's no star, but he's an all right catcher, and between him and Yasmani Grandal, the Padres are looking good behind the plate for a while.