The San Diego Padres and infielder Jake Cronenworth have agreed to terms on a seven-year extension worth $80 million, CBS Sports HQ has confirmed. The Athletic's Dennis Lin and ESPN's Jeff Passan first reported the deal. Cronenworth had previously been scheduled to hit free agency in winter 2025, meaning this deal (which doesn't start until next year) will keep him in town for an additional five seasons. Per Passan, this is the richest contract ever given to a player of Cronenworth's age (29) and service time (fewer than four years).
Cronenworth has played in 366 games since joining the Padres as part of a December 2019 trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that also included Tommy Pham, Hunter Renfroe, and Xavier Edwards. Cronenworth has batted .255/.337/.429 (117 OPS+) with 42 home runs and 10 stolen bases in that time. Factor in his defensive contributions, and he's been estimated by Baseball Reference to have accumulated 10.5 Wins Above Replacement.
Cronenworth is the latest Padres player to receive a long-term deal. Dating back to the start of last offseason, general manager A.J. Preller has signed lengthy pacts with Xander Bogaerts (11 years), Manny Machado (11), Yu Darvish (six), Robert Suarez (up to five), and Michael Wacha (four).
It's worth noting that the Padres, like every other team, can benefit in a sense from inflated contract length, since the Competitive Balance Tax is calculated based on average annual value rather than actual money paid in a season. The Padres, already well beyond the tax line this year, will likely benefit in future seasons from these contract structures -- at least in this specific way.
The Padres still have some other notable players they could attempt to extend. Opening Day starter Blake Snell is set to hit the open market after this season, while outfielder Juan Soto will qualify for free agency come winter 2024. It's unclear how serious Preller and the Padres have pursued deals with either.