Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Commitment to Byrnes

Josh Byrnes gained a year of guaranteed salary -- and a pay raise -- when Jeff Moorad made him general manager of the Padres, this blog has learned.

"I think it was five years plus an option," Moorad told me yesterday.

Before his promotion last October, Byrnes was still drawing his Diamondbacks GM salary, offset by what the Padres paid him as VP of baseball operations. Byrnes's Arizona contract, an eight-year extension issued by Moorad, ran through 2015.

"We tore that up," said Moorad.

The new deal guarantees Byrnes's salary through 2016 with an option for 2017. Moorad didn't have the contract in front of him when asked about it, but said he thinks some of the pay exceeds that of the Arizona pact.

The Diamondbacks fired Byrnes in July 2010, despite owing him five years in salary. Five months later, Moorad announced his hiring to San Diego's baseball operations. In 2011, the Diamondbacks continued to pay him the GM salary, but minus a negotiated offset.

The new contract for Byrnes frees Arizona of having to pay him through 2015, a windfall likely in seven figures.

It was Moorad who hired Byrnes as Arizona's GM in 2005 -- to a four-year deal with a club option.

All told, Moorad has issued Byrnes three GM contracts stipulating 17 years of guaranteed salary and two option years.

We like to have fun on this blog, especially when writing about the baseball folks in the collared shirts. If I refer to Byrnes here as Son of Moorad, you shouldn't be stumped.

As it happens, Moorad also thinks well of the previous GM, although apparently not as highly as he does Byrnes.

It was Moorad, remember, who hired Jed Hoyer into the Padres' GM job after the 2009 season. Like Byrnes, Hoyer worked as an assistant to Red Sox GM Theo Epstein when Moorad came calling.

To hear him now, Moorad remains impressed by the Doogster. Is feeling indebted to him, even. A week ago when ESPN's Keith Law named the Padres' farm system the best in baseball, Moorad sent Hoyer an e-mail thanking him. And Moorad sent a copy of the e-mail to Jason McLeod, the former overseer of scouting and development who went with Hoyer to the Cubs.

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