The Padres have reached an agreement with infielder Jake Cronenworth on a seven-year extension, reports Dennis Lin of The Athletic.  According to Lin, the contract starts with the 2024 season.  Lin notes that Cronenworth “has already passed his physical and the deal is expected to be announced on Saturday.”  Cronenworth is represented by CAA Sports.

Cronenworth, 29, has proven capable of playing second base, first base, and shortstop in his big league career thus far.  Though Cronenworth has by far played second base the most since coming up in 2020, the Padres’ signing of shortstop Xander Bogaerts in December pushes him to first base for 2023.  Cronenworth’s new contract runs through 2030, adding further long-term stability to an infield that already has Bogaerts and third baseman Manny Machado signed through 2033.  About a month ago, the Padres signed Machado to an extension, as the superstar was otherwise expected to deploy his opt-out clause after ’23.

Cronenworth was drafted by the Rays in the seventh round in 2015 out of the University of Michigan, where he pitched and played infield.  In December of 2019, the Rays traded Cronenworth and Tommy Pham to the Padres for Hunter Renfroe, Xavier Edwards, and Esteban Quiroz.  After he won the International League batting crown in ’19, Baseball America rated the two-way Cronenworth as a 45-grade prospect.  At the time they wrote, “Cronenworth is a heady player who gets the most out of his average tools.”

The Padres asked Cronenworth to hit pause on the pitching idea in 2020, and he made their Opening Day roster in July of that pandemic-shortened season.  The left-handed-hitting Cronenworth ended up getting the bulk of the Padres’ innings at second base as a rookie that year, at a time when Eric Hosmer was their first baseman and Fernando Tatis Jr. their shortstop.  Cronenworth and Alec Bohm tied for second in the 2020 NL Rookie of the Year voting behind Devin Williams.