SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Jason Bartlett #8 of the San Diego Padres fields a ball hit by Cody Ross #13 of the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on September 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Rays decided to sell high with Jason Bartlett and his career year in 2009, deciding to trade the shortstop to the San Diego Padres the following off-season. Shortly after being acquired by the Padres, Bartlett signed a two-year, $11 million extension with a $5.5 million vesting option for 2013. The vesting option would become guaranteed with 432 plate appearances in 2012.
Unfortunately for Bartlett, he will not be reaching the 432 plate appearance mark in 2012 to guarantee himself $5.5 million next season. The veteran shortstop has received just 98 plate appearances over 29 games this year. Bartlett has not played in a game since May 14, because of a strained knee that has kept him sidelined. It's unclear when he will return, if he will at all this year.
Similar to Alex Gonzalez's situation, Bartlett just needed to remain healthy in order to trigger his vesting option for next season. And with little pressure from other players in the Padres system knocking on the door at the shortstop position, there was no reason to believe Bartlett would not have reached the 432 plate appearance mark.