The San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox match up well in a potential trade of Wil Myers for David Price. Each team clearly wants to go in another direction and a fresh start could be beneficial for both teams.
It is not a well-kept secret that A.J. Preller is attempting to offload Wil Myers‘ and his contract off to another team.
Offloading Myers’ contract is priority number one for the Padres this offseason, but finding a prospective trade partner isn’t as easy as it sounds. The outfielder is owed $69.5 million over the next three years while his decreasing on-field production (0.5 WAR, 96 wRC+ in 2019) only lowers his value even more.
However, there is another team with another egregious contract who might be willing to play ball with Preller, the Boston Red Sox.
Once flush with cash and payroll space, Boston now finds itself well over the luxury tax threshold and looking to shed payroll by any means necessary. Massive contracts given out to the likes of Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi have handicapped the Red Sox from signing virtually any free agent this offseason.
Another player that Boston has been attempting to move is David Price. The former Cy Young winner is owed $32 million over the next three years after signing a seven-year, $217 million extension after the 2016 season. Injuries cut his most recent season short, though, as he only pitched 107.1 innings in 2019.
So, San Diego is looking to acquire a front-of-the-line-starter while trying to dump Myers, while Boston is trying to dip below the luxury tax threshold by dealing their former ace. It seems like a match made in heaven, right?
For Boston, yes. By trading Price for Myers in a straight one-for-one trade, the Red Sox would be saving a little less than $10 million per season while slotting Myers in at first base, a position where they have no current answer for outside of platoons. A fresh start with consistent playing time could be all Myers needs to find his true self again.
However, such a trade may not work so well for the Padres. True, Price would give San Diego the ace they’ve been searching for, but the cons that come with Price are just as difficult as Myers. While the Red Sox would be saving more than $10 million per year, the Padres would be adding that same amount for the next three years on a payroll that is starting to stretch at the seams.
A 3.62 FIP, 3.73 xFIP, and 3.85 SIERA in 107.1 total innings culminated to a 2.7 WAR for the 34-year-old lefty, which still qualifies as an effective season. However, only 24 of those innings came after the All-Star break as Price dealt with left elbow tendinitis and a TFCC cyst in his left wrist. The wrist issue was so damaging that it required surgery after the season to get the cyst removed.
Even with a successful surgery to remove the cyst, the health concerns on the aging pitcher are a reasonable cause for hesitation on any potential trade deal. Boston has already stated they are not willing to include other players to trade Price, so a player like Andrew Benintendi is off the table.
There are benefits of adding the 2018 AL Comeback Player of the Year, but the cons of his contract and health concerns make this Price a little too steep.