Don’t trade Wil Myers. And not just for baseball reasons.
According to published reports, the Padres are willing to at least discuss trading the 25-year-old OF/1B.
This is a terrible, horrible, rotten idea.
Myers is on the verge of reaching the status of an elite hitter. With the exception of an inferior BB/K ratio, Myers’ 2016 is poised to exceed his rookie season, which won him the Rookie of the Year award. Myers is also stealing bases in greater volume (8) and efficiency (89%) than he ever has before. In short, nearly every metric is trending upward and, despite having limited experience, he has been league average at first base. This makes Myers capable of playing 3 positions in the big leagues (LF/RF/1B). Guys who can play in multiple places are more valuable than those who can not.
Myers also had successful surgery in 2015 that, at least for now, appears to have solved his chronic wrist problems that plagued him for the past 3 years. With Myers approaching the prime of his career and with injury problems being held at bay, it appears there are big things ahead.
In addition, Myers is under team control for another 3 seasons, giving the team the option to go year-to-year or buy-out his arbitration years this offseason. Options are always good.
Also consider whether the Padres would receive equal value in a trade. With the team obviously in the selling mode, their leverage is greatly reduced. Sellers at the trade deadline are not in a position to dictate terms. It is never a good idea to negotiate from a position of weakness.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Myers will likely become the face of this franchise. Fans are frustrated at Matt Kemp and his aging hips. Jon Jay is a nice player, but grabbing headlines has never been his thing. Starting pitchers are more difficult to market due to the fact they only play once per week.
The Padres need a young, entertaining player to market to the fans. At no time in recent memory has the team had the luxury of a fun guy to throw onto billboards and put in TV commercials.
Chase Headley was fine, but more business-like. Adrian Gonzalez might as well have been called “ice man” for his lack of personality. Brian Giles wore a constant grimace. Phil Nevin looked like he wanted to fight, rather than smile.
Please don’t pelt me tight virtual tomatoes for this comparison but the last elite player who also looked like he was having fun, was Tony Gwynn. I am NOT saying Wil Myers is another Tony Gwynn. I am saying Myers can be the guy that brings kids to the ballyard to meet and take a picture with. I can also imagine Myers performing in a TV spot, joking about how asymmetrical his hat usually sits on his head.