Padres Editorial: Who’s on First? Wil Myers?

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With the trade of Yonder Alonso on Wednesday morning the San Diego Padres do not have a clear-cut first baseman for the 2016 season and beyond. There are many in-house candidates that can man the position, but it remains to be seen what the Padres intend to do.

Wil Myers is in town to model the Padres 2016 jerseys and  he spoke to Corey Brock of Brock reported that Myers prefers to play first base and he has told the team that. Myers looked very natural at first last season in a few innings, but the team could easily use him in left field if needed.

The ball is A.J. Preller‘s court and the well-known basketball enthusiast is going to control the tempo of the game and shoot when he feels it necessary. The Padres could use Brett Wallace at the position. The veteran lefty was arguably the Padres best hitter behind Matt Kemp down the stretch. He had a very successful year but perhaps the Padres would rather utilize Wallace as a pinch hitter rather than an everyday player.

There are quiet whispers that the Padres have interest in Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. He slugged 47 home runs last season and would solve the first base lack of power issue. He is also a left-handed bat and would fit in quite well in front of or behind Matt Kemp. The big left-handed hitter strikes out a ton, but he does also walk a lot leading to a very productive on base percentage.

Davis come with some risks though, as his 2014 season was miserable and he was suspended for Aderol use. He put it together last season and is likely to command a $100 million dollar contract. The Padres would have a hard time committing to that type of deal in the long run.

The team has saved some decent money in losing Yonder Alonso, Marc Rzepczynski, Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit from their books for the 2016 season. With that savings the team has flexibility this season to pay Davis the $17-22 million a year he will command. However with a ton of money committed to James Shields and Matt Kemp beyond 2016 makes a deal unlikely. Still with A.J. Preller at the helm nothing is really out of the realm of possibility.

Another intriguing option at first base could be Pedro Alvarez or Chris Carter. Both were just non tendered contracts for the 2016 season and essentially are free agents. Both have tremendous power but provide minimal average and on base percentage. At a decent price each might be attractive to the team but neither is known to be a very good defender. That is something the Padres wish to fix from last season in which the team kicked the ball around the infield constantly.

So who will man first base in 2016? I don’t think the Padres even know at this point. They have some flexibility to acquire a first baseman or a left fielder. Whichever they acquire, Myers can easily play the other position. With Rymer Liriano and Hunter Renfroe in the minors, the Padres might also stand pat and let one of those young pups play the position. Anything can happen right now and it is truly an exciting time to be a Padres fan.

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