Wil Myers, who was once considered the face of the franchise and the future of the San Diego Padres, has looked horrendous at the plate in recent years. He has no trade value at the moment and has lost his starting position on the team. With a hefty contract due over the next three seasons, Myers will be a tough player to move.
What can the San Diego Padres do with Wil Myers?
The team is concerned with his production at the plate. The emergence of Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes complicate the situation, as each provides plenty of right-handed power to the Padres. Myers, Renfroe, and Reyes are all corner outfielders, but the Padres continue to find ways to get all three in the lineup in an effort to maximize the offensive output.
Myers was turned into a third baseman briefly last year, and he has played the majority of the time this year in center field, but he is not able to play those positions at the major league level. The Padres are just taking advantage of Myers’ physicality as they plug him all around the diamond.
If Wil Myers was left alone at first base or a corner outfield position, he should be a productive player. By stressing an already emotional player, the Padres have continually asked for the unattainable. Myers has started at five different positions for the club since he arrived before the 2015 season. You have to wonder what kind of numbers he would put up if the team gave him a consistent defensive position.
There is no doubt about his defensive versatility, but Wil Myers has not grown with the bat. This is troubling. For the Padres to find a potential trade partner, he must get back to or near his 2016 MLB All-Star form. His current strikeout rate is abysmal. Myers has struck out 103 times in 253 at-bats this year or roughly 41 percent of the time. His OPS has dropped in four consecutive seasons to a .718 mark this season. There is still time for Myers to dig himself out of the hole he is currently in, but now there is little to no opportunity for him to get consistent at-bats. It will be an uphill battle for Myers to gain relevancy in the league. At this point, a fresh start could be best for him to reach his ultimate ability with the bat.
Starting in 2020, the outfielder is due $68.5 million for three years (including a buyout). $22.5 million per season is a hefty sum. Any team paying that rate will demand results. At 28, Myers is not an aged veteran. There is the thought that he could or should break out at any moment. That adds to the frustration the fan base, and the front office currently has with the slugger.
If the Padres want to move Myers, there are only three real possible scenarios-
Package him with prospects
By dealing from the talent pool the Padres currently possess in the minor leagues, they could conceivably move Myers and get a useful player in return. The key will be finding a team that is willing to take a chance on Myers. The Padres need to be careful in this scenario as they could look foolish by moving him with prospects who could breakout. His $68.5 million anchor will require relevant top 30 type prospects too. The likelihood of a breakout is high. At this point, this does not seem like an option for the Padres. It is too soon to start mortgaging the future.
Trade him for another “bad contract”
Multiple players around the league are viewed as “bad contract’ guys. The Padres could take a look at a few of these options and possibly consummate a deal. Yu Darvish, Ian Desmond, Chris Davis, Wei-Yen Chen, Johnny Cueto, Shin Soo-Choo all fit the mold but are not appealing players. At this point, Myers seems to have more upside than any of these players. Darvish is an interesting option, but he is due $81 million for the next four seasons. He also has arm issues. Not a great combination to get a deal done. The Padres will explore this idea, but ultimately they are invested in Myers too much just to trade him for another teams’ headache.
Trade him and “eat” the majority of the salary
This seems like the most likely scenario if something is done relatively soon. The Padres might have to eat 50-75 % of the remaining three years of his contract to get anything substantial in return, but they have proven in recent years that they are not afraid to spend some money. Myers at a $10-15 million per season could be enticing for a team looking for a potential all-star type player. He has youth on his side, and that could benefit the Padres when it is all said and done. A perfect scenario would need to happen for the Padres to eat a significant portion of this contract in the next four weeks. The trade deadline is approaching.
The San Diego Padres are playing well, but are probably not in the position to go “all in” when it comes to the 2019 season. They have so much invested in the future, that they cannot get too caught up in the possibility of now. Wil Myers’ value is arguably at its all-time low. A.J. Preller is not one to move a player when their value is down. He gave Myers the contract extension and will surely exercise patience when it comes to making a move. If Myers is of interest to a team via trade, the Padres will explore all options. But a deal will only be made if it benefits the Padres. Expect the team to try and boost the value of Myers through the rest of the 2019 season. This winter, a Myers trade could be a little more beneficial to the Padres. Championship type teams have depth. Myers provides that for the team currently. Hopefully, in time, he will regain some of the form that made him an exciting player to watch daily.