Why Nick Senzel makes little sense for the Padres

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Credit: USA Today

There are rumors of a Nick Senzel trade, but would the San Diego Padres be better served to just keep Wil Myers on their roster?

If the Padres were to keep Wil Myers on their roster for the 2020 season, he would make $22.5 million.

From 2020-2022, he is owed a combined $67.5 million.

From an economics perspective, it makes sense for the team to move on from Myers. From an offensive standpoint, Myers’s contract does not justify his production.

Since his first two years in Tampa Bay, which included a Rookie of the Year award, his OPS has been inconsistent, and has fallen over the last three seasons:

According to Figure One, Myers’s never reached 0.800 or higher in his five years in San Diego.

With the decline in production, combined with a substantial contract, it is logical that the Padres are looking to trade him. However, there is a significant asterisk to this discussion.

It is rumored that the team is in trade talks with Boston and Cincinnati on a potential three-way deal. If the trade took place, Reds outfielder Nick Senzel would be heading to San Diego. Essentially, the Padres are acquiring unknown upside. A former 2nd overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, Senzel completed his rookie season in 2019, where he showed productivity, posting an OPS of 0.742.

Relative to Myers, his offensive output is somewhat equal. However, Myers is a better offensive player than Senzel in some respects. Yes, last year was Senzel’s rookie campaign, but one cannot ignore the numbers. In 2019, Myers had a better On-Base Percentage (OBP%), Isolated Power (ISO), and Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP):

While one can argue that Myers played 51 more games then Senzel, and had more opportunities to contribute to San Diego, he has still more effective as a player overall. While the potential is enticing, as Senzel is five years younger than Myers, his immediate offensive output will only be equal, if not less than Myers’, especially if you factor in that Senzel plays in a hitter-friendly ballpark.

The defensive aspect is something to consider when evaluating the two players, but the main focus of this article is to evaluate their offensive profile.

From a long-term perspective, Myers is under contract for the next three years, and based on his career trajectory, his offensive production will be somewhat consistent. In trading for Senzel, there is a level of risk. While some may argue that he will be cost-controlled over the next several years, it is most likely that the Padres will pay for at least half of Myers’s remaining salary for another organization to consider trading their resources to acquire his services.

Here are two working scenarios for the Padres:

Scenario One: Trade Myers:

Working under this assumption, Myers is on the Padres’ payroll at $33.75 million from 2020-2022 and play somewhere else. If the Padres were to trade and acquire Nick Senzel as his replacement, their return is a player that is somewhat comparable offensively at cheaper dollars, but with a large amount of risk, as his production might plateau in Petco Park.

Scenario Two: Keep Myers:

Myers has established who he is as a player at this point in his career, heading into his age 30 season in 2020. While the contract is not tremendous, the roster is supplemented with the talents of Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, and Fernando Tatis Jr. By having talent at multiple offensive positions on a team, this will only provide balance to what Myers may, or may not offer, for the franchise. Not to mention that he is a slightly better offensive player, relative to Nick Senzel, at this point in their respective careers.

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Nicholas Fichtner
Nicholas Fichtner is a baseball analyst and researcher, and Founder and Editor of The Launch Angle. His previous experience includes working as a Quantitative Analyst with the Northeastern University Huskies baseball program for the 2019 season. While in this role, he worked closely with the coaching staff in developing an analytics department that assisted in impacting overall strategy and player evaluation using advanced data analysis and metrics.

Before Northeastern, Fichtner served in previous roles with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the Cape Cod Baseball League as an Assistant General Manager consulting on in-game strategy, roster management, and quantitative based player development, and as a Student Director of Analytics with his alma mater, Endicott College and their baseball program. His Thesis, entitled "Free Market Navigation in Major League Baseball," details the development of a highly sophisticated model that accurately predicts free agent player salaries based on various quantitative variables. He currently resides in Beverly, Massachusetts.

13 thoughts on “Why Nick Senzel makes little sense for the Padres

  1. I hate MYERS that said getting rid of him is best for all parties… A FRESH start… would love to see it happen but… Campusano seems like a sure bet…and Quantrill seems destined.. hate to give up on them.. how about keeping Myers but somehow trading for Senzel. he sounds like a player we need ie guys with heart. would much rather see Machado go. Ty France /Hudson Potts 3b. Hosmer sucks but who else knocked in 100 runs for Pads last year.

    1. Mitch, I agree. Machado has talent, but I would rather see Ty France or Hudson Potts play third. They have more enthusiasm and heart. If SD gave Ty France 500 at bats, he would hit as many homers and drive in as many runs as Machado. I’d keep Quantrill and Campusano. I’m tired of hearing how young the Padres are. It’s a lie. Despite their great farm system, they told Urias he was their second baseman but then took it away and gave it to an aging Kinsler. They had Urias, France, or Croneworth at second, but now a fading Brian Dozier will play second. They had Naylor geared for first base but then signed Hosmer. Lagares is slowing down and will replace Margot. They are not such a young team.

  2. I’m not a fan of this AT ALL!

    Bottom line… here Boston and Cincinnati… we’ll give you upside with Myers, 2 high upside prospects and 30 Million for Senzel.

    That sounds insane! Senzel has upside. Just like most prospects who finally break into the big show. That doesn’t mean he will pan out into anything other than a utility player or DH. Frikin Myers is ALREADY at least that. AJ, swallow your pride and keep Myers and do not pull off a bonehead move like this… again! Trea Turner ring anyone’s bells?

    Maybe, just maybe, AJ… Myers will bounce back this year and with make you look like you knew what you were doing when you extended him (blame Green then) or, more value when you trade him later. Then you look intelligent. This deal makes you look desperate!

  3. Whose
    to say what makes sense in baseball. Given the age difference and the sure determination that Senzel has to the game, both offensively and defensively, he will be productive for any team. It is a gamble with any player for unforeseen injuries, but it will be interesting to see how young Senzel progresses in the future.

    1. Actually the writer is spot on. Besides, it is not just Myers we would be trading, Campusano and Arias have been mentioned as being part of the package. Senzel does not improve the 2020 PADRES and it could be argued that Myers offers more upside potential in 2020 than Senzel.

  4. I just hope we stay patient, at least for this year, and hope for a rebound from Myers. The fact that his contract will be one year shorter and the hope he plays closer to his all star year could potentially make Myers a lot more valuable to teams next off-season. His value around the league right now is obviously terribly low. Why not wait and see if he can fetch even a marginal prospect. I don’t think it’s an out of this world idea. I mean we got tatis for shields and we still owed him like 50+ million too. I would be happy for a lottery ticket type guy if it means we aren’t trading our own top prospects. And you never know that type of “lottery ticket” could become a tatis.

  5. Sorry don’t quite get it? Basically they are paying half as much for almost the same player and this is someone wanted vs someone they don’t want and have reminded almost daily of said fact???

  6. I like how this article points out and discusses the pro’s and con’s of both keeping Myers, or trading for Senzel. However, what’s not discussed (and what any of us outside the club may truly know), is…Is this situation and Myers himself, beyond reparation? Is Myers a “good” clubhouse presence, or is the situation now negatively affecting the players and the overall vibe? I’ve heard he’s a “cancer” within (recall the video game streaming incident 1 1/2 years ago)? But to give him a break, none of us really know if such rumors are true or not, and to what degree? I’m just saying maybe there’s a reason “he has to go” that goes beyond finances and performance.

    1. Hmm good point. He seems to be trying to meld with this team from what I’ve seen in interviews, for the most part. I hope that’s not why, because that just pushes preller even more into desperation mode to get rid of him. Not good.

  7. I say keep him as well as the prospects that would be going as part of this trade. Especially since we would also be paying probably $10 million a year in the trade. Don’t give up the pitching depth that they have considering the guys on the staff who have had surgeries.

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Nicholas Fichtner
Nicholas Fichtner is a baseball analyst and researcher, and Founder and Editor of The Launch Angle. His previous experience includes working as a Quantitative Analyst with the Northeastern University Huskies baseball program for the 2019 season. While in this role, he worked closely with the coaching staff in developing an analytics department that assisted in impacting overall strategy and player evaluation using advanced data analysis and metrics.

Before Northeastern, Fichtner served in previous roles with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the Cape Cod Baseball League as an Assistant General Manager consulting on in-game strategy, roster management, and quantitative based player development, and as a Student Director of Analytics with his alma mater, Endicott College and their baseball program. His Thesis, entitled "Free Market Navigation in Major League Baseball," details the development of a highly sophisticated model that accurately predicts free agent player salaries based on various quantitative variables. He currently resides in Beverly, Massachusetts.