Wil Myers and the Padres outfield

Credit: AP Photo

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s another offseason, so it’s time to speculate on Wil Myers’ future with the San Diego Padres.

Over the last two offseasons, rumors surrounding Myers have constantly been tossed around. The issues leading to these rumors came from his injury history and how he was underperforming compared to his lucrative contract. This offseason, his name should be in trade rumors for different reasons, as he has seemingly fixed those two problems.

Last season he was owed $22.5 million if it were a full season. He played up to that high contract. He played in 55 of the 60 regular-season games plus all six of the postseason games. He slashed .288/.353/.606, which makes a career-high .959 OPS. He also ranked 5th among right fielders with a 1.9 fWAR.

Padres present outfield

Right now, Myers is anchored in right field, Trent Grisham is the long-term centerfielder, and Tommy Pham has one more year in left field.

There is no clear fourth outfielder, but Greg Allen and Jorge Oña are possibilities. Allen is a solid defensive outfielder who can play all three slots, and Oña is an unproven player. After trading away Taylor Trammell, no one in the farm system is immediately ready to step up to the big leagues. If Myers is to be traded, a replacement needs to come in that trade.

Pham and Profar

There are questions about Tommy Pham’s future with the team. He is projected to make $8 million in the final year of his contract. 2020 has been problematic for Pham; he tested positive for Covid-19, injured his hand, and got attacked with a knife while at a strip club. It’s possible the Padres non-tender him and use that money to resign Jurickson Profar.

Profar is coming off a breakout season that many evaluators foresaw when they ranked him as a top prospect. He started to bat for average, struck out less, and adapted nicely to playing left field. He is a free agent, but Preller did see his potential when they were both in the Rangers organization. He continued his faith in Profar by acquiring him for the Padre organization. Profar then started to shine as the replacement for Pham when he went to the injured list. The Padres might opt to keep both Pham and Profar and use them as a platoon option like they did at the end of the season. That will be a storyline to follow this offseason.

Corner outfield market

This offseason’s crop of corner outfielders is pretty weak, at the Dodgers signed Mookie Betts to a long-term deal. Marcell Ozuna, Joc Pederson, and Michael Brantley are the big-name corner outfielders that teams will bid for. Ozuna and Pederson are best suited to be a DH, and for argument’s sake, we will assume the NL will have a DH again. Brantley can hand the corner outfield slots defensively. The Astros will be losing three outfielders, Brantley included, and will likely be bidding to keep Brantley, which would keep his price very high. There is Nelson Cruz, who technically could play outfield, but at 40 years old probably wants to remain a DH. Ozuna is potentially the top bat next to DJ LeMahieu. He will command a very high price tag. Pederson is coming off a down season and still has questions about if he can hit lefties well.

This creates a market for Wil Myers. He won’t be the cheapest option available, and the Padres will most likely help pay down his contract in a trade. What other teams will realize is with the thin market, Myers would be worth the price. He has the track record that teams would want, he doesn’t have any platoon questions, and he is defensively versatile.

My potential trade

The Padres managed to beat the Cardinals in the Wild Card series this postseason. The matchup created a great battle between the two teams, and now it’s time for them to make a trade. The Cardinals outfield did not produce well offensively and should look to improve in that area.

A possible trade is the Cardinals receive: Wil Myers, Tirso Ornelas, and Padres pay for some of Myers’ contract. The Padres receive: OF Tyler O’Neill and LHP Genesis Cabrera.

Myers will bring All-Star caliber play into the outfield and provide a nice punch into the lineup. By moving O’Neill, the Cardinals can give the reins over to Dylan Carlson, who is their top prospect. Now, the Cardinals might be afraid of creating another Randy Arozarena situation. Myers does have a history that can give them more comfort in knowing what they get. Then Tirso Ornelas provides a left-handed bat to the Cardinals farm system that really lacks lefty bats outside of their top two prospects.

Credit: USA Today

O’Neill has his struggles with plate discipline but does have some pop when he makes contact. Jayce Tingler helped turned Myers around by putting a large focus on plate discipline. I believe he can do the same with O’Neill. Cabrera then fills the need for a left-handed relief pitcher that the Padres will need. Matt Strahm is undergoing another knee surgery this offseason, and Tim Hill ended up with reverse splits. That leaves Drew Pomeranz as the last lefty, and there is a chance he takes over the closer role. The cherry on top for the Padres is that both O’Neill and Cabrera are in the pre-arbitration stage so that they will have two cheap and controllable assets.

Why the Friars should trade Myers

After reading to this point, it’s reasonable to ask why the Padres would trade Myers when he played so well. That is a legitimate question; he was a key part of the best lineup Padre fans have ever seen on their team. His value is at its all-time high, and the money he will get could be better spent elsewhere. One of the top goals for Preller is to lock down Fernando Tatis Jr.to a long term deal. With money locked up in Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer, the Padres need to find the money to extend Tatis. Myers is the easy choice to move with the $46 million minimum he has left on his contract (this assumes the team doesn’t use the club option).

Why they shouldn’t trade Myers

 Myers is coming off his best career season and is still 29. He can build off that season and be a huge part of a World Series contending team. AJ Preller does have more important questions in left field regarding Tommy Pham and Jurickson Profar. They also are looking to add a fourth outfielder, so trading away an outfielder doesn’t solve that problem.

At the end of the day, Preller would be dealing from a position of power. He has proven that he has an eye for undervalued players that can make a turnaround. Just look at the trade that brought over Trent Grisham and Zach Davies. At the time, many people thought that trade would take years to show a winner if there was a winner. Just one year after the trade, the Padres appear to have robbed the Brewers. If Preller doesn’t move him, then he keeps one of the best lineups in Padre history for another year.

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4 thoughts on “Wil Myers and the Padres outfield

  1. Stick to finance this makes no sense. Trade one of best players AND help pay his contract for guys unproven and unproductive?

  2. There’s a few things Preller needs to accomplish this offseason – trading Myers isn’t one of them. First off, it sends the wrong message in the clubhouse. There’s no need for a salary dump this offseason. Signing Tatis to a long term deal deals with future money. Myers contract will be off the books way before the team will start paying for Tatis’s deal.

    On the position player side of the team, imo it’s pretty much set for the next season already. Pham will be the starting LF. Allen and Oña will be the 4/5th OF for the season. One of Head, Hassell, Abrams, or Mears will be potentially be ready by 2022. Oña, however, is the guy I expect to take over for Pham. Pham could also decide to take the one year qualifying offer as well.

    The one true need of this team is starting pitching. Patiño and Morejon still don’t look ready for a 200 inning season. We have the injury concerns of Lamet and Clev. This team needs to bring in another starter (or two) desperately. I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the team to push Gore and Weathers into the rotation at 21 years old if they aren’t ready.

    1. I believe that the Braves set a key precedent when signing stars. They extended Acuna and Albies for very team friendly contracts by getting it done early. Tatis has the potential to be even better so I believe the longer the Padres wait the higher the price tag will get.

    2. I’d rather keep Myers and wait for one of the prospects you mentioned ( head, Abrams, and Hassell are all 5 tool prospects, and Mears is a powerful bat. One is likely at least to be a stud soon) to be ready than get rid of him for speedy defensive outfielder who hasn’t shown to hit much. Just keep Myers till one is ready and sign tatis to an extension that kicks up in avg when Myers contract is up.

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