Padres general manager A.J. Preller said today that he plans to sit down with first baseman Wil Myers’ agent this week to begin exploring a contract extension, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (via Twitter).
Myers, a CAA Sports client, managed to stay healthy for a full season for the first time in 2016 and delivered a breakout campaign with the Padres. In 676 plate appearances, the soon-to-be 26-year-old batted .259/.336/.461 with 28 homers and a surprising 28 stolen bases while also contributing plus defense at a new position. Both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating pegged Myers’ defense at eight runs above average despite the fact that he had fairly limited exposure to first base, having spent the bulk of his pro career catching and in the outfield.
Eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, Myers is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $4.7MM next year, so the urgency for him to take an extension isn’t necessarily as present as it would be for a player that was still years from arbitration. The former top prospect’s first significant Major League payday is all but assured, though certainly there’s still reason for him to express interest in a long-term deal to offer more immediate financial security. And from a practical standpoint, Myers broke into the league at a young enough age that he could theoretically sign a five-year deal, buying out two free-agent seasons, and still hit the open market before his age-31 campaign.
Looking at the situation through the Padres’ lens, it’s easy to see how Myers can fit into the long-term picture. As MLBTR’s Jason Martinez noted in his Offseason Outlook on the Padres, San Diego doesn’t even have one guaranteed contract on the books for the upcoming season, so if the Padres and Myers’ agent can agree on a price point, there are no financial roadblocks elsewhere on the roster to impede a long-term commitment to Myers.