Wil Myers was one of the Padres’ most popular options at third base last year, but it doesn’t appear he’ll factor in at the hot corner in 2019. On Saturday, Myers told reporters – including Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune and AJ Cassavell of MLB.com – that he’ll be a full-time outfielder next season.
Of course, Myers’ shift back to the outfield will have ripple effects on the rest of the Padres’ position player group. Not only will it add to an outfield logjam – one that also includes Franchy Cordero, Hunter Renfroe, Franmil Reyes, Manuel Margot and Travis Jankowski – but it’ll make it all the more important for San Diego to find a starting third baseman. The Padres have been prioritizing third this offseason, as Cassavell reported last month and as Acee further emphasizes.
One potential third base target could be free agent Mike Moustakas, first baseman Eric Hosmer’s longtime Royals teammate, though Acee casts doubt on the Padres signing him. Meanwhile, they have “explored” trades for the Yankees’ Miguel Andujar (previously reported), the Reds’ Nick Senzel and the Cubs’ David Bote, according to Acee. Speculatively, both Andujar and Senzel may be unrealistic targets for the Padres (or just about anyone else), given their importance to their current teams. The 25-year-old Bote could be easier to land, on the other hand, as he’s stuck behind Kris Bryant in the Cubs’ pecking order at third base. An 18th-round pick of the Cubs in 2012, Bote debuted in the majors last season with a .239/.319/.408 line and six home runs over 210 plate appearances. He carries a much more imposing .281/.355/.502 slash and 15 HRs in 299 Triple-A PAs.
Regardless of whom the Padres pick up to handle third in 2019, it doesn’t seem as if their entire contingent of outfielders will stick around for the foreseeable future. Except for Myers, the Padres could option anyone from the group to the minors. Nevertheless, the team’s “motivated” to part with at least one of its outfielders either prior to the season or before July’s trade deadline, Acee suggests. Should a trade happen, Cassavell contends one of Myers, Renfroe or Reyes would go, as they’re all relatively similar players. With a guaranteed $64MM coming his way over the next four seasons (including a $1MM buyout in lieu of a $20MM club option in 2023), Myers may be the most difficult of three to move. Indeed, as of last season and earlier this winter, trading Myers likely would have required San Diego to take on another team’s undesirable contract, Acee relays. So far, though, the Padres haven’t found a deal to their liking for the 28-year-old.