Along with first baseman Eric Hosmer, who’s wrapping up his second straight disappointing season, Wil Myers stands out as one of the Padres’ most prominent big-money letdowns. Myers was the recipient of a six-year, $83MM extension in January 2017, when he was coming off a career campaign in which he smacked 28 home runs, stole 28 bases and totaled 3.5 fWAR. For the most part, though, that version of Myers isn’t the one the Padres have gotten since they locked him up for the long haul. And now that Myers is about to finish his least productive season in San Diego, the team “will test the market” to see if it can find a taker for the outfielder over the winter, A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com writes.
Myers addressed the idea of a move Friday, saying: “[A trade] is obviously a possibility. It is what it is. I’ve lived it twice, and you can’t control that. If I’m somewhere else, I’ll make the most of that opportunity. But if I’m here, I’ll make the most of this one. “
While it’s no surprise the Padres appear interested in cutting ties with Myers, there is no doubt it’ll be difficult for the club to deal him. Because the Padres backloaded Myers’ extension, the 28-year-old still has $60MM coming his way through 2022 (including a $1MM buyout in ’23). Myers simply hasn’t been worth close to that type of money over the previous three seasons, having accounted for a mere 3.0 fWAR in 1,372 plate appearances since inking his extension. Myers admitted to Cassavell that his contract “looks bad right now,” though he expressed hope he’ll turn around his fortunes.
This year has been especially forgettable for Myers, who has hit .239/.322/.415 (96 wRC+) with a career-worst 34.4 percent strikeout rate and just 0.5 fWAR across 480 trips to the plate. That type of production isn’t going to play in the corner outfield or at first base – Myers’ main positions since his career began with the Rays in 2013. As such, it stands to reason the Padres will have to eat a substantial amount of money in order to trade him.
When the Padres committed to Myers for the long term, he was their primary first baseman. However, the Hosmer signing pushed Myers out to the grass, where he, Hunter Renfroe and Josh Naylor have been the Padres’ most common corner outfielders this year. Unfortunately for the club, no member of that group has excelled in 2019, which seems to make it all the more imperative for touted prospect Taylor Trammell (whom San Diego acquired over the summer) to make a quick impact if he gets a big league opportunity next season. In the meantime, the Padres could make some changes to the unit’s composition over the winter, with a Myers trade perhaps atop their wish list.