Padres Extend Wil Myers
The San Diego Padres are reportedly close to signing first baseman Wil Myers to a six-year deal worth more than $80 million. The impending deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal on Twitter. The contract would cover Myers’s final three years of arbitration and his first three years of free agency.
Sources: #Padres close to signing Wil Myers to six-year contract for more than $80M. Deal would cover three years of arb, three FA years.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 13, 2017
San Diego, Myers Close to Long-Term Deal
Myers, 26, was drafted out of high school in the third round by the Kansas City Royals. He was originally drafted as a catcher, but moved to the outfield in the minor leagues to preserve his health and improve the development of his power bat, which has always been his greatest asset.
Myers was a top-five prospect after he hit 37 home runs in the high minors in 2012. That winter, the Royals sent him, along with three other prospects to Tampa Bay in exchange for James Shields and Wade Davis.
Reasons for Optimism
Myers’s career immediately took off in 2013, as he hit .293/.354/.478 with 13 homers in 88 games after being promoted in May. That performance earned him American League Rookie of the Year honors.
Injuries have prevented Myers from turning into a real star since. He hurt his wrist in 2014 and was ineffective, posting a .222/.294/.320 line and six homers. Perhaps it was this performance, perhaps it was his suspect outfield defense, or perhaps it had nothing to do with him at all, but Tampa Bay pulled the trigger on him that offseason, sending him to San Diego in a three-team trade that also involved the Washington Nationals.
Myers struggled with his performance and health again in 2015, appearing in just 60 games and failing to reach double digits in homers. His continued misadventures on defense saw him moved to first base, where he has spent most of his time since, putting a dent in his value.
Myers did have a nice bounce-back campaign in 2016, as he hit a respectable .259/.336/.461 with 28 long balls and 94 RBI. He also managed to stay healthy for a full season for the first time in his career and played in 157 games. It marked the first time he had ever played in more than 100 games in a big-league season.
What it means
The Padres are clearly banking on that level of performance continuing. He certainly showed promise, making his first All-Star team and participating in the Home Run Derby. It remains to be seen if his abilities and, more importantly, durability continue to evolve, but the move to a less demanding position should help. If they do, San Diego will have a power hitter under a reasonable deal for many seasons to come.