Posted on January 13, 2017 by Bryan Zarpentine
The San Diego Padres are in the midst of a long rebuilding process that may not be finished for a few more years. However, the team is ready to ensure that first baseman Will Myers is with them when they reach the end of the road. Multiple outlets are reporting that the Padres and Myers have agreed to a six-year extension worth in the area of $80 million. As of Friday evening, the Padres have not officially announced the deal, which is reportedly pending a physical.
The six-year extension will cover Myers’ three years of arbitration, as well as delay his free agency by an additional three years. Assuming the deal goes through, Myers will remain with the Padres through the 2022 season. With the extension, Myers won’t hit the free agent market until a couple months before his 32nd birthday. However, for all intents and purposes, he is set financially for life. His year-by-year salary won’t be known until the deal is official, but Myers will average just over $13 million over the next six years.
Myers, a once highly-regarded prospect has bounced around among several organizations throughout his career. He was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2009, but in December 2012 was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi in a trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.
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It was in Tampa Bay that Myers would win Rookie of the Year honors in 2013. However, after he struggled during his sophomore campaign in 2014, Myers was traded again, this time in a three-team deal that sent him to the Padres, Steve Souza Jr. to the Rays, and Joe Ross and Trea Turner to the Nationals.
After the trade to San Diego, tendinitis in his left wrist plagued Myers during the 2015 season, resulting in multiple trips to the DL and disappointing numbers. However, when fully healthy in 2016, Myers was able to rebound, hitting .259 with 28 home runs, four triples, and 29 doubles, good for an OPS of .797. Those numbers made the Padres comfortable giving Myers a six-year extension to keep him in San Diego while they rebuild around him.
If Myers is able to stay healthy, his best years are likely ahead of him. Between this past season and his rookie year in 2013, Myers has flashed the potential to be one of the most impactful offensive first baseman in baseball. If Myers continues to develop and maxes out on his potential within the next few years, a six-year, $80 million extension could end up being quite a bargain for the Padres.
With Myers locked in at first base for the foreseeable future, as the extension will likely eliminate any trade talk related to him, the Padres can continue to build around him. A series of trades in recent years has helped give San Diego one of the better farm systems in baseball. As early as this season, prospects like Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot could establish themselves as core players in San Diego’s future alongside Myers, even if the franchise is another two or three years away from being serious contenders.
At first glance, the extension for Myers has a chance to work out for both sides. Myers could potentially outperform the contract, but even if he does and misses out on an even larger contract later on, he’s still financially set for life. He also has also take comfort knowing he’s unlikely to be traded unless he wants to leave San Diego. Meanwhile, the Padres locked up a player who’s worth building around, doing so at a reasonable price. It’ll be years until we know for sure if this was the right move or not, but it has a chance to work out in the long run for both sides.