The San Diego Padres are reportedly close to handing 26-year-old first baseman Wil Myers a six-year extension worth $80 million. Now the team has a star it can build around.
The last time San Diego Padres GM A.J. Preller signed a free agent for upwards of $70 million, the team was in the middle of an offseason frenzy. Preller captured baseball’s attention when, during his first winter at the head of the ball club, he made moves to acquire Matt Kemp, Derek Norris, Justin Upton, Wil Myers and Will Middlebrooks.
He capped off his winter makeover by signing James Shields to a four-year, $75 million contract with a $16 million team option for a fifth year. At the time, the move was well-received. Shields had thrown at least 203 innings in eight consecutive seasons and boasted a proven track record in big games.
Despite the flurry of moves, the Padres finished the 2015 season at 74-88 — three fewer wins than their previous campaign. The team followed it up with a 68-win season last year, prompting a full-scale rebuild. Only one star from that hectic offseason still remains: Wil Myers.
After unloading most of their major league roster for prospects, the Padres reportedly signed Myers to a six-year, $80 million extension. The team isn’t looking to contend anytime soon, but Myers is still ahead of his prime and will be the cornerstone that this franchise builds around.
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The former Tampa Bay Rays Rookie of the Year earned an All-Star nod for the first time in his career last season, hitting .259/.336/.461 with 28 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 157 games. He plays above-average defense at first base and has experience at all three outfield spots as well.
San Diego picked up Myers in a three-team deal that sent top prospects Trea Turner and Joe Ross to the Washington Nationals. While Turner is a budding superstar and Ross has been a reliable arm at the back-end of the rotation, the Myers extension should ease the pain for the Padres’ front office.
Myers has a history of injury issues, but he showed the team what he’s capable of given a full season. With a farm system that’s ranked fifth in all of baseball by Call to the Pen’s own Benjamin Chase, the Padres are clearly moving in the right direction.
San Diego hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, and its football team just bolted for Los Angeles. However, fans can take solace in the fact that its ball club has a bright future ahead. Myers is just the beginning.